“The main power I have inside me is potential. This is something that people in my village do not know. People only believe that I am a simple girl. They believe that I will get married soon, around age fifteen. But I know the reality. I have potential inside me, and one day I will prove to everyone that I am not a simple girl. I can change anything, from impossible to possible, from hard to easy. I am not a liability to my parents. I am an asset. I have dreams for my career. This word potential is my weapon, and I feel safe.”
- Renu, a Class of 2020 Yuwa School Graduate
Society teaches girls to fit in. Yuwa coaches girls to stand out.
Yuwa School, an all-girls academy for underprivileged girls in Hutup (Jharkhand), empowers young women with the skills and confidence required to break out of the cycle of poverty-permanently. Yuwa’s holistic and intensive program – comprising sports and academics - enables girls to become leaders and role models in their own communities, taking their futures into their own hands.
The first batch of girls graduated class 12 this year and have secured admissions to prestigious universities in America, Spain, Costa Rica and India. Yuwa has recently won the highly acclaimed Laureus Sport for Good award. Many of the girls have delivered TED Talks, and appeared on national television for their accomplishments.
These girls are the first generation in their families to play a sport, travel abroad, and pursue higher education.
The coronavirus pandemic has been catastrophic for these and other young women in rural areas who have worked so hard to chart their own destiny through education. With schools shuttered and livelihoods limited, data shows that families in Jharkhand are forcing their underage daughters into marriages at much higher rates. Covid-19 has impacted Yuwa’s corporate donors, some of whom are unable to continue their support, leaving the organization in urgent need of funding to support the teaching staff and coaches for the coming academic year.
Alka Tiwari, an IIM alumna connected with Yuwa in 2013, on hearing that their football team comprising Hutup’s village girls won 3rd place in the prestigious Gasteiz Cup in Spain. In her meetings with them, she was struck by the amazing positivity, spirit of enquiry, fearless communication and collaborative mindset that marked all their interactions, and determined to support these girls who had made so much of the window of opportunity that Yuwa provided them. Alka brought in the IIM Women for Social Action Group to enable Yuwa to continue its remarkable, high impact work.
"Yuwa’s programs aim to put girls’ futures back in their own hands - to rewrite the script that society has assigned them. Yuwa does more than simply delay marriage until the age of eighteen - we are enabling girls to break out of the cycle of poverty and make powerful decisions about their futures."
--Franz Gastler, Yuwa co-Founder
You can help! Help the girls stay in school. Help the girls continue football training. Help them stay on course for higher education. Help them build their own life, chart their own path, and indelibly change what is possible for young girls with dreams in Hutup.