Our Mission: Give Our Girls a Fighting Chance
In 2014, UNESCO reported that if the current pace continues, the last girl living in poverty would be enrolled in school by 2086. Girls living in poverty is the most difficult to reach segment out of the 40 million girls not enrolled in school worldwide. A majority drop out before grade 8 and only a fraction make it through High School.
EDU-GIRLS focuses on the education of these impoverished girls. We customize our program delivery to fit their unique circumstance of poverty, gender bias and demands of their time at home.
We do not stop at enrollment. We do not stop at getting them through high school. We work with our girls to help them get vocational skills or college degrees and achieve financial independence.
Over the next decade, we want to put a million cracks in the glass ceiling of entrenched urban poverty.
Children living in such extreme poverty deserve a fighting chance – and that starts with education.
However, impoverished families often keep girls at home to run the household, while both parents try to earn a living.
These families cannot afford the fees, books, and uniforms, much less the spare time required for their daughter's education. Instead, they get her married young, since there is no guarantee of a job after finishing school.
Let's change that.
First Project: Vimukti Girls School, Jaipur
Zero fees. 650 girls. 100% pass rate.
NOW EIGHT GIRLS ENTER COLLEGE ON SCHOLARSHIP!
Vimukti Girls School, the first school supported by EDU-GIRLS, is our flagship project. To date, Vimukti has enrolled seven hundred girls, all of whom come from families that make less than $100/month and from diverse ethnic and religious groups.
Vimukti aims to overcome key barriers which come in the way of girls getting a good education. Our girls attend school for four hours a day for 278 days a year compared to a norm of 200.. This gives them time to help with daily tasks, while allowing them to put in the extra hours to get an education, given lack of time and support at home.
Vimukti offers an all female secure campus and safe transport from home to school, which also saves girls valuable time.
Our girls receive free of cost tution, books and materials, uniforms, a nutritious meal, and basic medical support.
The cost of supporting one of our girls runs about $0.67 per day. Costs are kept low by sharing school infrastructure and by a largely volunteer management.
Vimukti focuses on quality by keeping a low teacher-to-student ratio, utilizing "smart class" technology, incorporating science and computer training into the curriculum and providing basic laboratory and library facilities, as well as an opportunity to take part in sports and inter-school competitions.
Vimukti girls appear in Rajasthan SchoolBoard examinations at Grade 5,8,10 and 12 and have achieved a 100% pass rate. About a third achieve a “first” division ranking.
These confident young women who know their rights and responsibilities are now ready for intensive vocational skill development which should help land them good paying jobs after high school. One of them has started a job as a beautician.
Moreover, eight of them are enrolled in college to get a Bachelor's degree and secure better career choices.
With Vimukti as a proof of concept, we are on the way to cracking the glass ceiling of entrenched urban poverty.
Will Girls Living in Poverty Ever Get an Education?
By Anand Seth, Founder of Edu-GIRLS
My mother was a bright girl with a keen desire to learn, but she was not allowed to continue her education beyond Grade 8 as that meant she had to go to school in another town. Eighty years later, Malala wanted to go to school, but she was shot because of it, even though the school was in her own home town. They shot her to stop her from promoting education for girls. The moot question is: Are things getting worse for girls? [Read the Full Article in the Fair Observer]