According to a Centre for Catalyzing Change report (2019), at 356 million, India has the world’s highest number of 10 to 24-year-olds - of which 250 million are adolescents between ages 10-19, and almost half of whom are girls (120 million). Completion of secondary school remains elusive for girls, and the opportunity for skilling, to transition from school to the workplace is extremely limited. Instead, adolescent girls work as many as 120-150% more hours than boys in Indian households. UNICEF India states that the three most pressing gender-based deprivations for Indian girls and boys are: (i) Ability to postpone age at marriage (ii) Violence and the fear of violence, especially in preventing girls’ ability to access services and (iii) Knowledge, skills and networks to imagine, aspire and prepare for an adulthood that is different from their parents’. In addition to social and cultural norms that disempower young people - especially girls and young women - the physical environment too plays a debilitating role in restricting their agency. Urban slums in cities like Mumbai, typically lack proper sanitation, safe drinking water, and systematic garbage collection. There is usually a severe shortage of space inside the houses where young people live, and no public spaces dedicated to their use. They have little or no exposure to the topics of their relevance like – puberty, career guidance, mental health, legal frameworks, etc. Most of them are first generation learners while both their parents are full time daily wage earners (plumbers, electricians, carpenter, drivers, domestic help) with an average income of $70 - $130 per month per household with an average size of six members.
CHIP Mumbai was launched in 2004 in partnership with the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) school system. The chapter was founded by Dr. Sunita Banerji, Ms. Poonam Jaju, Ms. Ruby Bhatiya, Nisha Sagar and Ms. Kunickaa Sadanand in an effort to work with children at BMC schools in northern Mumbai suburbs. Starting from a small school in Jogeshwari (West), CHIP Mumbai currently works across 12 BMC schools in the K- West ward, H- East ward and P- South ward to implement its initiatives.
Since its inception in 2004, it has focused on implementing a transformative model of ‘Total Child Care’, which involves improving the infrastructure of the schools, developing a more child-centric curriculum, and improving student health. CHIP has expanded its programs and scope of work over the last 15 years and has been able to establish a strong presence within Government schools of North Mumbai.
EMpower’s third Girl Fund grant to CHIP Mumbai will directly support 70 young people (70% female, 30% male) between 10-19 years and 180 parents through trainings in age as well as gender appropriate groups on gender equity, well-being, and informed community participation to respond to the prevailing COVID realities and empower young people from under-resourced communities with knowledge, skills, and attitudes they otherwise do not have access to, including exposure to STEM and mental health support. To enable this, CHIP Mumbai will create and operationalise a Knowledge Lab as a safe, physical space within the community as a response to the COVID disruptions in its programming from the previous grant period.
Primary Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra
Funded Since: 2019
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