Screaming for Help

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 17, 2020 12:00:00 PM / by Ajitson Justus posted in Child Protection, Impact Stories, India, WV

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Kumari* is 15 and studies in the 10th grade. She is part of a World Vision ‘Girl Power Group’ where she learned how to protect herself from abuse. She was taught three steps: she must scream, she must get away, and she must report the incident to people she trusts…immediately. Unfortunately, she had to use what she learned in real life.

She was walking alone to a study group when a man from her street stopped her. It was dark with no streetlights. The man started speaking in a lewd manner and proposed that she take part in a sexual act.

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My Sister is Missing

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 3, 2020 12:00:00 PM / by Ajitson Justus posted in Child Protection, Impact Stories, India, WV

Jamila1Jamila is the leader of the Jorna (Bengali for “waterfall”) Girl Power Group (GPG). The GPG meets every Sunday afternoon and they dutifully sign their names in a register. “In case some girls don’t show up, we go to their homes to check on them,” says Jamila. World Vision helped launch Girl Power Groups to help ensure girls do not go missing.

Much to Jamila’s horror, one day it was her own sister Salima who was missing. Jamila shares, “There were tears in my eyes. My sister was gone. We were always together. My only sister.”

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As Safe as a Girl Who Plays Football

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 16, 2019 12:00:00 PM / by Ajitson Justus posted in Child Protection, Impact Stories, India, WV

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Maya (center) back on the field

“They used to say in my village, that we should not play football (soccer) because it is a boy’s sport,” says Maya. “But I learned that it is my right.”

Maya turns 18 this year and studies in the 11th grade. She loves football and plays as a striker, the player who scores all the goals. She used to play football a lot, but she stopped playing last year, even though she had progressed from district clubs to state clubs. 

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Girl Power Groups Prevent Trafficking

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 13, 2019 12:00:00 PM / by Ajitson Justus posted in Child Protection, Impact Stories, India, WV

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Dipa reflects out her window

Dipa is 17 years old - a tall, yet petite girl, very shy and soft-spoken. One day not so long ago, she was lost in the bustling city of Delhi. She was hurrying back to the home where she worked as a domestic servant. She was trapped in child labor, a modern form of slavery. The people who employed her asked her to go to the store to buy something - that was the day she got lost and was wandering around the streets.

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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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