by Emily Bild, Regional Development Manager India & Nepal
According to government data, one-third of women (aged 15 – 49) in India have experienced physical violence and one in ten women have experienced sexual violence. This translates into millions of women who have suffered, and continue to suffer, at the hands of husbands and other family members.
GoPhil has been supporting partner Shakti Shalini, based in New Delhi, who have been working for over 30 years assisting women who have been victims of violence. Tackling the issue at the source, they carry out prevention work in four impoverished communities in Delhi to raise awareness and address gender-based violence. It is a sensitive issue—one which both men and women find difficult to talk about and so too often the problem remains hidden behind closed doors. Attempting to overcome these barriers, Shakti Shalini use innovative ways to challenge the patriarchal prejudices and address these issues in the communities where they work.
IT BEGINS WITH TRUST
Community facilitators regularly interact with women, men and children, slowly gaining their trust and understanding the problems they face. Through providing skills development classes in subjects in demand by the community (such as English, computer studies and tailoring classes) they can weave in the critical messages that challenge the patriarchal norms and help people to understand that violence against women should not be the norm. Men and women are gradually sensitized about the atrocities women face and then work together to oppose them.
Changing mindsets and building confidence is a long, slow process. It’s a battle that has to begin within each individual, each family, each community.
A great example of their work was their recent pediatric health camp run held at their shelter last month. Child health is always a key concern for families, so bringing two of Delhi’s top pediatricians to talk to the community and provide free consultations and treatment is a way of earning the trust and support of families.
SUPPORT FOR THE “UNSEXY” LINE ITEMS
When GoPhil started working with Shakti Shalini in 2015, we saw the enormous value in the services they were providing. We recognized a dedicated team of staff, passionate about their work. However, like many small NGOs, their administrative and accounting support had been neglected – and they were struggling to put adequate systems that would let them fulfill their potential. GoPhil prides itself in supporting the less ‘sexy’ bread-and-butter parts of an NGO’s work, which other funders may not be interested in. We understand the essential role that administrative and accounting staff play in delivering effective programs. In 2016 and early 2017 we have focused our support on paying for the salaries of an excellent administrative and accounting team, who have put all the necessary policies and procedures in place to ensure the smooth running of the organization.
We will also be focusing on measuring the impact of this work, is not always something that the majority of our partner NGOs struggle with. How to quantify the subtle and complex changes that take place over a long period of time is not easy. GoPhil is thrilled to be partnering with Shakti Shalini and one of our key aims this year is to work with them on developing ways to measure and share the impact of their great work.
If you wish to support Shakti Shalini on their innovative journey to tackle gender-based violence, then please join us in funding The Fight for Human Rights today.MAKE A DONATION