Here's a bit of a breakdown/update of my current projects.
I've been learning quite a bit about the organization's past, and have come to greatly respect it's current staff. They are all currently working on a volunteer basis, as the organization's funding sources have dried up (this is largely where I come in, I have been applying for multiple grants), but continue to support women in distress by providing shelter, legal aid, and counseling to all that ask for it. The organization started in 1986 and the changing landscape of NGOs and increased use of technology has really taken them by storm. According to the Chairperson, Mrs. Sudha Tiwali, when the organization began they were able to secure different funders solely by word of mouth. Today, the extensive grant applications (primarily in English) have proven to be quite a challenge. It really is quite frustrating to see such an amazing organization held back by language barriers and the homogenization of international funding policies.
On the ground, I have been working at Shakti Shalini's women's short stay shelter in a nearby community called Nehru Nagar. My partner and I have just finished our first pre-survey and workshop on girl's education. It was initially difficult to get the girls to show up to the shelter for these workshops, but our promise of English lessons has really drawn them in. Just yesterday, I asked the girls what was one thing they wished to fix in the world, and I got some really amazing answers, ranging from gender inequality, violence, crime, etc. The youngest girl actually had the most amusing answer (and honestly one that I really feel a lot of agreement with). She wished to "break the boys' eyes, because they scan us so much."
This organization is filled with forward-thinking young people. It has composed a large amount of literature on feminist leadership, as well as conducted wide-ranging studies on reproductive health, LGBT issues, disability, etc. It is quite different from Shakti Shalini, but I have come to realize that I really cannot rank one organization above the other, because they are both doing such different, (yet connected) incredible work.
My project here relates more to women's health, as I am analyzing a study done on adolescent girl's knowledge of reproductive health across three Northern Indian states, and then comparing it with literature from across the globe on the same subject.