A Educated Girls volunteer enrolling girls in school in a village in India paints a door

October 7, 2022

The Audacious Project

When schools closed their doors, Educate Girls brought school to the girl.

In a remote village in Jhabua, in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India, almost half of the population lives below the poverty line, and it is one of the highest-ranking districts in illiteracy. For Ramu Deval, a member of Team Balika, Educate Girls' volunteer outreach team, education is crucial to breaking the cycle of poverty and unlocking the potential of girls in his community. For over four years, he has been enrolling girls in school (and keeping them there).

Most of these engagements with the community happen door to door, with girls supported throughout their school journey by a Team Balika member in their village, but when the pandemic hit, schools shut down. Educate Girls knew they had to pivot to keep reaching and supporting girls and their families in villages like Ramu's. They launched an initiative called Camp Vidya; a community-based learning program housed right in the villages, where students could come to learn in a safe, accessible environment.

As one of Educate Girls' 60% male volunteers, Ramu highlights the important role men and boys have to play in advancing gender equity. He spoke to us about his journey with Educate Girls and supporting learners impacted by the pandemic.

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