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Girls just wanna have… Education !

“There is no tool for development more effective than the education of girls” – former UN Secretary General Kofi A. Annan.

The lack of basic literacy and numeracy competencies is a dangerous mix that can potentially lead to a future full of hardships and unstable economic conditions. Children from underprivileged and poor backgrounds are often excluded from formal education.

Mumbai’s total population is around 13 million and the slum population accounts for around 50%. Slum population density in Mumbai is high, but access to formal education is extremely low. Although primary and secondary public education is free, sending a child to school is not and the levels of education in some slums are particularly low, especially for girls.

Green Shoots Foundation wants to ensure that every girl has a chance to escape poverty. Therefore, together with our local partners we conducted a market survey to get a true sense of the needs and demands of education levels in Mumbai slums. The findings were striking: 58% of respondents (of which 89% were women) had received no or little education and only 10% had reached higher secondary school. Evidence suggests that for the majority of households, completing primary/secondary education rather than college is the more relevant and realistic objective. There was a clear demand for education financing amongst households in the surveyed communities.

In response to these findings we are piloting our most recent innovative programme: Educational Loans in Mumbai Slums (ELiMS), which will provide affordable loans to families to fund their daughters’ enrolment in school.

We have been selected to participate in the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2011. The “Challenge” – which runs on the Big Give’s website from the 5th to the 9th of December – represents a tremendous opportunity to accelerate the launch of our pilot programme.

Join us in providing fair financing to impoverished families and to give girls a chance to receive quality education. Any £1 donated would result in £2.25 for ELiMS, at no additional cost to the donor. If you are planning to make donations to charities for Christmas, a one-time donation of £10 to Green Shoots Foundation’s ELiMS programme will result in £22.5 that will put girls back to school, not just next year but every year after that!

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