In Jharkhand, 6 in 10 girls drop out of school and become child brides, and thousands of girls are trafficked each year according to government and UN statistics.
Yuwa uses football and education to put every girl’s future in her own hands.
When a girl joins or organises a Yuwa football team, she enters a community where it’s cool to be an ambitious girl.
Yuwa’s soccer teams are self-initiated and peer-led, and designed to encourage financial saving and planning. By investing in girls who demonstrate their dedication and commitment to the program and their own self-improvement, Yuwa creates strong young leaders capable of reclaiming their rights.
Each Yuwa team participates in an hour-long weekly workshops on health, gender, gender-based violence, sexuality, self-esteem, and basic finances. These workshops are not lectures: they encourage critical thinking, self-reflection, and conversation. They present material in an engaging, interactive, culturally sensitive, and inclusive way.
What makes Yuwa’s Life-Skills curriculum different?
• It’s organic: Yuwa designs life-skills workshops based on girls’ needs, interests, and questions in addition to specific local topics.
• It’s ongoing: Life-skills can’t be “checked off” in a 6-week or 6-month course. Yuwa workshops create a regular space where girls can grow, explore, and learn from each other.
• It’s local: Each workshops is led by local female staff or by Yuwa girls themselves-—role models girls can easily relate to.
In rural Jharkhand, school classrooms are overcrowded, teachers are abusive, and schools lack basic facilities like toilets and drinking water. Here, only 56% of girls and women can read and write.
When a girl joins a Yuwa football team, she also joins Yuwa’s academic bridge program. This includes dynamic workshops about the importance education, assistance transferring to better schools, remedial math and science classes, daily English classes, an intensive summer school, personal tutoring, and computer classes.
Yuwa academic bridge program goals:
• To ensure regular school attendance
• To spark a love of learning
• To inspire girls to achieve academic excellence
• To encourage critical thinking
• To develop employable skills
Mothers and fathers are beginning to imagine a different future for their daughter: one in which she is an empowered, educated job-holder.
While most Yuwa girls still fight the same fights for their future, the girls’ achievements in India and abroad have convinced many parents to support their daughters’ dreams.