The terrible practice of child marriage is still very common in this area of Uttar Pradesh. Many poor parents see girls as a burden, marry them off by 12 or 13 and send them to live with their husbands' families. Many are little more than servants in their new homes and often bear children while still children themselves. Unable to read & write, unprepared to care for their children & unaware of their rights, they are easily exploited and abused, & destined for lives of deep, continuing poverty
Education & delaying marriage are two proven pathways out of poverty for girls. 80% of the 1400 students in FFLV's schools are very poor, low-caste girls. We create many incentives to get parents to enroll their daughters: free tuition, clothing, daily meals, health care, & priority in admission for siblings. Our Save the Girls Fund creates individual savings accounts girls access when they graduate & may use however they choose: for higher education, to start a business, or for their dowries.
FFLV empowers girls in & around Vrindavan to escape poverty. By delaying marriage until adulthood, girls will be healthier & more capable of caring for themselves and their families. Literate and aware of their rights, they will better advocate for themselves & raiser healthier, better educated children. Some will even pursue professions like teaching & nursing, once inconceivable for girls of their caste and economic status. 200 poor girls, their immediate & future families will benefit.
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