Social Action for Knowledge Building and Awareness Raising, also known as SAKAR, is a NGO based in Bareilly, one of the largest cities in Uttar Pradesh, India. The organization empowers girls through education on critical issues like gender discrimination, child marriage, and rights. SAKAR’s educational model focuses on leadership development, teaching girls to become informed and influential leaders in their communities using collective action. Their programs include digital literacy, soft skills development, sports for empowerment, and advocacy against religious and caste-based discrimination. To date, SAKAR has reached over 40 villages in Bareilly, engaging approximately 4,000 girls and women total.
Girls in Uttar Pradesh face many gendered challenges. Specifically, Uttar Pradesh has the highest rate of early marriages in the world, with 36 million women and girls who were married before the age of 18. As a result, adolescent girls lack access to essential knowledge and educational development opportunities. Gender-based violence is a pressing and interrelated problem. Many girls face emotional, physical, and sexual violence but have few options for recourse due to economic dependence and diminished agency arising from early marriages. SAKAR aims to reduce and end these problems by empowering and educating girls.
The Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund will help support a project which aims to reach 240 girls through a skills and knowledge training program. SAKAR will implement the project in two villages and two urban slums in Bareilly. The program will nurture girl’s passions and take a collaborative approach with parents to change social norms about the importance of educating girls. In addition to directly engaging girls, SAKAR aims to reach 480 parents.
The program will include 11 training modules on topics including, but not limited to, communication, leadership, critical thinking, and sexual and reproductive health. These topics will incorporate themes of financial and digital literacy to teach girls essential skills and promote personal autonomy and decision-making. SAKAR’s project is designed with the goal of promoting long-term sustainability, helping girls develop skills they will use throughout their lives. As an end goal, SAKAR hopes to inspire a generation of girl leaders who will share the lessons they’ve learned with their peers and family members, increasing social support for girls’ education.
For more information about SAKAR, please visit the organization’s website.