The American India Foundation’s Circle of Hope initiative serves as a philanthropic platform for women supporters in the U.S. who wish invest in social issues and causes impacting the lives of young girls and women in India. After successful chapters in Boston and Chicago, the initiative has now grown to include Bay Area as well.
Launched on March 26, 2019, the CoH Bay Area chapter has 25 dynamic, creative and passionate women towards creating a collective impact by and for women. Members were given the opportunity to vote on five creative projects, in the areas of digital education, skilling and livelihoods, maternal and newborn health, review and assess the different proposals, ask questions and build connections and knowledge to support groups of women and girls facing critical challenges.
Taking an informed decision, they have raised funds for AIFs flagship Learning and Migration Program (LAMP) in Barmer district of Rajasthan. The collective funding of $32,000 from the CoH Bay Area chapter will be utilized to transform and impact the lives of 300 adolescent girls in the rural districts of Rajasthan – Sindhri block of Barmer District where the female literacy rate is around 33%, compared to male literacy rate of 57%. This is less than the state average 79% males & 52% females, as per 2011 census. This grant will enable AIF’s LAMP program to deepen its ongoing interventions in high migration-prone areas of Rajasthan, covering 1,579 households in 25 villages.
The grant will support these adolescent girls academically as well as through awareness of essential life-skills to enable them to complete schooling. Efforts will be made to create a parallel support group and agency for behavior change within the community. A favorable environment for adolescent girls in schools and community will improve their confidence, aspiration, as well as secondary education outcomes.
A big shout out to the CoH Bay Area Co-Leads – Esha Bandyopadhyay and Samira Khan, Circle members and generous hosts for their time, thoughts, and heart. The group will be participating and engaging themselves in year-round opportunities to have a holistic discussion on the project outcomes and network with a wider Bay Area audience to share the impact and learning of this collective. AIF is excited and inspired to continue to elevate and deepen these Circles.