Girls Empowerment Program at TARA Outreach Center
“There is no limit to what we as women can accomplish.” Michelle Obama.
In India, gender disparity in education is a major issue. Girls do not get the same opportunities as boys, especially in rural areas and poor households. Moreover, they're subjected to ignorance and are often not given power and decision-making roles.
Social workers at TARA Outreach Centre experience this issue regularly. Some families think there is no need to educate a girl because, ultimately, she will get married and stay at home. They had observed how during the lockdown, there was a lot of pressure on families to earn money, and schools were also closed; indeed, girls began working as domestic helps in other houses. TARA needed to find a solution to address this issue.
“We want to help them reach a level where they can at least stand up on their own feet.” said Akanksha, Program Manager at TARA Outreach Centre. So, TARA decided to start a ‘Girl Empowerment Program’ for the teenage girls of the Outreach Centre.Girl Empowerment Program
TARA Outreach Centre developed a module that helps young girls with English communication, life skills, personality development, and confidence building. So they can face challenges and decide what is wrong and right for them.
The program will help the girls improve their academics and prevent them from dropping out of school. To improve their skills and prepare them for their professional career, there will be English language classes and writing skill sessions focusing on letters, emails, and CVs.
In addition, the team will collaborate with some organizations to conduct sessions on sexuality and reproductive rights for the girls to provide them with some knowledge about it.Involvement of the parents
The Outreach Centre also works closely with the parents. “It requires constant counselling, constant meetings with the parents because the difficult part is to change the mindset of parents," said Akanksha. The team call them, have conversations, and individual meetings with them, and try to show them the larger picture to make them understand that if the girls in their household get some education, they can have a better job and improve the overall family condition.
Mothers will also be involved in the Girl Empowerment Program, where they will get the space to express and share their problems. There will be monthly meetings with them.
Akanksha also said, "we are there for your child, but we are also there for you!” This means that they will help the girls as well as their parents if they need. This program will give the girls the courage suppressed within them, a platform to show their skills, and make them stand on their feet.
We will let them fly as high as they can!Written by Noorjahan from TARA Girls Posted on 05 October 2022