an important time to give

Our most life-changing experiences in India were our visits to Pardada Pardadi Educational Society, a school for girls in rural Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state and one of its poorest. We saw first-hand the difference the school makes in its students: while two of its girls were leading us around their village, showing us their brick homes and their family’s goats, talking with confidence and poise to us despite the fact that we were both foreign and, in Dave’s case, male, we spotted two girls who weren’t students at the school: wearing dirty clothes and peeking around a wall, they hid shyly whenever we turned our heads towards them.

It was a staggering difference: it was clear which girls would have the skills and confidence to resist the status quo and drive change in their communities, and which ones were going to be bullied by the patriarchy into another childhood marriage and more of the same.

Dave with students

Pardada Pardadi provides free education and vocational training to 1,000 rural village girls in Anupshahar, Uttar Pradesh. Its mission is to create a generation of self-reliant and economically independent girls who will break the cycle of poverty in the region. By teaching vocational skills and depositing 10 rupees in a girl’s account for every day she attends school, Pardada Pardadi ensures its students graduate with the education, the power, and the means they needs to transform their lives.

We’ve talked about Pardada Pardadi before — the good they’re doing (sending two students who’d never been beyond Delhi all the way to California) and the challenges they’re up against (like Ruksana, who had to quit school to get married at the age of thirteen). For the girls who don’t go to Pardada Pardadi, the facts are heartbreaking.

We’re bringing them up again today because they’ve been chosen to participate in the Global Open Access Challenge 2009, which gives them the chance to gain a permanent spot within GlobalGiving, an online marketplace for philanthropy that helps individual and corporate donors find causes they believe in. To be eligible for the permanent spot, which will make a huge difference for their future finances, Pardada Pardadi has one month starting today — until September 18th –- to raise $4,000 from at least 50 unique donors.

Pardada Pardadi is doing great things in India. We support them in many ways: Jenny was employed by them, we volunteer for them, we’ve raised money for them (and many of you, we’re proud to say, donated). This opportunity is one of their biggest yet, which is why we’re writing about it. We encourage you to read about the impact they’re making and then, if you believe in their cause, donate to them via Global Giving.

Based on the rules of the Global Open Access Challenge 2009,they have one month to raise $4,000 from at least 50 donors. Please be one of them! Give now.

See pictures from our visit to Pardada Pardadi.


Update: Pardada Pardadi did it!  They have now earned a permanent spot on Global Giving.  A huge thanks to everyone who gave and spread the word.

13 responses to “an important time to give

  1. Hi thanks for this tipp. do you have any newsletter where i can add because this would be automatic postet to my blog and you get for free a backlink…
    Thanks for an answer

  2. This seems like a very worthy group, but I’m absolutely shocked at the sticker price for a year’s education that Pardada Pardadi lists: Rs. 21,000 (USD $475)??

    I’m very, very much into education for rural communities in developing countries, since that’s one of the best ways to lift an area out of poverty. But that price suggests to me that this program is not as streamlined or efficient as it could be, and really makes me hesitate on donating.

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  4. Hi Dave & Jen, I sumbled upon your blog by chance. Very honorably what you’re doing! Raising awareness to the plight of girls in Uttar Pradesh.
    Q: can I repost this blog entry into mine: I follow good causes and try to promote them via my blog.
    Thanks much in advance.
    Best regards,

  5. I like as they seem to have a much more efficient funds utilization system… $27 for education and health care per student…

    for $475, you’d cover 17+ students!

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  7. Hi Gori Girl/Aditya,

    It’s good to know that there are other charities out there. We support this one, but we obviously encourage everyone to do their research and come to their own conclusions.

    In terms of the costs, there’s obviously more to the story than $27 vs. $475. For one, is a massive global advocacy organization with 360 millions rupees of revenue in India alone (; Pardada Pardadi is a tiny organization for which $50 makes a tremendous difference. For another, does not seem to run schools but instead channels funds to those who do; Pardada Pardadi has to pay teachers, buy supplies, maintain physical buildings, transport students, feed students, maintain community outreach, and absorb every other cost of running a school.

    We don’t claim to know too much about either organization’s financial structure. But we do know that there are more variables than $27 vs. $475.

  8. I ran across this blog from Freakonomics, and have found it an interesting read. I’m moving to Delhi next month for about a year, so I really enjoy getting some of this inside perspective.

    Also, I’m familiar with this Global Giving site, as I used it myself once to raise money for a development project in rural Panama. Great stuff they do. I’ll be sending some love towards Pardada Pardadi.

  9. great work .

  10. Usually I lurk, but I do want to say that my husband & I gave & i’ve been spreading the word via twitter & myspace as well. Education for girls (and water) are the causes close to my heart- especially when involving India. Thanks for letting us know about this!

  11. Hey, guys. I wasn’t sure how else to contact you. (I looked for a contact link but maybe I overlooked it 🙂 ) Our family would like to help the girls of PP, and we wanted to ask what you thought of the following possibility: We live in a very ethnically diverse neighborhood in California, and Indians are highly represented here. Our local Thrift Shop sometimes has authentic Indian clothing in sizes that would fit the girls at the school. You mentioned on another post that some of the girls had no other clothing to wear than their school uniforms, so we wondered how plausible it would be, and how well it would be received, for us to send clothing to be distributed to the most needy students, as often as these things are available.

    Are their any other non-money resources they could use? I think most people will be prone to donate (I will be forwarding this site and the school site to a large email list), so we wanted to help in a more personal manner. Please let us know what you think, and who we might contact!


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