In India, there are about 71 million adolescents who are not in school.
In very poor areas of rural India, the majority of teenagers leave school before they reach 18. They often leave education to stay at home and support their families or, with very few prospects on the horizon, lose motivation to continue with their studies.
They miss out not only on the chance to build career skills, but also on essential life lessons. With no real training or education, these young people face new struggles as adults, and are then unable to provide the basics for their families, such as shelter, medicine and food.
Your Curry for Change donations have helped support young people like these to break from this cycle of hunger and poverty, by empowering them to return to education, and change their own futures.
Seema is from a small village in Uttar Pradesh in Northern India, and like most of her peers, she left school because her family didn’t have the money to support her education. They believed the best place for her to be was at home as an extra helping hand for her parents.
Find Your Feet set up a Youth Education Centre in Seema’s local area, and began encouraging local boys and girls to spend a few hours a day there. Seema persuaded her parents to let her attend lessons at the centre, and she gradually began to explore ideas she previously knew very little about. The centre taught the teenagers about the importance of nutrition, personal hygiene, sexual health, family relationships and savings. Seema also began vocational training in beauty therapy and basic business skills, and found that she was able to create beautiful henna tattoos.
Her new discoveries sparked her entrepreneurial spirit and her confidence soared. She began practising her new skill on her mother, sisters, friends and anyone she could find, and also began offering henna to brides for free.
“I want to open a beauty parlour and have been practicing what I have learnt on my mother and sisters. I can earn 500 rupees from bridal henna. Previously my family stopped me from attending the course but now they are very happy and proud of my new skill and my resourcefulness.”
She now runs her own small business doing henna for weddings and other celebrations. She is confident and happy in the knowledge that she is able to help support her family, so that they are able to put food on the table all year round.
Following the success of this Youth Education Centre in India, Find Your Feet is currently setting up a similar project in Nepal. The project will provide life skills and vocational training to 300 young people from poor, isolated communities.
You can help more young people like Seema to learn new skills, so that they and their families no longer have to go hungry. Sign up to host a Curry for Change today.