When I left for Lalwi village, in Bahraich, to meet the girls of Ekta adolescent group, little did I know that I was about to discover a gold mine of inspirational stories.
Thanks to the Join My Village maternal health program in India, women like Seema are learning about prenatal care and safe births in their local villages.
She just became the most educated person in her family.
Orphaned at age 13, Jenifer was raised by her aunts, whom she affectionately calls her “other mothers.” They’re subsistence farmers who live in a tiny mud-brick home with Jenifer and her sister.
They expected her to stay home until she got married. She chose school instead.
As the oldest daughter of a poor family in a rural Indian farming community, Laxmi, age 12, was destined to do housework, watch after her four younger siblings and marry at age 14.
This ‘burden’ said no to child marriage, and demanded an education instead.
It was all arranged, even the dowry.
This ‘Disposable’ Girl Became The Most Educated Person in Her Village.
She was a top student. Now, violence and bullying keep her from school.
Raghad, age 11, should be in 5th grade, but hasn’t been to school in two-and-a-half years because she and her family have had to move so many times during the Syrian conflict.
Experiencing, witnessing and perpetrating violence is an all too common reality for boys growing up in this post-conflict environment, which is still marred by the violent breakup of the former Yugoslavia in the late 1990s and early 2000s.