In the male-dominated slums of Calcutta, girls come second in every way. They are rarely sent to school, and often end up forced into child marriages, child labour or sex trafficking. Child survivors of slavery and kids born into brothel communities are destined to grow up and repeat the cycle unless given an education to build a different kind of life. But even for families who do want schooling for their girls, a decent education is unaffordable.
$3 pays for two days of high quality education for a girl in a Calcutta slum.
By providing education and academic tutoring, girls have the chance of breaking the cycle of poverty and exploitation by getting a quality education and transform their families and communities from within.
Stories Of Change
According to the ILO, 98% percent of brothel workers are illiterate. 49% are trafficked before age 16. 90% of girls growing up in red light areas are sexually assaulted by the age of 8. Less than 10% finish high school.... Let that sink in.
Her Future Coalition is providing life-changing education, shelter and holistic support to over a thousand girls in India and Nepal, who are survivors of human trafficking, or at extreme risk. Through long-term intensive support, they are enabling girls to heal from trauma and to build bright, successful futures according to their own unique goals and dreams.
My name is Rani. I am 13 years old. I live in the Sonagachi red light area of Kolkata. My mom was trafficked here when she was my age and she still works in the brothel where we live, with my brother and two little sisters. I don’t feel safe there when clients come in the evenings, and it was impossible to do any schoolwork.
I left school when I was 9 but now, I am back in school, because of the Her Future Coalition Centre. They helped get me enrolled in school, and every day I go there after school. We get tutoring and counselling, but most importantly, I feel safe there, with adults who protect us, and care about our education.
I am 14 years old and growing up in the largest slum in Kolkata. Life here is hard for everyone, but especially since COVID came. My dad was a rickshaw puller. He worked hard every day to support us but he died of COVID last summer. Thankfully, Her Future Coalition is supporting my education, so I am still in school.
My mom got a job in the sewing program at the Centre, and we got emergency rations during the lockdowns. It is still hard, but we have our lives and our health, me and my sister are still in school. I hope to become a doctor so I can improve the health of my community someday. We’ve been through a lot but today is good and the future will be even better.
My name is Tismaya and I am 10 years old. In my village in Nepal, there is a bad problem of girl trafficking. Many girls get sent away to India and they never come back home. Others get married when they are just 11 or 12 years old. These things happened to my sisters and cousins and mother and aunts. We didn’t have any schools in our village before, so I didn’t start school until this year. I never knew there were any other choices in life besides working in the fields or going to India.
This year, a school came to our village, and I got admitted. I started in kindergarten, but now already I am in Class 2. I love every day and every minute in my school! I am working hard and doing my level best so that I can become a strong woman and a leader in our village someday. I am dreaming of something better than what girls had before, for myself and for my sisters too.
At the Freedom School, supported by Her Future Coalition, Tismaya is receiving top quality education, tutoring, and daily nutritious meals.
Empowered women empower women, so in celebration of International Women's Day we will donate $3 from every sale for the next 3 days, and you get to choose where it goes!