In Vuelta Grande, Guatemala and Ambedkar Nagar, India nearly every child stops going to school after sixth grade, if they make it that far. Most of the women in these villages have very little formal education and many are cannot read. When girls stop going to school, they usually help with household chores, look after younger siblings and some begin working as domestic servants to contribute income to the family or are arranged to be married. Many of them become pregnant and/or marry at an early age (16-20).
The program includes weekly workshops, discussions using a discussion- and group-project-based curriculum; one-on-one mentorship and coaching from the senior members to the younger girls; academic scholarships; exposure to local leadership councils; and family planning awareness. There are two locally-based women staffing the program. In addition, we will leverage our relationship with the town councils of each community to involve the girls in community development programs and project planning exercises. We currently have two female Young Dreamers on the El Hato Council, our goal is to get more of our young women exposed to these positions.
Pictured above are Young Dreamers Telma and Maribel. After graduating from our scholarship program, they became teachers in Vuelta Grande where they are inspiring dozens of little girls, who finally have a teacher who looks like them and dresses like them, to stay in school, work hard and believe in themselves. What's more, during the forst year of our young women's empowerment program in Guatemala, Maribel and Telma were asked to join their town council. Making them the first ever women ever to serve.
Pictured above are Payal and Sandhya, two of our Young Dreamers in India who have graduated from high school and are now in college. Here they lead a discussion with women in their community, who never went to school, about the importance of life-long learning.