Ajitson Justus


Recent Posts

This is Not a Place for Children

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 15, 2019 8:30:00 AM / by Ajitson Justus posted in Child Protection, Impact Stories, India, WV

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Children are busy with their homework at the CFLRC 

When you walk into Kolkata’s largest red-light area, you will end up in an open space with some colorfully painted walls. The paintings have an elephant dancing with a horse and other such curious images. There is a temple with a community hall at one end, and World Vision India’s Child Friendly Learning and Recreation Center (CFLRC) at the other.

As it gets dark, women who are engaged in prostitution, walk with their children and drop them off at the CFLRC. Two rooms side to side will provide shelter, education and a few healthy snacks for about sixty children.

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Girl Power Stops a Child Marriage

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 1, 2019 12:00:00 PM / by Ajitson Justus posted in Women and Girls, India, WV, International Day

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One of Basanti's Girl Power Groups

“As a neighbor, I saw the wedding related activities and got suspicious,” says Rojina, a 16-year-old from a village in Basanti. She knew Ajmira from school and was concerned when she saw the planning going on at her home.

Ajmira confirmed her suspicions when they met in school. “My parents are forcing me to get married,” Ajmira told Rojina. Ajmira is only fourteen. This plunged Rojina into sadness. What was she to do? “Before World Vision, I did not know child marriage was wrong. But now I know, and I found out my neighbor was getting married,” says Rojina.

Rojina decided to confide in her best friend Regina, 17. Both girls are part of World Vision’s Girl Power group, which teaches girls to keep themselves and their friends safe. Regina says, “If we go directly, they won’t listen to us and they will scold us. They might even take their daughter somewhere and get her married in secret. Being a child and we are girls...will they listen to us?” This way of thinking percolates from the elders in the community to the children. A girl child is low in the “pecking order” - girls are rarely allowed to express their own thoughts or feelings, and they are not taught to speak with confidence in public settings. These cultural pressures create an environment where girls fear telling the truth or seeking help from adults. They feel helpless when they, or their friends, experience abuse through child marriage, rape or physical violence.

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Self Help Groups empower women living in Indian slum

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 15, 2017 2:42:12 PM / by Ajitson Justus posted in Economic Empowerment, Impact Stories, Women and Girls, India, WV

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The women of various Self Help Groups

Dharavi is Asia's second largest slum. It is a very congested place with narrow lanes and hordes of people. They compete with motor vehicles and push carts to get in or get out of the slum. One such lane has a church on it. Pastor Virendra has been running this small church for the past three years. The church is called 'Rehoboth'. He started with 40 members, and has now grown to 100 members. Most of the members are from the Kholi community, who are traditional fishermen.

Virendra saw many things in Dharavi which he thought were important issues that women face.  

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