WEP announces the WEP Story Project, an online platform for volunteers and WEP students to have meaningful conversations to share aspirations, inspirations, anecdotes, life stories and laughter. Our first is brought to you by Danielle Fazzolari, Director of Strategic Projects and Nagaveni (left) a WEP - Aarti Home student. Kadapa, India / New York, US. 4/26/2017 4:30pm IST / 7am EST. Danielle: Nagaveni! Good morning! I am so excited to “meet” you!!! … Did I tell you that two years ago, I cycled around North India for six weeks? Nagaveni: Cycled?? And your legs are still ok now? (lots of laughter) … Danielle: Ha ha! Yes, maybe still a little sore! … I want to learn about your Aarti Home? What is it like? Nagaveni: It is a peaceful place in mountains and hills. I am a housemother and live in a cottage with 15 children – including the youngest Vannella (right). We start our morning at 5AM. Danielle: 5:00AM? It is 7:00AM in the US now and I am so sleepy! What is the secret to waking up so early?? Nagaveni: Drink lots of water!! … So then, we do our chores, and then walk the kids to the school bus. It’s not hard because I love this work – we are happy! Coming to the Aarti Home was the best thing that happened to me. I came here at seven and went to school for the first time. I was terrified on my first day, mainly of [...]
A CONVERSATION WITH SHRUTHI DINKAR, WEP-INDIA DIRECTOR Zoë Timms, WEP Founding Director: Morning Shruthi … Forming WEP-India with you in Bangalore has been an important step for WEP. Why do think WEP is so important? Shruthi Dinkar, WEP-India Director: Having seen my grandmother and mother make important decisions for our family, I believe women need to be educated and skilled to be self-sufficient and have a voice and options. Communities and families are breaking up … strong, educated women can keep them together. Zoë: What do you see is WEP’s role in a rapidly changing India? Shruthi: I see some women working to support their families but without having genuine passion for the work. When WEP students start to think of careers, we need to help them capture their genuine interests and become aware of the world around them. Today, there are so many opportunities for women to work and have a family. But, they should be in the right profession. Helping our students find these passions is definitely an opportunity for WEP … Zoë: Shruthi, what you say goes to the heart of what we do! Talk to you soon! A CONVERSATION WITH VIJAYALAKSHMI, WEP’S MADURAI DIRECTOR Zoë: Vanakkam Viji! We met for the first time in 2004 – just two years after starting WEP-Sudar. We had so much fun planning programs for our students and drank a lot of good Madurai coffee! Vijayalakshmi, (Viji ): I know and now we have over 1000 students who have attended [...]
Rose with students from WEP’s Sudar Madurai center. At the centers… WEP would like to introduce you to Rose, our intern from the University of Wisconsin-Madison who is based in Madurai for eight weeks to work with the Madurai Center Director, and develop our “I am a Leader” program . Throughout the summer, she will be documenting our students’ experience of the centers, such as how they originally found WEP Centers, what they like best, their suggested improvements, and career plans. Rose will also be helping to further the girl’s English language skills! Keep up to date with her interviews as they appear on our Facebook page. Rose is an extraordinary example of the many people that make a world of difference with the Women’s Education Project! […]
This April, students at WEP’s Madurai Centre attended a ‘Rights and Responsibilities’ workshop, and went on a tour of the District Court to observe legal processes and court activities. If they continue their education, the girls might one day work to become lawyers, or even judges. WEP’s Madurai centre’s ‘Rights and Responsibilities’ workshop. […]
We run in NYC ... WEP students run and walk in India! Join us for our annual fundraising run. We will join the Achilles Hope and Possibility Run in Central Park in NYC. Sign up for that race (link below), and then we will guide you through the fundraising process for WEP. It takes $250 to send 1 WEP girl to college for 1 year. This race is a great way to have friends and family sponsor you to help one student. Thank you and see you on the course! Sign up here: http://www.nyrr.org/races-and-events/2015/achilles-hope-possibility-5m Raise $250 or more here:
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On April 27, WEP students and volunteers in Princeton and Madurai, joined together to run, walk, and rally in support of girls and women's education. A great international day for WEP! A Run / Walk in Princeton, NJ A Run/Walk in New York City's Central Park A celebration of Earth Day and a rally at WEP's Hyderabad Center A rally for girl's education at WEP's Sudar Center A rally and sports day at WEP's Kadapa Center
Below is a wonderful note from one of our students. She is from a poor family - her parents weave items from cloth and bamboo, and she has three younger brothers. Her younger brothers are all in school, and the eldest has begun working at a small company. "I was keen to study and I felt very sad about my family position. Then I came to know about WEP and with the help of my school teacher I joined the local program. I am now studying happily with the support of WEP. Here many trainings are provided which I came to know about and learnt a lot, like domestic violence, photography, medicinal plants training, and health camp. I gained a lot of knowledge through these trainings. The exposure visits are also very useful and I enjoyed very much with all my friends. My parents are now feeling very happy with the support that WEP is giving me. My parents and I are very thank full to WEP."
Last week WEP's NYC Circle of Light chapter held its monthly Tiffin Talk. The theme of the conversation was the role of men in education and development. Several points were covered, here are a few of the issues discussed: - What do we mean by education? How is this definition different for the rapidly changing political and cultural landscape in India? - Is ignorance bliss? What is the impact of education if it empowers and educates the girl, but she is s unable to follow her dreams, due to her socioeconomic circumstances? - Is there a stigma around learning trade skills as opposed to the traditional educational system? - The increasing entrepreneurial spirit in India and the rising middle class are slowly causing affordable and quality education to change from a luxury to a necessity. - It is very important to educate both men and women to help break down gender bias. Thank you to all who attended; we hope to see you at our next event!
Students presented Indian traditions at the WEP Madurai center. View our album for more beautiful photos of this wonderful day!