Part of the Little Yellow Bird philosophy is supporting the communities where we source our raw materials, this includes providing micro-loans to support income generating projects and educational scholarships aimed at keeping girls in school.
Sasmita was the first girl we supported - she is the only girl child in her family yet also the only one to have stayed in school. She had big dreams and was biking 20km along a dirt road each day just to get an education. Having completed what is the equivalent to her junior years in high school her future was uncertain with her family having limited funds to continue to support her schooling.
The cost of school in India is relatively inexpensive but books, uniform and transport costs often act as a barrier to keeping children from poor families in school. We offered to cover these costs for Sasmita and agreed to extend our support if she passed her exams. Yesterday we were advised that Sasmita is due to take her final exams for year 11 and she has done so well this year that she has already been accepted into a year 12 class at her school.
Visiting Sasmita and her family
The second girl we supported is Ranuka. When we met Ranuka she had already dropped out of school. Getting her re-admitted has proven to be much more difficult than we anticipated. It has taken almost 8months to get Ranuka back in school but we were also advised yesterday that her enrolment has been confirmed for year 11. Ranuka is slightly older than Sasmita and now a year behind her in school but our hope is that we can get both girls to pass their year 12 exams.
Visiting Ranuka and her family
Most entry level jobs in India require a minimum education level of year 12. Completing these classes will provide both girls with much more opportunities and a brighter future. We are currently working with our cotton cooperative to identify two more girls we can support. Our aim is to fund over 100 educational scholarships or micro-loan projects over the next 12 months.