Poverty drives youth from their rural Indian village of Raidihi, to big cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Goa. Nearly 1/3 of them, (about 200), earn subsistence wages in unskilled work leaving them poor and without hope of advancement. Girls are most vulnerable to sexual abuse while working as domestic servants. Some are tricked into sexual trafficking and vanish. Bereft families are left without a trace or the ability to search for them.
To pull out of poverty, two essential skills are needed: 1) proficiency in English and, 2) a working knowledge of the computer. Offering these skills to young girls enables them to seek and find positions in government or the private sector. All villages have open computer positions. When employed, youth choose stay in their Tribal Region and contribute to the raising up of the next generation.
“The economic situation of the people is only hand to mouth. Because of poverty both young boys and girls go to metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Gujarat, Bangalore and Goa to earn money and to support their family. Many girls are sexually abused. Some become unwed mother and some also become the victim incurable diseases like HIV/AIDS and boys are drowned while fishing or lost. Their illiterate parents are not in the position to trace them out. It is disheartening to see them crying bitterly for their adult sons and daughters who are lost or sexually abused. Seeing the need of the place, we the Sisters of St. Joseph of Lyon, stepped into this area in the year 1999. From then we are engaged in different ministries like pastoral, health, tailoring class for dropouts. ” Sr. Sophia Daisy
Sisters have run a successful program which for the past 10 years which has prepared girls for employment as tailors. The program provides skill training in sewing, embroidery, knitting and hand works. It emphasizes small business skills and encourages the importance of saving.
The sisters want to add computer literacy to the program they will offer.
Less tangible, yet transformative skills, help the young women take positive steps in personal growth and teaches the importance of the empowerment of women. They learn about women’s equal rights to economic resources. The hall where the sisters conduct these 6 month programs can serve 10 to 15 students who receive certificates of completion. Two shifts run each day.
The Sisters want to expand the program beyond youth to include adult women and men. Men will learn a trade to support their families. Their program will also include lessons on equal rights of women and healthy family life to eliminate prevalent domestic violence.
“We are very grateful for the help [that funds are program]. The girls have profited a lot. After learning they have started to earn their livelihood. We want to continue the program but not only for the girls but for women and men. We have a plan to extend our mission by starting computer education.” -Sr. Suchita Tirkey
Funds are Needed
- $1,470 provides pays for technical instructor
- $4,320 purchases computers for computer instruction
- $1,040 helps to maintain the building and provide for electricity costs
- $1,820 provides for a program coordinator and administrative expense
Goals and Objectives:
Timeline: 10 years
Goal 1: Reduce trafficking of young women
- Teach young girls to proficiency in English ,
- Teach young girls a working knowledge of the computer.
- Prepare young girls for employment as tailors.
- Help the young women take positive steps in personal growth
- Teach the importance of the empowerment of women and women’s equal rights to economic resources.
Goal 2: Eliminate domestic violence
- Expand the young girls program to include adult women and men.
- Teach Men a trade to support their families.
- Teach men lessons on equal rights of women and healthy family life
Goal 3: Expand facilities to 16 nearby villages over 10 years
- Plan how to reach out to youth in 16 nearby villages.
- Determine funding for the expansion.
Immediate Charitable Response:
Young women are safe and employed in their own villages