Your Impact Matters25 Aug 2021
Your Impact Matters
WOMEN'S EQUALITY DAY
Our baby The Butterfly Effect has wrapped up its wings. With help from our treasured friends, The Hunger Project, in the last three years through their Adolescent Girls Program our partnership has enabled 578 girls to be saved from child marriages and 311 girls to be re-enrolled into school.
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT HIGHLIGHTS
- 578 child marriages stopped between 2018 and 2020, through empowered girls saying no, with the support of female mentors.
- 311 girls re-enrolled in school between 2018 and 2020 after having dropped out.
- 92% of girls remained unmarried at the end of the 3 year program, compared to the state average of only 40% of girls remaining unmarried before the age of 18.
You are all helping make the world a more magical place.
We are now directing our hearts, time and funds to The Hunger Project's Elected Women's Representative Program in Rajasthan.
It is Village Councils in Rajasthan that decide who in their community is eligible for support to end their own hunger and poverty, through programs such as education, job creation, food aid and sanitation.
Women are assigned fifty percent of seats on Council.
We want to ensure these women are trained and empowered to become warriors of justice, love and peace.
This program coaches the women who sit on these Councils about their rights, builds up their confidence, and gives them all the knowledge they need to speak up and fight to end hunger, poverty and corruption.
MELANIE NODEN, CEO, THE HUNGER PROJECT
What’s been the most rewarding part of The Butterfly Effect?
It’s been rewarding on so many levels. Firstly, the passion and creativity that Camilla and the Tribe have brought to the partnership has been wonderful. I’ve loved seeing the beautiful products and messaging shared with your customers to raise funds and awareness for our important work changing young girls’ lives in India. Perhaps most rewarding for me personally has been the enormous impact and ripple effect created for young girls who are one of the most vulnerable groups in rural India. Thanks to the partnership of Camilla, within just 3 years, 578 child marriages have been stopped and 311 girls have been enrolled or re-enrolled in school. In the state of Bihar where we run this program, 60% of women are married off before they turn 18; in our cohort of girls, it’s only 8%. Even among the small number who are married, the program has advocated to keep almost all of them in school! The transformative and sustainable change being created for these girls, their friends, families and future children cannot be underestimated.
Can you tell us a story from working on The Butterfly Effect that has really made an impact on you?
The story of Phool Kumari stands out, for her conviction and confidence to change her own future, and to lift up other girls around her. She is an orphan, and at just 14 or 15 years old, she runs her household, feeding the cows, cooking her own meals, and more. Through The Butterfly Effect program she realised not only the importance of education but also that she could take control of her own life and change the direction of her future. As a result, she re-enrolled herself into year 9, now splitting her day between housework and schoolwork. Imagine the courage and the determination she must have to completely alter her own life and society’s expectations of girls. She says when she grows up, she wants to do something for other girls like her who are confined to the home and not allowed to go to school. For me, Phool is a visionary and a risk taker, who will no doubt go on to create enormous change for other young girls. You can watch her story here.
Can you talk us through the new project - Elected Women’s Representatives?
This is a really exciting project where we work with women who have been elected to their local councils in the state of Rajasthan in India, and enable them to become respected, effective community leaders. The challenge is that women are often discriminated against, their voices are not heard, even if they have a seat at the table they are ignored. So we train them in leadership skills so they can advocate for change to radically improve the health, education and welfare status of the people in their communities. In particular, they do fantastic work supporting girls and women to rise up, get educated and take control of their own futures. To date, we have trained more than 200,000 women leaders through this program who have done incredible things like bringing clean water, electricity, education and more to their villages.
I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of these women leaders, including Hansa. You can watch her story here. She is brave and daring, and her incredible strength inspires me daily. I keep a photo on my computer screen to remind me of what is possible if we lean into our leadership. The video portrays her unwavering resolve to refocus attention on the critical issue of forest preservation in the face of soaring environmental challenges for her community.
How else can we make a difference / How can people assist you in your good work?
You can continue supporting brands like Camilla who enable their customers to create impact with every purchase. Alternatively, you can choose to give directly to The Hunger Project Australia on our website, or fundraise with your friends and family, to empower people to transform their lives. To stay connected to our work and impact, I encourage you to sign up to our mailing list or follow us on Instagram. Every dollar invested has a huge multiplier effect in forever changing the lives of women and girls and empowering them to have a ripple effect in their communities and for future generations.