Before Project Shakti, Nausheen was very shy, hesitant and was, for most part, not allowed outside the house. Through Shakti, she gained confidence and was a driving force in the project of bringing drop-out kids back to school in Govandi. Read about how she slowly developed the ability to make her voice heard both by her family and within her community.
A 17-year-old girl from a very conservative Muslim family, she did not enjoy the support of her family when she started the program. But, as the sessions went on, there was a gradual change not only in terms of her level of participation but also in terms of her ability to assert herself with her family. Before long, her mother’s attitude began to change, to the extent that, by the end of the Shakti session, she even let the girls have meetings at her residence.
Nausheen was part of the Shakti group that kick-started the community project Read Govandi – a school readmission drive to get out-of-school girls in the area back into local schools. Her sincerity and commitment towards the project was commendable. With the help of her family (including her previously unsupportive mother and brother) she convinced the aunt of a 5-year-old girl to let the child go back to school; a child who was previously made to do housework. Furthermore, not only did she accomplish her target of re-admitting six children to school, which was a part of the project taken on by her Shakti group, but she also motivated many children to go back to school after that.
Talking about her experience, Nausheen says “At first we were very scared of going out to survey the schools in the area. The principals and teachers flatly refused to speak to us. That’s when we remembered what we learned in Shakti; that we just had to explain ourselves confidently and everything would be fine. So we swallowed our fears and went back, explained our project and sure enough, they spoke to us! Shakti has been one of the most important journeys of my life.”