In India, around 40% of girls under the age of 14 do not go to school. This statistic reflects the discrimination woman suffer and the devaluation of their abilities within their families, a situation which is particularly rife amongst girls who live in poverty. Without training or resources, the girls, on becoming women, repeat the life pattern of their mothers, continuing the inequality, the exclusion and the social marginalisation. Working on the promotion of and the access to education for these girls and young people are the tools we use to break this cycle of poverty.
With this objective in mind, in 2006 Anand Bhavan was opened (meaning “the house of joy” in Bengali), a shelter for 30 girls who come from families who live in conditions of extreme poverty. It is a home where girls from different ethnicities and religions learn to live together and have the opportunity to learn. The girls go to local schools, receive support lessons in the house and professional training on finishing their schooling, which facilitates their access to the workplace and allows them to improve their quality of life.