This project will work with girls living in poverty between the ages of 7 and 18 across India through a unique mixed-gender mentoring program designed and proven to educate and empower girls to make effective choices in the areas of health, education, gender, and livelihoods. 98% of girls in the program are in high school, double the national average of 46%. Studies have shown that the most effective way to ensure a girl does not become a child bride and mother is a continuing education.
Hundreds of millions of girls in India are not given adequate opportunities or exposure to be able to control their own lives. They are required to take care of household chores and younger siblings from a young age, losing much of their childhood. Only 1% of girls in India make it through the 12th grade. 40% of the world's child marriage occur in India, many of which are young girls marrying much older men. The problem in these communities is that young girls don't have role models.
The Magic Bus program invests in youth girls to be successful in school and life and then to turn around and become youth mentors for younger girls. Having role models that the young girls can look up to makes a world of difference. Using the experiential learning based Magic Bus curriculum further ensures that young children continue to engage, thus ensuring a long term engagement with the child. Most importantly, all programs are mixed-gender, so the messages of equality are heard by all.
We will educate 4000 girls living in poverty in India through a series of programs designed to engage many stakeholders in the community: the girls, their parents, schoolteachers, siblings, classmates, and also boys. Studies have shown that 98% of girls in our program are enrolled in secondary school, more than double the national average of 46%.The secondary impacts of this statistic are significant in their own right - these girls will not fall prey to child marriage and childbirth.