There are an estimated 113 million adolescent girls, or girls in the 10-19 age group, in India. Of these, 63. 5% are school dropouts, 43% married before age 18 and 20% before age 15. Such girls are also at risk of being anaemic or even, dying in childbirth. We support work that creates safe spaces (through counselling, peer interaction) for adolescent girls, imparts life skills, encourages girls to stay in school and teaches them about reproductive rights. Other initiatives we back include strengthening of existing Government policies for empowerment of adolescent girls, gender sensitisation involving boys and men, setting up balika panchayats and preventing trafficking.
We believe that every adolescent girl must get the opportunity to lead a productive life where she can take her own decisions and make her own choices. To achieve this, the focus is on ensuring girls gets continuous education for 12 years and while pursuing that education, she is not pressured into marriage or having children.
Enabling Change Agents
We shall support organisations with a proven intervention model and those which are interested in scaling their impact in order to create a supportive and sustaining environment for adolescent girls.
We are approach-agnostic and welcome interventions that work towards ensuring greater participation of girls in schools and delaying the age of marriage and childbirth for adolescent girls such as:
creating a conducive environment, at the individual, collective and civil society level
raising awareness on reproductive and sexual health,
peer education, sensitisation on violence and gender issues,
enhancing access to existing government schemes
Our role is that of enabler, investing in a select pool of NGOs with proven and credible work in the field. The chosen NGOs are already change agents strongly imbued with the ambition to stay on course, expand as per defined outcomes and the ability to see the change through.
Our belief is that for an NGO to grow and scale their impact, they need to be backed by robust leadership, good people, strong systems and a steady stream of funds to allow them to stay on course. We shall enable the strengthening of the core of their partner organisation to help them grow and evaluate outcomes; invest in people and processes and build and sustain a fundraising engine. This would ensure that the partner organisations are left stronger and financially independent after our grant period.