Girls’ Literacy in Rural Rajasthan
Mrinalini Watson (Hindi 2018), Nicholas Thomason (Hindi 2018), Sophia Seidenberg (Hindi 2018), and Ella Parsons (Hindi 2018), 2018 ADF recipients, completed a project to support teenage girls’ literacy in rural Rajasthan. They engaged 28 girls between the ages of 12 and 20 who had dropped out of school in their unique program, which included an intensive two-month onsite literacy camp followed by an eight-week online curriculum. The program is designed to give the girls skills to become financially independent, enable them to stand up for themselves, and to foster their self-confidence.
The bootcamp commenced on February 18, 2019 and initially tackled the challenge of negotiating social barriers imposed by the caste system. Workshops, talks, and discussions on topics ranging from patriarchal society to menstruation (a very taboo topic) helped smooth the way and encourage them to work cooperatively and treat each other as equals.
They helped students to see their own potential, through material covering expanding vocabulary in both Hindi and English, learning how to use tablet computers, lessons in geography, earning an income and many other topics. Guest speakers were brought in weekly to discuss these topics with the students. The girls were given a safe space where they were encouraged to be themselves, which was empowering for them and Mrinalini reported seeing great personal growth among the group members.
April 12, 2021