Girls are caught in a vicious cycle of early marriage and child bearing, and in a village like Mijwan that is ranked very low in the Human Development Index, this situation is more dangerous.
The Mijwan Welfare Society was established by Kaifi Azmi in Mijwan Village in Uttar Pradesh. Knowing that for generations these girls were being married at the ages of 12 and 13, it was clear that her that a social change was needed. Up until this point, they are victims to severe physical damage based on having children before their bodies are developed and a high infant mortality rate.
HOH became involved with the Mijwan Welfare Society in 2003 with the sole idea of emancipating young, underprivileged girls by providing them with an opportunity to learn skills for their futures in a same and healthy environment. What began as a location for just 12 girls, there are now more than 200.
Chickankari, or embroidery, and tailoring classes were supported by HOH. By offering these girls a chance to make critical choices in the future of their lives, they know they may become financially independent, and break the traditional rules of early marriage. This School began by offering the families stipend, or an allowance granted to each student. Because the program has proven to be so successful, parents are now paying for their young girls to learn and provide for themselves.
Now there are clean, freshly painted rooms to work in, well-lit and kept cool with fans supported by newly installed electric generator.
To make certain that the parents of these children saw and supported the needed changes to move their girls towards independence. HOH has not only supported the sewing, embroidery and tailoring classes, but introduced classes in English and computer use, broadening their futures. Seeing first hand how a very old cycle can make a positive change is rewarding.
It was also very important to make sure their skills were met with external job orders for items, and provide training in English and the use of a computer to open their opportunities for the future even more.
Though Home of Hope does not currently fund any programs at the mijawan Welfare Society, we are proud to have been a part of their development.