WEP serves young Indian women ages 15-24, daughters of families struggling to find daily wage employment. Part of the more than 87 million women and girls living in poverty who deal daily with water shortages, poor sanitation, debt, family health, domestic abuse and other debilitating issues. Young women who are valued primarily for their unpaid domestic work, and/or low wage earnings, are routinely pressured to quit school and enter early marriage.
The Leadership Academy is an easily adapted, flexible, community-sourced, holistic curriculum that takes place in a safe, reliable, supportive and, above all, fun environment. Here, young women, for the most part undervalued and voiceless at home, come together to discover their inner spark, expand their understanding of life's opportunities, and gain the necessary skills to achieve them. Participants attended life skills, alternative livelihood and career preparatory Certificate courses.
Pre-COVID alumnae surveys indicated 64% work in their first job in the formal sector. 2,200+ alumnae include teachers, accountants, receptionists, professors, computer operators, small business owners, and technicians - an agriculturalist, a lawyer and aspiring judge, and (our first student), a Bank Director. 100% married after 18; 75% credited WEP as the principal factor in securing employment and higher income. All have affected change in their own lives, their families and communities.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).