Shakti - Resolute Girls in India! by Sonja Andjelkovic
This article is only available in English.
The NGO Business Makes Sense from Berlin/Germany has successfully initiated the project "Shakti" in November 2016. The project is aiming at empowering girls prone to ill-treatment and sexual assaults in Delhi, India. The project was funded by German philantropist and implemented through the Taek-Won-Do Matrix Academy. A group of initially 10 girls joined a 1 year self-defence, Taek-Won-Do coaching program that will equip them physically and mentally to quickly think and act in an emergency situation. In India, Taekwon-do has been recognised widely and the Taekwon-do Association of India (TAI) is tirelessly working across the country with more than 3000 schools and clubs teaching this martial art to millions of students. Taekwon-do has generated employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for the eligible black belt holders and instructors and contributing to the economic development while making the students mentally and physically fit. After that initial project period Business Makes Sense and the Matrix Academy would therefore like to extend the training to more participants as well as start training of trainers so that a group of girls can become instructors and entrepreneurs in the area of martial arts.
How did the idea come about? I came up with the idea to support vulnerable girls to defend themselves when I met Karthik in Delhi. Karthik is a black belt holder in Taek-Won-Do and well aware of the situation girls in India are facing. He agreed to design a project concept based on my idea and he even developed it further by including a second phase which would provide the target group of the project with an income opportunity. An excellent idea as it reflects the aim of Business Makes Sense - Support social business! After the concept note and the budget were submitted to Business Makes Sense, the cooperation agreement was signed and other NGO governance requirements were met, the board approved of the project and started fundraising. Within no time we managed to pull together 2200 EUR, enough to train a group of 10 for 1 year. The Matrix Academy approached the Government of Delhi with a formal request for obtaining permission to start the project, which was approved shortly after the request. So the project started on November 17! Here is a paragraph from the first report we received: "It was a fulfilling exercise to commence the project and witness the enthusiasm of the girls. While interacting with them we learned that they are coming from a village near the school and that they help their parents in the fields, rear cows, buffaloes and do the household chores after getting back home every day. They are highly motivated to go through the full course and obtain the 1.Dan black belt and become instructures in the next three years."
I was thrilled when I read these lines! And I am really happy to see the resolute faces of the young ladies! We at Business Makes Sense will keep supporting and fundraising for this project and hopefully it will grow and extend beyond Delhi.