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Educate Priya and Her Classmates for Gainful Employment in India

Item # 83659

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Girls in India need your help to overcome barriers to their education. Donate today to help provide career-based education and prevent early childhood marriage of marginalized girls! $8,000 is needed for all 20 girls to attend the entire year of tutoring. Help us meet our goal by December 2017!

$122 has been raised! $7,878 MORE NEEDED

(Progress bar updated M-F at 9am PST)

Due to a lack of information, social biases, gender discrimination and a lack of skills, youth from marginalized communities have limited opportunities. They have restricted access to information about employment, educational opportunities or changes that are possible to improve their life. These youth are at a critical point in their social, emotional, and physical development as they transition into young adults. For girls around the world, there are even more educational barriers:

Barriers to Girls Education:

  • Poor Education: Most children have to take private tutoring classes. However, the number of tutoring centers are limited and they often have to go far to study. On their way, the girls often face teasing or harassment, which can make their parents less supportive of their education.
  • Sexual Harassment: Students face sexual harassment very often, sometimes even from their teachers. Despite being sexually harassed they have to continue to study in these centers.
  • Early Marriage: Many parents force girls to quit their education and get married, so by investing in her education, they believe they are wasting their money
  • Cultural Biases: Often girls have to do odd jobs to sustain their educational costs since many parents are unwilling to bear the additional financial strain. Hence the girls get less time to study, hampering their education.
  • Lack of Nutrition: In many households, both parents are working and there is no one to prepare breakfast or lunch. The parents give petty cash which is not enough to eat in any restaurant. The girls eat mostly fast food which is unhygienic and unhealthy and they suffer from stomach ailments and poor health. They fall sick on a regular basis and are unable to attend school consistently.

To help overcome these barriers, Prayasam, based in West Bengal India, runs a program called Ontrack, a youth career and workforce development program. This program attempts to bridge the economic divide for marginalized youth through job access and career readiness training. Ontrack is a job-oriented training course to youth that helps prepare them for entry-level jobs in a diverse set of industries. Ontrack will not only prepare the youth for getting jobs but will also equip them with the necessary business and social skills to hold on to and excel in their jobs. In this program, students learn how to conduct interviews, how to write effective resumes and cover letters, and fill out online applications as well as other key job skills. In addition, Ontrack youth are taught soft and hard skills necessary to succeed in a changing economy.

Prayasam was one of the Girls Voices for Change Contest Participants. In efforts to raise awareness about girls' education issues and to raise funds for the Girls' Voices scholarship funds, close to 100 girls participated from 8 countries, including Bonaire, Haiti, India, Jordan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Uganda and the United States. The global media challenge invited girls to create media—both video and digital photography, demonstrating personal triumphs, solutions to gender disparity, and a vision for a more empowered education for girls.

Girls from Prayasam won two of the three contest awards!
Learn more about the Girls Voices for Change Contest
and view one of the winning films below:

Currently Prayasam has 20 young girl scholars who are eager to learn, pursue their education, and lead their community. These students understand that education extends far beyond what one learns in school, and are each committed to being leaders in their community to help solve critical social issues. However these girls cannot do it alone! Your donation will go towards funding workshops, educational materials and more to get them career ready!

GV logo Girls' Voices is GreaterGood.org's latest signature program intended to raise funds for girls' secondary education through media made by girls. Our goal is for girls around the world to use the power of digital media to create images and videos that can communicate their strength and potential to the world. The media that the girls create will be shared with GreaterGood's donor network, raising funds that will directly contribute to scholarship funds for girls facing financial barriers to completing secondary education.

Prayasam's mission is to organize and develop the children and youth of slum areas as empowered change agents by forming groups and sustainable advocacy on Public Health, Popular Education, hygiene and sanitation within their communities. Prayasam believes the education system doesn't adequately prepare students for their final exams. Many families rely on tutoring centers to ensure that their children can complete their secondary education. This presents unique challenges for girls because many girls are not allowed to travel distances and tutoring centers are an additional expense for the family. Early childhood marriage is also common in West Bengal - as high as 80% in the rural areas. Considering these statistics, it is inspiring to see girls taking a stand for her own education while encouraging stronger leadership in her community.

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