Woman Rising: Likita

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16-06-2017
The Vicente Ferrer Foundation USA (VFF USA) is thrilled to announce the save-the date for our annual gala, “Recipe for Empowerment” as October 6th, 2017.
15-06-2017
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Likita is only nine years old but she is sure she wants to be an engineer. She’s already doing something quite extraordinary: She will be the first girl in her family to go to school. She represents India’s attempts to break from its old ways and embrace a more inclusive future.
 
Likita’s parents never received an education, but they are now making every effort to ensure their children get this opportunity.   Likita lives in the village of Raghavampalli, and is currently in her fourth year of primary school. 
 
There are already more girls than boys in Likita’s class. In India, where a boy’s education is given priority, this constitutes a considerable social success.
 
Despite the fact that India has outlawed dowries since 1961, this discriminatory practice has been difficult to stop. Most families in India still negotiate the amount of money or property when a daughter gets married. The more educated the girl, the higher the dowry.
 
Likita’s little brother, Sai Praneeth, also goes to school and he wants to be a teacher. His parents have decided that they will not ask the family of his future bride for a dowry, thereby helping to eradicate one of the most deep-rooted Hindu practices in Indian society.
 
 
Likita is already experiencing a very different life than that of her mother or grandmother. Despite the fact that she is a young female in a culture replete with practices that exclude women and girls, her future looks hopeful.
 
According to UNICEF, the child marriage rate is 56% in rural India, and 29% in urban areas. Child marriages and child pregnancies, which lead to serious health problems, cut off the vital development of girls, who must abandon school and assume adult roles at very early ages.
 
Through educational programs, the Vicente Ferrer Foundation has sought to end such harmful traditions as dowries, child marriages or female infanticides. For $29 a month, you can sponsor a child in Andhra Pradesh and make a huge impact. You can help a girl like Likita stay in school, stay out of an arranged marriage, and stay focused on achieving vastly bigger dreams.