This year, International Women’s Day’s #BalanceforBetter campaign is calling for a more gender-equal world. To celebrate and support their message, we’ll be meeting some of the inspirational women behind the organisations that we’ve partnered with in our exclusive new series. To begin, we’re proud to introduce you to Rukhsana, Community Facilitator for the Child Friendly Community Project at GoodWeave, a leading global organisation with a mission to end child labour in supply chains.
In 2016, Rukhsana, now 32, was working as a primary school teacher in her local school in the village of Tilbegumpur, Uttar-Pradesh, India, when she was approached by a member of staff at Goodweave. He was setting up the Child Friendly Community Project, a new initiative focused on identifying vulnerable children in artisan communities and working with schools and local authorities to provide them with access to education. He asked Ruhksana if she’d like to be a part of the project and she agreed, initially thinking that she’d only stay for a couple of months. Little did she know, however, that this new role would spark a new passion for teaching. “I thought I’d work during the school vacation and leave thereafter,” Ruhksana explains, “but I could never leave.”
As a mother of three, Rukhsana recognised the importance and impact of education. She also knew that not every family was fortunate enough to support their child through school in the same way that she could.
The parents of the children that Ruhksana works with are mostly daily wage workers, the majority of whom do not have the time or the energy to invest in their children’s education – something that the facilitators are helping them achieve. “Vulnerable children from home-based and garment hand-work communities have very limited access to education,” she tells us. “But because of us, they get to study.”
Through the project, Rukhsana has been able to:
- Adopt more interactive methods of teaching, such as play techniques, to inspire the children in her lessons.
- Visiting families in the home to keep parents informed on their children’s progress, encourage them to be more actively involved in their education and even accompanying children to school.
- Following up on school attendance and helping to addressing any issues or challenges.
Better the balance, better the world.
Discover more about International Women’s Day #BalanceforBetter campaign here.