A record-breaking donation year in 2015 enabled Shadhika’s Board of Directors to approve $80,000 in grants to our six partner sites across India this past April. The grants will support over 400 young women as well as over 200 young men who will receive gender-based violence prevention training. The grants reflect Shadhika’s commitment to investing in every stage of girls’ lives to ensure they have the support they need to realize their full potential. Reflecting this focus, our 2016 grants provide a continuum of support to girls and young women ages 10 to 24 where they need it most.
Education: According to the World Bank, each additional year a girl goes to school, her income can increase 10-25 percent. Our grant to Buddha’s Smile School in Varanasi will cover the costs for 35 girls from the ‘Dalit,’ or untouchable, caste to attend secondary school.
Life-Skills: When girls learn the skills they need to become independent, they are empowered to make their own choices in their lives. Shadhika will provide support to Baale Mane in Bangalore and to the Centre for Women’s Development and Research in Chennai to teach over 180 young women the emotional, health, and day-to-day life skills they need to become independent young women.
Economic Self-Sufficiency: Studies have shown that when a young woman earns an income, she reinvests 90 percent of it into her family, helping to break the cycle of poverty. Because of this, Shadhika invests in two programs that teach and place young women in jobs. The first program is Uddami Computer Training Centre in Kolkata where, with Shadhika’s support, over 45 young women will learn computer skills and receive job readiness training to place them in the workforce. With the support of the Sonoma County Donors Circle, our second program, STOP India, in Delhi, is helping the survivors of trafficking to make, sell, and manage their own clothing and accessories business.
Leadership Development: The Center for Global Development has shown that when women take leadership roles in their communities, corruption diminishes, extremism is reduced, and democracy flourishes. With a grant from Dining for Women, Shadhika is able to continue support to VACHA, in Mumbai, which is working with over 120 girls to educate them about their rights and empower them to become leaders in their communities.
Focusing our grant support in these four key areas gives the young women we support the tools they need to pursue their goals all along the way. As Shadhika continues to grow, we look forward to being able to help even more young women in this way.