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Training Space for 600 Poor Girls in Mumbai

by Vacha Charitable Trust
Training Space for  600 Poor Girls in Mumbai
Training Space for  600 Poor Girls in Mumbai
Training Space for  600 Poor Girls in Mumbai
Training Space for  600 Poor Girls in Mumbai
Training Space for  600 Poor Girls in Mumbai
Training Space for  600 Poor Girls in Mumbai
Training Space for  600 Poor Girls in Mumbai
Training Space for  600 Poor Girls in Mumbai
A rally for better community toilets
A rally for better community toilets

Dear friends,

As you know August 15 is the Indian Independence Day. Our project participants celebrate it very enthusiastically. They publish their own news letter, now in 14 communities and have lots of cultural activities. Sometimes, if open space is not available on all days they celebrate on a Sunday before the Independence Day. Events on major days give youth from deprived communities opportunities to express themselves through writing, posters, songs and street theatre.

There was an additional celebration this year that we are all very excited about. We have established a Vacha library in a former village in Thane district where poor residents and migrant labour from most backward districts in India live. The response is amazing. Within a month 150 kids have become members and more have lined up to enrol. It is the first time that they get to read something besides their text books that they get free. Many are beginning to get interested in reading newspapers. This year there were competitions and reading outs in and around the Independence Day. We felt very good that children in this very poor areas have welcomes a library at a time when many libraries and bookshops are closing down in the world. We hope to start another in an area where all homes are made from tin sheets. The programme is coordinated from our central office.

Thanks for your kind support. Donations from many of you made it possible for us to get a small place, at the devastating Mumbai prices, from where we coordinate this and other activities.

With best regards,

Dealing with influencers
Dealing with influencers
Reading aloud at the library
Reading aloud at the library
Sharing with the community
Sharing with the community
Press Conference 1
Press Conference 1

Dear friends,

It gives Team Vacha great pleasure to share pictures from a training centre cum coordination office with you. Several of you have contributed for getting a small place of its own after 30 years of existence. Space in Mumbai is highly expensive and rents are sky high and never is the tenancy on long term basis now. A permanent space, however small, was needed for Vacha to survive. We had tried very hard to collect funds to buy space and had done locally. However, in the last phase, it was through contributions from GlobalGiving platform that made it possible to get this place. So a very big Thank You to all of you and to GlobalGiving. I am sharing a couple of pictures from a girls’ training. We will be putting up pictures from other parts of this 400 sq. ft. Place as they become more functional.

Vacha coordinates a programme of Learning Community of Girls supported by and planned with EMpower Foundation. Seven NGOs working in poor neighbourhoods participate in a project of empowering girls through leadership skills and skills in locating issues affecting their lives, planning, budget making, monitoring etc. and encourage them to own and execute the project themselves. They have carried out such projects at local level and share strategies and outcomes. This year they conducted a survey of girls experiences on issues of mobility i.e. access to public playgrounds, Public toilets and Public stands for newspaper reading, a special Mumbai feature in poor areas. The findings revealed threats and demeaning experiences. The survey was titled The Time Is Now with demands through advocacy. Girls from all centres including Vacha called a press conference to release the survey report and a charter of demands on April 12 at a Press Club. The press conference was covered by 10 daily newspapers and 3 TV channels. It is going to various authorities.

We continue to work with adolescent girls from deprived communities and thanks again for your regular support. Do visit our website www.vacha.org.in from time to time.

Thanks again and best wishes,

Press Conference 2
Press Conference 2
Girls at the new training space
Girls at the new training space
No Means No!
No Means No!

Hi,

For many of us 16 days of action on elimination of violence against women is a very important time in the year. It starts on Nov. 25, the international day for elimination of violence against women and ends with Dec. 10, the International Human Rights Day.Many women’s groups conduct a series of programmes like rallies, film shows, public meetings etc. Vacha has some special activity in each of the 12 to 15 poor communities where it is active with a girls’ empowerment programme. We conducted activities like rallies, photo exhibitions, fairs, street plays, film screenings, signature campaigns, online poetry and storytelling and other awareness generation activities. Various themes covered by these activities were sexual harassment, unsafe spaces, issue of community toilets, and gender and gender-based violence. These events witnessed an overall participation from more than 800 community girls, and it was attended by more than 3000 people which included community residents, people from nearby schools and colleges, local leaders, police, corporates, other CBO's and social workers. One such event in Bharat Nagar and Sant Gnyanaeshwar Nagar was conducted in collaboration with ActionAid, India.

 

About 25 youth from one of our communities took an initiative and organized a film screening on the theme of violence against women in Malad, Mumbai. They invited Police and special cell (for women) personnel for the event. It was attended by nearly 350 community people and the local leader. After the screening it showed that many women became aware regarding domestic violence and where can they get the help from, through Q & A session. The unique part about this film screening was that it was scheduled at night and many women were present for the screening. In a community where girls and women are not allowed to go out after dark, this event was a progressive step and broke the barrier of restricting women and girls from going outside at night. Also, our youth distributed pamphlets in the community to spread awareness on the topic. They screened an episode of 'Satyamev Jayate' which was on the topic of violence. The response received to this event was rather overwhelming and very positive.

 

We feel happy that the youth –the girls and the boys- themselves now take initiative and organize meetings using resources like film screenings, leaflet distribution, holding public meetings and debates and photo exhibitions because that means a pro active leadership in emerging in poor communities, the so called slums.

A street Rally
A street Rally
Another street rally
Another street rally
A successful Photo exhibition
A successful Photo exhibition
Public Speaking
Public Speaking

Dear friends,

As you know your contribution to our central space for girls’ training in Mumbai. Due to bureaucratic problems and delays we could not furnish and occupy it as we could neither receive funds donated thru GlobalGiving nor spend what had already come for 9 months this year. This was a very hard time for us as we had to vacate the Municipal school where we were occupying 3 rent controlled rooms. Space in Mumbai is in short supply and rents are high. We are now working on making the new space as per our needs. We need to buy office chairs and tables, computers and other things. We are soon sending appeals to corporate and other donors. In the meantime we seek your generous donations in this Giving Tuesday to send your donations to Vacha.

Donations to Vacha thru 2 sites has helped us reach tens thousands of poor adolescent girls living in slums of Mumbai and its outskirts. The girls suffer not only due to poverty but also because of the huge son preference and orthodox traditions controlling girls’ mobility, education, early marriage and lack of choice in decision making. All girls, except one, from Vacha’s programme of imparting soft and hard skills, leadership training and community work, have been able to complete at least 12 years of education and postpone marriage. Several are paying for their education with part time jobs and, from the old batches, some have emerged as doctor, lawyer, teacher and even fashion designer and air hostess.

On behalf of Vacha team, I sincerely thank you for the kind support you have extended to us and appeal to you for donating on this GivingTuesday.

With best wishes and regards,

Yagna Parmar

Co Director

Project Vacha

At a Vacha event
At a Vacha event
Training for a special game
Training for a special game

Dear Friends,

Warm geeting from Vacha Trust, Mumbai.

We are now in pround possession of a small 400 sq. ft. flat off Veera Desai in Andheri West, Mumbai. We have hired almost the same size flat nearby. It is very croweded for us there and moving of some people to the new place for training will be a great relief. Unfortunately, we are going through a cash crunch so the furnishing will be delayed. We have broken down a couple of walls to create a larger place where trainings of trainers (TOTs) will be planned. We will send you pictures once the place is ready. Right now I am sharing other project pictures here.We were stuck at having only 90 per cent of the required funds and your kind support has helped us aquire the remaining 10 per cent.We are truly thankful for this.

Ms Shraddha Sejpal, an MIT, USA, trained architect is doing interiors for Vacha and that is a blessing. We are going to need the hired space in an dilapidated building across the street because of the ever expanding work among adplescent gitls suffering multiple disadvantages due to factors like low caste and religious and lingistic minority background with over arching poverty and gender issues. You will be happy to learn that every single participant in our programme is able to complete high school education and avoid child marriage. The girls are active in their communities and work on issues like sanitation, school enrolment, organising events and many others.

We hope you will visit us when in Mumbai and visit our website www.vacha.org,in from time to timefor updates on activities.

With best wishes and regards,

Sonal Shukla

Rally for Violence against Girls
Rally for Violence against Girls
Performing street play
Performing street play
 

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Organization Information

Vacha Charitable Trust

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra - India
Website:
Project Leader:
medhavinee namjoshi
Mumbai, Maharashtra India
$27,654 raised of $35,000 goal
 
30 donations
$7,346 to go
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