Contributed by Priyanka Gupta
In April, we started with our new round of Learn to Earn (LTE) students. A recent poll determined that India is the worst G20 country to live in if you’re a woman. The Learn to Earn program opens up new opportunities for young Indian women and girls who face many barriers in their society. Here’s an update about our current group of students.
Recruitment and Screening: 5 girls (Yogita, Annu, Manju, Sahiba, Husna) are from Salaam Baalak Trust – SBT and 1 girl (Khushboo) is from one of the settlement colonies in South Delhi.
I have been in touch with SBT for a long time and it has also been recommended by CanAssist, the social wing of CHC, Delhi. SBT runs 24 hr Shelter homes for girls, and were very delighted to know about our program. They have sent around 12-15 girls for the written test. We shortlisted the best out of the lot for the interview and then 5 of them were selected for the current LTE program.
Khushboo, on the other hand, came to know about the program from Mallika, one of our former graduates. She performed well in the test and interview, and got selected.
As you have already read their profiles, all of them come from very challenging backgrounds and have a desire to do something and overcome their inhibitions. All of our sponsors have a great role in shaping their future. We thank you all for your constant support.
On the first day, we welcomed the girls with flower garlands and gave them ILSC accessories to make them feel special.
In the first month, the girls were in a closed class. Their trainer was Shim. She has been a tremendous teacher with ILSC-ND for a long time now, and it was a great help to have her on board to get abreast with the girls for the initial month. A little hesitant for a few days, all of them got comfortable in the international environment.
A brief report from Shim (the Instructor):
This is a short report on the LTE girls about their first session. I’m very glad to have them as my students and for getting the opportunity to teach them. The girls are very confident and smart. They all have a common goal about learning the new language. They all want a brighter future and have aims about their future that make them serious about their studies. They are very sincere and hard working. I’m so proud of them!! The best thing is now they speak only English in the classroom. What an improvement!! My first mission accomplished 🙂
Financial Literacy Workshops:
As a part of the program, the girls have also started with Financial Literacy Workshops. There is 1.5 hours class, two days in a week. The girls are learning the benefits of saving, filling in the Bank a/c forms, use of PAN cards, ATM, Debit/Credit cards and also about the Indian economy.
In the process, we are also gearing up to make sure that by the end of the LTE program, all the girls should have PAN cards (it acts as an important ID proof in India).
Some other Updates: We are having Dot and Fred Stute from ILSC – Brisbane as visitors this month. Dot is here to teach TYL, and Fred (her husband) is being kind enough to help us with the LTE program. We have arranged a welcome lunch with Fred for the girls, where the girls were very pleased to interact with Fred and Dot. Fred also showed them a PowerPoint presentation about his family and the life in Australia to give them an overview about other countries.
We are also planning to put up another session for the girls where they will give a presentation on any topic they prefer. This will help them learn how to use PowerPoint and also will give them confidence to speak in front of an audience.
Keeping in mind the interests of the girls, we did a donation drive to buy a digital camera. Two of the girls, Manju and Husna, have shown interest in photography. We thought we, at least, can give them a platform to practice and learn this skill. We finally have a camera and we would like our girls to capture school, classes, their activities and fun moments.
We are extremely thankful to all the sponsors for supporting the LTE program. The girls have prepared little thank you notes for their respective sponsors, which you can read below.
For a full version of the Learn to Earn update, please see the Learn to Earn update: Apr-May 2012.