Knowledge and courage for increased equality in India

The social entrepreneur Anusha Bharadwaj had two supportive parents but still felt the burden of society’s expectations of her as a girl and woman in India. Many Indian girls are pressured to marry and have children as soon as they hit puberty, which leads to a lot of girls dropping out of school. Anusha fights for girls to have the possibility of shaping their own future. That’s why she founded VOICE 4 Girls in 2014.

The main goal of VOICE 4 Girls is to create better conditions for girls and women in India. The organization does this by equipping girls with the knowledge and courage needed to change both their own and other girls’ situation. The girls attend three different 10-day camps during 18 months. The camps are led by female university students who become role models for the younger girls. During the camps, the girls learn about puberty, menstruation, rights, safety, and future planning. They also learn leadership and problem-solving skills and develop their self-esteem.

Social Initiative has enabled an expansion of VOICE 4 Girls, also making it possible for them to introduce their methods for boys to join the race for equality. This has resulted in Boys 4 Change, with two 10-day camps for boys.

School camps kept close during the corona pandemic 2020. During the end of summer, VOICE 4 girls developed digital tools for the camps to use. With many lessons learned the school will return to camps as normal after the pandemic, adding new elements of digital teaching to the curriculum.

95 000 boys and girls trained so far
The girls’ knowledge of sexual and reproductive health increased by 65%
The boys’ understanding of what causes violence and its effects increased by 90%