â€œThere is no tool for development more effective than the education of girlsâ€ –Â 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.
Mumbaiâ€™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 daughtersâ€™ enrolment in school.
We have been selected to participate in the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2011. The â€œChallengeâ€ â€“ which runs on the Big Giveâ€™s website from the 5th to the 9th of December â€“ 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 Â£1 donated would result in Â£2.25 for ELiMS, at no additional cost to the donor. For more information please visit the following link:Â http://new.thebiggive.org.uk/project/elims