Barli Institute Story: Changing the hearts and minds – and communities. India.
Barli Institute educates and empowers young, rural women to lead the social and economic development of their communities. Based in Indore, the Institute has so far trained more than 14,800 young women from 830 villages. 94% of Barli Institute graduates contribute to the income of their families.
Each year, Barli Institute trains over 200 young women and girls from underserved communities through a six-month residential program using local teachers and trainers from among their peers. It is a holistic curriculum with experiential and hands-on classes: literacy, health, and hygiene including HIV, transfer of solar technology, organic agriculture, overall personality, and social development through a specially-designed, “Developing Myself and My Community” curriculum, gender equality and income-generating skills like stitching and tailoring to contribute to the process of personal and social transformation and sustainable community development.
The Barli Institute is a vessel for social change, breaking down ingrained norms to build a world where women and girls can thrive. It uses a forward-thinking curriculum to address the complex social pressures that are otherwise impossible for women to escape in rural India. Most of the young women, for example, lack decision-making power in their patriarchal villages. If a man calls a student from Barli Institute, she must leave her studies. If a family member falls ill, or the pressure to marry is too great, parents withdraw their daughters from school, regardless of their daughters’ wishes.
Despite this tension with social norms, Barli Institute is steadily changing the hearts and minds of parents about the importance of their daughters’ education. They see their new-found self-confidence, personal growth, and determination to continue learning and growing. This transformation …
“I now understand the power of education. I will educate my girl and let her complete her graduation no matter how many years and efforts are required.”- Arti’s mother, Salai village
“I am very happy that my daughter is getting both material and spiritual education. She is learning to read and write and stitching, and at the same time she is understanding the importance of moral values and service to humanity.” – Savita’s father, Kothisurpur village
“I am very happy to see the positive changes in my daughter. I had stopped her schooling so that she could help with household work, but now I understand the importance of educating a girl child. I will again restart her schooling and even allow her to go to college.” – Kavita’s father, BhilBerkhera village
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