'Join My Village' to empower women
Over 48,000 women and girls will receive education and monetary support this year in different pockets of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar and Chattisgarh, through the ‘Join My Village - click to commit’ initiative launched in New Delhi on Friday.
If people click on the programme’s website or ‘like’ their Facebook page, organisations involved in this programme will donate $1 to support women and girls in India.
Join My Village, launched in Malawi in 2009, will now extend its support to the populated and impoverished areas of India in collaboration with CARE India, General Mills and MSD India.
“This programme will bring together women and girls from marginalised communities to centrestage and equip them with opportunities to complete their education. We will start with a model school comprising 100 girls and expand the programme to other schools as well.
“We plan to work with 2,400 teachers in five states who can take the initiative forward. The monetary commitment for the year 2012 is set at 1.5 billion dollars,” said Dr Muhammed Musa, CEO and country director, CARE India.
Musa added that the outreach programmes will be initiated in certain areas of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal as well: “We have partnered with several government and private organisations for this initiative.”
Juhi Chawla, Bollywood actor who joined the cause, has challenged her fans to click and contribute $50,000 as funds towards this programme. “I am a happy example of being a privileged girl child. When you educate a girl child, you educate the entire family. I would request everybody to take advantage of technology and simply like the Join My Village Facebook page to help empower young girls through education,” she said.
K G Ananthakrishnan, managing director of MSD India said: “According to UN reports, close to 70 per cent of the poor in India comprise women and girls, 40 per cent girls under 14 years do not go to schools and more than 40 per cent of child marriages take place in India.
“Through this programme, we hope to shed light on how reducing poverty and improving health are linked to better education.”