This month, we are celebrating International Women's Day (March 8, 2015) in a special way. Thanks to you, Dalit Freedom Network is sponsoring five celebrations around India (Gujarat, Orissa, Bihar, and two in Uttar Pradesh) for the women involved in our Hope for Dalit Women projects.
The United Nations official theme for International Women's Day 2015 is "Empowering Women- Empowering Humanity: Picture it!" Our events will discuss women's rights and equality and how to prevent abuse, provide legal advice on crimes against women and talk about God's love, forgiveness and spritual empowerment.
We often come across stories in the news about the Dalits. These articles keep us aware of the struggles Dalits face on a daily basis. Click on the links below to read recent articles, or follow us on Twitter to receive links as we post them.
Tackling Violence Against Women in India – Day 2 : Lynne Featherstone, UK Ministerial Champion for Violence Against Women and Girls, recently visited a Dalit community in Madhya Pradesh. Read her blog post about her experience here.
India Child Labour – 200 Children Rescued in Hyderabad Raids – According to a 2013 report by the U.S. Department of Labor, there are approximately 4.3 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 who are believed to be working. Many of these children are Dalits. Recently, there have been a series of raids on factories in Hyderabad, with hundreds of child labourers discovered.
Over the past two months, we have been sharing some of the amazing things we were able to do in 2014 because of you.
Together with the global organization of Dalit Freedom Network, you are bringing freedom through education to 26,000 Dalit children who are enrolled in 107 schools throughout India! Thank you for standing with us in supporting the Dalits!
Last year, over 16,000 Canadians heard the story of the Dalit people through 112 public speaking events, with a growing number of Canadians becoming a voice for the Dalit people and holding their own events and programs. For more information on helping to raise awareness, or hosting your own event or fundraiser click here.
Dalit women and children are highly vulnerable to various forms of exploitation, including human trafficking. Our rehabilitation centres (Pratigya and Tarika) provide counselling, education and vocational training for women who have been trafficked and education for their daughters in order to prevent further trafficking. However, we couldn’t do it without your help.
Thank you for supporting Dalit women and children and for giving them hope for their future!
-350 women graduated through the Tarika Centre; many more women are currently enrolled and will graduate this year
-56 women living in the Devadasi community (temple prostitution) were given the opportunity to change their lives through vocational training.
-Education and shelter were provided through the Pratigya project for young girls whose mothers serve as Devadasis and have asked us to educate their daughters.
Thanks to you, we were able to bring freedom to entire communities last year through our Good Shepherd Schools. In addition to classrooms for children, some of our schools have vocational training programs. These programs provide the opportunity for women in the community to gain vocational skills and economic independence, giving them hope and dignity.
-420 women graduated from our vocational training programs with many more women currently enrolled and completing their training in this new year.
-11 new training centres for women were started at some of our schools; two of these projects were funded by those attending the Toronto dinner event.