On International women’s day, the triumphs of women all over the world are recognized, celebrated, and empowered. There are heroines among all of us, and it is time we take stock of all their hard work, dedication, and perseverance to make the world a better place. These women have gone above and beyond to support communities of thousands of women around them and empower them in so many ways! Here are 4 NGOs that can help so many women because of their founders.
- Project Baala: Soumya Dabriwal (founder) began her journey as a young volunteer herself, through on-ground teaching in both India and overseas for the disadvantaged communities. Lack of knowledge and support for menstrual hygiene was a common challenge across the geographies she has worked with during this time. She first took notice of this problem when her students (in Ghana) were missing their classes because of it. This was when she resolved to identify a strategic plan for addressing and bringing about change. At Project Baala, Soumya and her team work together to facilitate awareness workshops in conjunction with the distributions of the hygiene kits for girls and women across the country and abroad. They have impacted over 1000 girls and women & managed to distribute 3000+ sanitary pads.
Read more about them: https://www.projectbaala.com/#/
- EmpowHER India (SKS Chakshu Foundation): Though this organization was not founded by a woman, it is women-led. A passionate philanthropist, Nirbhay Jain, a retiree gathered support from friends and family to set forth their mission in motion, ‘Empowering Women, Transforming Villages’. He is currently 92 years olds and worked in leadership roles at a corporate before working towards the upliftment of the villages with his wife. He believes that it the responsibility and the duty of the people who have received to give back to society. Till today, he is very much involved with the team and is the guiding force for the organization. The initial projects involved infrastructural development and eye-care for the people in the rural villages of Panvel. Gradually, their focus moved towards education through a school that has about 450 secondary students currently. This was when they began sensing the ownership of the women and their proactive nature for building their communities. Through local self-help women groups, EmpowHER initiated financial inclusion programs that involved supporting these women in banking, financial literacy, and savings. This created a culture of collaboration and support amongst them through their newly built sense of identities. Subsequently, elected women representatives from the self-help groups ran two federations (autonomous bodies) for providing access to large loans with small interests. With the support of these projects, the women have begun to run their microenterprises while also looking after their family and education needs. Since then, EmpowHer has transitioned towards working for the adolescent girls from the tribal communities in Karjat as the seeds of empowerment are sowed in the time of adolescence. Keeping girls and women at the center of their programs, they have also initiated their work in the WASH space. As the majority of their work involved the people from the communities when the work began post lockdown it was easy for them to transition to normalcy as their resources were all within. Such an operations model not only helped in building capacities amongst the villagers but is also a sustainable model. What was reinforced was their need to work with the adolescent girls. When asked about volunteering opportunities, they highlighted their need of being innovative for remote work. One-time or project-based volunteer activities are time-bound in nature which ensures a clear set of deliverables that leverages the strengths of the individual volunteers.
- Vacha Charitable Trust: Vacha is not run by one but many successful women. They are a group of women with varied backgrounds in social activism, community work, media, research, writing, teaching, and homemaking. A Mumbai-based organization, Vacha currently works mainly with children and adolescent girls. Most of them are from families of migrants. Hence, even during the pandemic — Vacha made sure to stay connected with them. The community girls themselves were involved in a major part of the planning, operations, and logistics of the COVID19 relief program. ‘चिंता मत करो’ (‘Do not worry’) is one of the favorite phrases for these girls to say every time they take up a new endeavor for themselves wherein they display their leadership and compassionate nature towards their communities and the people around them. The nonprofit continued with their counseling sessions, health workshops and expanded their mobile library during the crisis for their students, and even supported them with digital technology and online admissions. Career guidance, exposure, spoken English are some of the avenues through which volunteers can show their support for this NGO.
Check out their work from here — http://www.vacha.org.in/
- Rescue Foundation: Established in 2000, Rescue Foundation has rescued over five thousand girls and rehabilitated many more through their integrated safe housing programs for both minor and major survivors. Mrs. Triveni Acharya (co-Founder), a former investigative journalist, was in Kamathipura and came across a young girl who revealed that she had been bought from Nepal and was being forced into prostitution. Years later, they set up their first rescue operation through police assistance which was led to the formation of the organization. Their current programs involve Investigations & Rescue, Rehabilitation Programs, Informal Education, Extra-curriculars, and vocational training.
- Safecity: Safecity was founded by ElsaMarie D’silva, an experienced aviation professional who switched to the social sector to improve the lives of women, youth, and senior citizens through awareness, interaction, and education. She is a Yale World Fellow, an Aspen New Voices Fellow, a Vital Voices Lead Fellow, a mentee at the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women in Business, and an alumna of the Stanford CDDRL, Swedish Institute. Through Safecity, she and her team aim to provides its beneficiaries with a collection of curated resources ranging from safety products, mobile applications, self-defense classes, and important legal information to help you stay safe and take necessary action in case you have been harassed.