The Blossom Bus: Help Rural Girls Get To School!

by Lotus Outreach
May 23, 2012

Afsana makes history

"I'll graduate before I'll marry"

Afsana recently received the wonderful news that she passed grade 9. But her achievement isn’t only a personal milestone; her entire community is marking the occasion. That’s because Afsana will be the very first female in Mehluka village to reach grade 10.

Finishing grade 9 at 16 years old, Afsana is a tad behind by western standards. But in the remote, rural district of northern India where she is from, an unwed, childless girl of her age is a rarity. Afsana’s own mother was 14 when she married, and neither of her parents even attended school.

A striking contrast also lies between Afsana and her two older sisters, only one of whom reached as far as grade 5. (The other never went to school.) While Afsana amiably leads our field staff on a tour of her home, her sisters remain in their rooms; on the way out, our officers are discouraged from acknowledging their veiled forms at the door. As married women, they must keep their heads covered, and certainly not address men other than their husbands.

“It’s like seeing the past and the present in one place at the same time,” remarked our director of field operations, Glenn Fawcett.

This surreal juxtaposition almost didn’t come to pass. Despite her visible passion for education, in the year after grade 8 Afsana remained at home, helping to look after her nieces, nephews and the housekeeping. With her secondary school too far away to safely walk to alone, Afsana’s parents pulled her out of school. She resigned herself to the idea of an early marriage.

That’s when news of Lotus Outreach’s Blossom Bus, a school transportation program designed specifically to reach Mewat’s secondary school-aged young women, blew through Mehluka village.

“When I heard about the chance to return to school, my heart almost burst,” says Afsana. 

Not only did she sign herself up for the Bus, she rallied four of her friends who had also dropped out to re-enroll with her. Now first in her class of 16 girls, a confident Afsana declares, “I want to finish grade 12 before even thinking about marriage.”

Today the Blossom Bus provides the vital link to continued education for 150 girls across Afsana’s home district of Mewat, many of whom are blazing trails for their younger sisters, just like Afsana. We could never do it without your support! Thank you so much for keeping these girls in school. 

Afsana at home with her younger siblings
Afsana at home with her younger siblings
Studying 2-3 hours every night
Studying 2-3 hours every night

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Lotus Outreach

Location: Ojai, California - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Alexandra Land
Sacramento, CA United States
$100,841 raised of $120,000 goal
2,129 donations
$19,159 to go
Donate Now
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. Learn more.
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money for this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page for this project.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.