I’m so excited to be heading to India for the first time this July with two friends to learn and explore. My friend who is leading the team is the founder of an organization that assists at-risk girls in India to pursue their education through university level with “life scholarships,” which provide housing, tuition, clothing, medical care, life training, tutoring, service opportunities, stability and care while in school. The funding is mostly accomplished through her tea shop in Downtown Atlanta, which is how I met her.
Unfortunately, some women and girls in India are still persecuted for being female, especially in rural areas like Darjeeling. And for some of these girls in the program, good alternatives would be hard to find. They have already faced incomprehensible challenges in their young lives such as: families who couldn’t provide for them, being orphaned for being a girl, and the threat of being trafficked or forced into prostitution, among others. So, I’m excited to meet the scholars in this program who are excelling in their education, and have promising futures that might not otherwise be available to them. They will create a better India. In a country of 1.2 billion people, the education disparity between girls and boys, especially after age 14, is still far too high. Programs like this one are helping to fill the void. For more information on girls’ education in India, please see the “women’s education” section on this page.
Additionally, many of you are aware of my passion for abolishing modern-day slavery. According to the 2014 Global Slavery Index, India has more slaves than any other country in the world, around 14 million. Therefore, I am very interested to see the climate which fosters this reality, and hopefully meet other organizations who are on the front lines of fighting this atrocity in its various forms.
And, of course, there will be many bright spots in this trip. India is a unique and beautiful country with a long and interesting history. I’m really excited to see the culture and vibrancy of these remarkable people.
It’s going to be an incredible trip, and I’d love to have you partner with me.
Here are some of the things we’ll be doing:
- Staying with the 11 scholars at their center and spending time with them, helping however we can and learning their individual stories.
- Exploring the cities of Kolkata and Darjeeling, and possibly Mumbai.
- Visiting the tea plantation in Darjeeling where my friend sources her tea.
- Connecting with other local orgs that are fighting various forms human and labor trafficking.
- Having a ton of fun along the way!
If any additional money is raised beyond my needs or goal, I plan to give it as a donation to this incredible organization. And if you’d like to make a donation to them directly, I’m happy to connect you.