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Location: Osiyan, Jodhpur District, India Setting: Rural Established: 2001 Staff: 7Organization Objectives
Since 2001, YUVA Prayas has worked to empower communities especially women and children to access to basic facilities and to promote a sense of independence and self-worth. Yuva prayas goals are to:
- Identify and organize women from rural migrants areas into groups for academic and practical education, vocational training programs, and group confidence-building activities
- To provide quality educational opportunities to rural children
1. Women’s empowerment through livelihoods promotion
Yuva Prayas is currently operating two sewing centers for livelihoods promotion in two different communities of Osiyan. One of the centers is specifically targeted at lower-caste communities in Osiyan. The girls in the sewing centers receive tailoring skills and are empowered to use these skills.2. Non-formal education classes
Yuva Prayas currently works with neglected communities in Osiyan such as the Bhile caste. The Bhiles live in straw and clay huts, several kilometers outside of the town of Osiyan in the sand dunes of the Thar desert. These families are subject to limited access to water, no electricity, unemployment, harsh desert conditions and extreme poverty. Most families in this area have been living here for several generations, without the means and opportunity to move into the town. Due to geographic, economic and social barriers, most of the children in this community are unable to attend school. Yuva Prayas recently started a three-month non-formal education class for children from the Bhile caste of all ages.Opportunities
- Conduct research and help expand the sewing centers, adding training in other livelihoods activities such as plaster making and embroidery.
- Develop workshops on specific topics like female leadership, women's rights, running a business (planning, managing a budget, marketing, etc), reproductive health with the girls and women at the sewing centers.
- Teach basic English classes with the children at the non-formal education center.
- Evaluate the non-formal education center and recommend/implement changes to improve the curriculum and facilities.
- Research alternative funding sources and government schemes Yuva Prayas can apply for.
Interns working at Yuva Prayas should be extremely creative, resourceful, and flexible. Interns will most likely be the only Westerner living and working in the village. He/she should be able to live without many resources and use creative means to improve pre-existing projects implement new projects at this new organization. Other desirable qualities include:
- Excellent writing, research (qualitative and quantitative) and documentation skills
- Background in independent research
- Interest in and some knowledge of education rural development in India
- Some Hindi a major plus
Interns will be supervised by Mr. Vasudev Cheran, the founder of Yuva Prayas.
Note: Responsibilities offered to each participant will be proportionate to their level of experience. Participants who are new to development work may predominantly support and assist current project agendas, while those with much applicable experience may be able to assume greater responsibility. Research projects are strongly encouraged by this organization to support each program’s objective because minimal resources are currently allocated for research.
Yuva Prayas office is in Osiyan Village, the oldest village in Rajasthan and famous for its mother goddess and Jain temples. A small office room serves as the meeting, training, and another big room for one sewing center. The area is small and basic but comfortable. Like all of rural areas of Rajasthan, the Yuva Prayas office experiences power cuts for several hours a day, although large windows provide ample light for working. Since there are limited families in Osiyan who speak English and have electricity, interns will also stay with Vasudev and his family in their home near the office. Volunteers can expect to spend most of their working hours in and around this area. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to bring their own laptop, if possible. Yuva Prayas currently has only one desktop computer, which is frequently in use by others.Organizational Background
In male-dominated Rajasthani society, women are often powerless to their husbands and to social, cultural, religious and superstitious beliefs. Although they play a key role in establishing and raising a family, they are denied basic rights such as decision-making, education, healthcare, and family planning options. They lack confidence and basic socializing skills. Since 2001, Yuva Prayas has been working to address these issues in Osiyan.About Yuva Prayas’ Clients
Yuva Prayas works with marginalized communities in Osiyan such as the Bhile community.