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New Zealand Making A Difference in India

New Zealand Making A Difference in India

Girls’ access to education is a major contributing factor to alleviating poverty and achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment. Educating girls makes sense, but sadly girls’ access to education remains a substantial barrier to their future opportunities.

In India, literacy levels continue to be lower for women with approximately 54 per cent of women and 76 per cent of men being literate. Research shows that enrolment and attendance at school will continue to decline if we do not invest in girls’ education.

New Zealand’s Daya Trust is partnering with Mumbai-based charity, Sakhi for Girls Education. The Girls Learning Centre in Mulund, a north-western slum area of Mumbai, is run by the truly inspirational leader, Aarti Naik. The aim of the Centre is to build the capacity of girls living in the slums by providing them with educational support and guidance and empowering them to finish school. Daya Trust has been funding the Centre’s work since 2012.

Women and girls are disproportionately affected by poverty and discrimination.

Cultural and social norms are major barriers to girls’ access to education. Lack of education for girls means they have little control over their lives which can lead to early marriage, increases in domestic violence, higher birth rates and complications in childbirth, unpaid work, and exploitation in the workforce. Discriminating laws can often stop women from owning or inheriting property, from holding their own bank account, and from prosecuting perpetrators of violence.

Girls often have no choice but to leave school early so they can help their families earn money, find food, collect water, look after younger siblings, and run the household while their parents work.

Invitation to Kiwis to travel and make a difference

Daya Trust believes that education for girls and women is a great enabler to empowering them to escape poverty, and is about to embark on its second bespoke tour of India. The journey has been designed by Indian experts for those who wish to see India in a different light and contribute to the lives of women and girls.

Travellers will experience the magic of India’s most charming attractions, while learning more about the work local charities are doing to deliver local and sustainable solutions to development issues. The trip includes scheduled visits to several local charities who are working towards gender equality and women’s empowerment, including a visit to the Daya Trust funded Girls Learning Centre in Mumbai. The trip will give travellers an opportunity to connect with local charities and their employees, and to witness first hand the impact their good work is having.

Rochelle Stewart-Allen, Daya Trust Founder, says “We are very excited to provide a unique and inspiring trip outside the traditional tourism trail. The group will get to witness first-hand the incredible work being achieved by local charities, while enjoying some of the best Indian sites. At the same time, everyone on the tour will already be making a difference, as a percentage of the cost of their trip will go towards supporting the Daya Trust’s Girls Learning Centre in Mumbai”.


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