Empowering women and girls to transform their lives through higher education scholarships and technical diplomas in STEM
This post contains a story from a survivor of gender-based violence. We recognise that this story may cause distress or discomfort. We strongly encourage you to read this post in a safe and supportive environment and seek additional support and self-care should you need.
Education is key to breaking intergenerational cycles of poverty and violence.
Educating girls is linked to faster poverty reduction, better maternal health, lower child mortality, and reduced child marriage and violence against women.
This International Women's Day, we're pleased to share that we have committed to increase our support for education for women and girls, through undergraduate, postgraduate and technical skills scholarships. These scholarships will be delivered through our partner, Asha Nepal, with the support of their social worker, counsellor and job coordinator.
In one of the best examples of the long-term, transformative impact of our partner's work, some of these young people, with lived experience of trafficking and gender-based violence, were the first children in Asha Nepal’s care in 2008. With Asha's support, they have graduated from school, reintegrated with their family and are now pursuing higher education!
These scholarships equip young people with pathways to safe employment and bright futures - young people like Poon, who is studying computer engineering and is determined to become a computer technician.
Poon is challenging discriminatory norms that sideline women from careers in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM). Globally, women hold only 2 in every 10 STEM jobs. Increasing representation of women in these fields unlocks opportunities for creative solutions that address women's needs and progress gender equality.
Poon kindly shared her story with Asha Nepal. Her name has been changed to respect her privacy.
Poon is 19 years old and lived with Asha Nepal from 2014 until June 2022, when she was reintegrated with her mother. Poon’s family are Dalit and her mother is hearing impaired. When Poon was younger, her parents and her brother all moved to Kathmandu for better employment opportunities; however, they were separated from her father and brother and have never seen them again.
Poon’s mother remarried, and when Poon was about 8 years old she was sent to Darjeeling, India to work as a domestic helper. For three years Poon worked as a domestic labourer. She said they were the hardest three years of her life.
When she was 11 years old, Poon returned to live with her mother, step father and two step siblings in one of the slum communities in Kathmandu. Poon did not attend school and had to stay at home while her mother worked as a cleaner during the day. During this time, Poon was given alcohol by a neighbour and raped.
Other members of the community supported Poon and her mother to report the rape and access a women’s crisis centre. From there, Poon was referred to Asha Nepal.
During her time with Asha Nepal, Poon has been supported to attend school and has worked hard to improve her grades. She is currently studying a Diploma of Computer Engineering. While she reports that she finds it challenging, she is determined to complete the course and become a computer technician.
This International Women's Day, invest in women and girls' aspirations, financial independence and empowerment.
Your tax deductible donation supports young people, like Poon, to realise their goals through higher education scholarships.
$65 a month supports a young person to study a technical and vocational training qualification, such as engineering or nursing.
$130 a month supports a young person to study a Masters program, such as social work or business administration.
Project Didi Australia is a partner for Project J1082N with Global Development Group (ABN 57 102 400 993).
Tax deductible receipts for gifts over $2 with a preference for this project will be issued by GDG. If funds raised exceed the requirement for this project, funds may be directed to another approved activity. Please note, no non-development (evangelistic, political or welfare) activities are a part of, or funded by, GDG projects.
For more information please visit GDG projects: www.gdg.org.au.