Aarohini Girls Empowerment Program: Lucknow, India
The Aarohini program at Study Hall Educational Foundation provides quality education and seeks to prevent child marriage and eliminate discrimination against girls in their schools, families, and communities.
The program began in 2012 in 36 residential girls schools serving about 18,000 students. Today, through the help of Mona support, the program has reached nearly 1,000 schools and more than 500,000 girls.
To tackle deeply rooted social issues, Study Hall Educational Foundation uses a Critical Dialogues curriculum, in which girls discuss gender equality, dowries, education rights, child marriage, and other topics relevant to their lives. Through learning and close mentoring, the girls develop life aspirations and come to perceive themselves as equal individuals worthy of respect and self-determination. It also performs community outreach using art and drama to raise awareness of these issues.
Intense teacher training programs are a big reason for Aarohini’s success and reach. During the last six months of 2017, 450 teachers from 31 districts in the state of Uttar Pradesh were trained in critical feminist pedagogy and community mobilization. As more than half a million girls gain knowledge and empowerment from these teachings, their impact is spreading through their communities, extended families, and beyond. The potential of this model to change Indian society is enormous.
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