Michelle’s Friday Project Update: Girls’ Empowerment

Today I am going to share some exciting news from our partner Bal Ashram Trust who GO Campaign is helping to expand their programs to empower girls living in the rural villages.

Organization: Bal Ashram Trust
Location: Jaipur, India

Context: GO Campaign Local Hero, Kailash Satyarthi, winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, has been at the forefront of the global movement to end child slavery and child labor for three decades. His grassroots movement, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), has rescued more than 84,000 child slaves and has developed a successful model for helping them reintegrate into their communities.

Background: BBA created Bal Ashram Trust as a rehabilitation centre for boys rescued from child slavery. Since its inception, Bal Ashram has rehabilitated over 2000 children. GO Campaign started working with Bal Ashram in 2014. Our funds enabled Bal Ashram to develop a vocational training program at the ashram and begin to provide support to vulnerable girls living in the villages surrounding the center.

Current Status: To date, we have provided Bal Ashram with two grants totaling $54,200. Our support is having is transforming the community. Youth have been trained with marketable skills they can use to obtain employment and bring themselves, and their families out of poverty. Girls have been empowered and are more vocal in advocating for their rights. Recently, the girls went to their village meeting and demanded their school be expanded past 8th grade. As a result of their actions, an application to upgrade the school has been submitted to the District Education Officer.

Meet Guddi
Guddi, 18, is a student, entrepreneur, and activist for girl’s education. Despite leaving school in the 9th grade, she never gave up her dream of going to university. During the beautician’s course at the ashram, Guddi finally garnered her courage to voice her desire to continue her education. Now, Guddi runs her own business, contributes to her family’s income, is completing her secondary school program, and, most importantly, serves as a role model and advocate for girls’ education. Guddi is a shining example that there are no limits to what is possible when you give a child an opportunity.