Udayan Care, Kusuma Shalini Fellowship

Supporting girls to stay in education

Young women from the remote and mountainous districts of Uttarakhand in northern India have little opportunity or encouragement to carry on with education beyond secondary school.

The Kusuma Udayan Shalini Fellowship set out to change this.

The Fellowship, which we funded between 2008 and 2014, helped 410 students complete Class 12 and enrol in higher education courses, supporting them through to graduation.

To be accepted on the programme, students had to get 60% or above in their Class 10 or 12 exams and live in a household with a low income. All fellowship students were given a stipend to cover school expenses, helping them focus on their education without having to work.

Udayan Shalini, which means ‘dignified women’ was implemented by Udayan Care in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. The charity’s mission is “for every child a home and education, for every adult the dignity of self-reliance and a desire to give back to the society”.

  • The Kusuma Udayan Shalini Fellowship, which we funded between 2008 and 2014, helped 410 students complete Class 12 and enrol in higher education courses, supporting them through to graduation.
  • The fellowship programme shaped students’ expectations about job prospects and potential careers.

Developing work skills and social awareness

As well as academic support, Shalini students were taught about the world of work and their career options. Each student was allocated a mentor for academic and personal development. The best performing students were offered visits to corporations to give them a better understanding of the skills they’d need to work in different industries.

The Udayan Shalini programme helped students develop job-oriented skills, like self-motivation and communication skills. Girls also attended ended a residential camp to support their self confidence and independence.

Students took part in social awareness projects to help them understand socio-political issues and develop a sense of individual and community responsibility. They were encouraged to help younger Shalini students and give back to society.

“I was scared of science, but somehow I managed to pass my Class 10 and also get good marks. After enrolling with the Shalini Programme, my mentor helped and guided me with my science subjects. He has taught me to be focused and mindful of what I am doing. I want to serve my village when I become successful. I want to help children like me.” Shivangi, 2009 Kusuma Udayan Shalini Fellowship participant

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