The South India Girl Child Initiative seeks to expand existing efforts of four local NGOs that ameliorate the social, environmental, and economic conditions that impede girls' education and decrease girls' vulnerability to sexual exploitation and abusive forms of child labor in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu States. The end goals of the Initiative are to improve the educational and health status of adolescent girls from poor and more conservative communities, and to help adolescent girls transition into primary school or training to increase their life options and decrease their risk of being trafficked or entering into other forms of child labor.
Through the Initiative, the four partner NGOs, who interact with at least 16 other small local NGOs, community-based groups, and family foundations and trusts in the region, will work individually and collectively on:
- Improving the quality and effectiveness of their educational and social development programs for girls;
- Developing and testing strategies to engage parents, community leaders, schools, and government officials to support, promote and advocate for girls' education; and,
- Contributing to the development of relevant educational and social policy that is informed and shaped by the needs and realities of girls themselves.
The three-year South Indian Girl Child Initiative aims to increase life options for 1,000 vulnerable girls each year through direct interventions and upwards of 6,000 through secondary services over the course of the project. Secondary beneficiaries will include about 100 Indian NGO staff, field workers and teachers. The project will strengthen community participation and support for girls' education in general, and address the social, educational, economic, and cultural beliefs and practices that diminish the value of girls' education and promote abusive child labor practices, including sexual exploitation of children. It will also develop a model for collaboration and network-building by grassroots organizations that will drive systemic change and can be replicated in other parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.