FIGHTING GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING WITH GRASSROOTS INNOVATION

JOURNEY DATES: March 22 – 30, 2018
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: January 15, 2018

Steeped in ancient wisdom, spiritual and inspiring, chaotic and disorienting. There is truly no way to fully describe India—one simply needs to experience it.  Combine this magical, once in a lifetime journey while exploring the important challenges facing women, young girls and underprivileged children in India today.

This rich and thought-provoking exploration will involve visits to cultural sights as well as engagement with a host of courageous change-makers, community leaders and small local non-profits working on the prevention of some of India’s greatest human rights challenges — gender discrimination, child marriage, and human trafficking.  Journey through New Delhi, Udaipur (Rajasthan), then venture off the beaten path to the villages surrounding Kolhapur for a rare and intimate look at the power of empowering women and children at the grassroots.

Throughout this journey, engage in important discussions relating to the ever-present caste system in India, the biases facing young girls, women and widows and opportunities available to contribute and support to the positive change underway.

ABOUT THE JOURNEY TO INDIA

  • Discover the highlights of Delhi—old and new, with it’s endless bustling streets and markets
  • Explore Gandhi Smriti: the sacred place where Mahatma Gandhi’s epic life ended. 
  • Meet with the staff at Shakti Shalini – an outreach and counseling center devoted to the fight against gender violence.
  • Engage with SMS, a small yet powerful program working to support children of trafficked women working in the brothels of GB Road. 
  • Take in the colorful Dilli Market and stroll through beautiful Lodi Gardens in New Delhi.
  • Visit TARA Homes for Girls, an inspiring family-like home for vulnerable children.
  • Learn about current efforts to reduce the number of children living in institutional care in India, by working with families to strengthen them and prevent separation.
  • Discover the ancient city of Udaipur, famous for its lakes, palaces, forts, and temples
  • Meet with Vikalp, a program empowering women and girls to stand against gender discrimination and child marriage.
  • In Pune, visit with the team at Equal Community Foundation, working with adolescent boys to support them in becoming gender equitable adults.
  • Stretch out to the villages surrounding Kolhapur for a taste of rural, authentic India.
  • Engage with Anuradha Bhosale, Founder of AVANI / WCRC who is empowering women and children to fight for their basic rights in rural villages.                          
  • Enjoy comfortable 4 star accommodations throughout the journey.
  • Optional privately guided extension to Agra (Taj Mahal), or Varanasi

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Pre trip – Agra:  Taj Mahal

March 20, 2017 (Tuesday) • Arrival in New Delhi

Arrive at Delhi’s International Airport. Welcome to India!  You are met by our representative in the arrival area of the airport after you clear all immigration and customs formalities. Special welcome awaits at the airport with the nice garlands of marigold flowers. After meet and greet at the airport you will be transferred to your Hotel for check in.

  • Meals: None
  • Accommodation: Radisson Blu Airport Hotel New Delhi

March 21, 2018 (Wednesday) • Agra Departure 8:30am

Breakfast at hotel and an 8:30 am departure for drive to Agra  (approximately 4 hours drive). Upon arrival check in at your hotel and then enjoy an afternoon visit to Taj Mahal & Agra Fort with evening at leisure.

  • Meals:  Breakfast
  • Accommodation: ICT Mughal Agra

Main Tour Itinerary

March 22, 2018 (Thursday) • Arrival in New Delhi

Return drive to New Delhi (4 hours)

March 23, 2018 (Friday) • India Gate, Gandhi Smriti & Shakti Shalini

After breakfast we will have a short meeting to get acquainted and to review various aspects of our journey together.  We will share some of GoPhilanthropic’s lessons learned over the years, such as the value of entering into visits with an openness to “listen and learn,” instead of “serve and solve,” and ways to ensure we are respectful to culture and tradition while visiting.

In the morning we will ease into our time in India by visiting some of Delhi’s most impressive sights — the India Gate and the Gandhi Smriti, housed in the Old Birla House — the sacred place where Mahatma Gandhi’s epic life ended in 1948. Explore the preserved rooms where Mahatma Gandhi lived during his last 144 days. Visit the prayer grounds where he held a mass congregation every evening and where he was assassinated in 1948.

After lunch, visit Shakti Shalini NGO in South Delhi.  Shakti Shalini is a Delhi-based NGO that actively works against all forms of gender violence. Violence against women remains a critical issue in India and requires concerted effort at individual, community and policy levels to bring about change. Shakti Shalini works to address gender violence from multiple directions, covering both response and prevention mechanisms – helping women who have been victims of gender violence as well as carrying out interventions to prevent further violence from taking place. 

On our way back to the hotel, we have the option to walk through the beautiful Lodhi Gardens, a known sanctuary in this busy city.

March 24, 2018 (Saturday) • Old Delhi Sites, GB Road (SMS), TARA Home for Girls

After breakfast we see a handful of impressive sights near and around Old Delhi— the famous India gate, a spectacular Jain temple, and get a glimpse of the hectic old city full of street vendors and shops.

Afterwards, we will venture to the red-light district in Delhi.  Meet Lalitha, the courageous founder of the SPID / SMS program which was established 25 years ago in response to a call for help by the women who have been trafficked to the brothels of GB Road to provide a safe space for their children. This is the only project in the area providing 24-hour shelter, protection, education and nutrition to 65 children living in the brothels.

GoPhilanthropic is supporting the SMS Center by funding salaries, healthcare and excursions for the children, as well as by providing technical support on how to write budgets and grant proposals, helping to draft essential policies (such as the Child Protection Policy and Volunteer Guidelines) and supporting a mentorship program by Priti Patkar, the founder of one of the largest anti-trafficking NGOs in India.

After lunch we will stop by to see TARA is a shining example of the powerful combination of blending empowerment and educational opportunities in a homelike environment. TARA provides high quality residential homes for vulnerable children. Sixty children live across three TARA homes and have been mainstreamed into some of Delhi’s top schools.

The organization places strong emphasis on quality formal education, both curricular and extra-curricular, in English medium (a strong social marker in India). We will also have the opportunity to talk to TARA staff about their new plans to open an outreach centre in a slum community, providing essential services and family strengthening support to help prevent children from ending up in residential care. Many of the children who have attended SMS Center have been referred to TARA , providing an escape from the red light district and a vital lifeline out of a future of prostitution. TARA children do not wear the stigma of unprivileged children, but instead are able to cross the class barriers needed to thrive in India.

Through its network of donors, GoPhilanthropic sponsors a number of children across all three homes and supports the salaries of key staff, such as the medical officer, nannies and cooks, which allows the children to be provided with high quality care 24 hours a day. GoPhilanthropic is currently providing technical support to the TARA team for their new community outreach services, helping the organization to identify where and what services are most needed in South Delhi.

We will end our day with a stroll through Dilli Haat market— with its fantastic display of local merchandise – and have a chance to do some shopping!

  • Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch
  • Accommodation: Colonel’s Retreat

March 25, 2018 (Sunday) • Fly Delhi to Udaipur (Flight9W – 824: 1120 / 1225 hrs)

Udaipur has a setting unmatched in Rajasthan and arguably in all India. Fantastical palaces, temples, havelis and countless narrow, crooked, timeless streets make this a city truly special spot to visit. Once we are settled in the hotel, we will venture out to visit some of the highlights of this stunning ancient city and it’s bustling markets.

March 26, 2018 (Monday) • Vikalp Sansthan

After breakfast we visit Vikalp Sansthan, a leading organization working to combat child marriage in Rajasthan.  This is a crucial issue in Rajasthan as almost 60% of women in the state were married under the legal age of 18. Established in 2004 by a group of young social workers, the organization now has a network of 400 volunteers working across 9 districts of Rajasthan, using a variety of strategies to empower women and girls to prevent child marriage. Their strategies include changing social norms through awareness generation; creating Youth Task Forces in villages who are responsible for identifying and reporting child marriages; increasing access to education for girls (a vital factor in reducing the risk of child marriage); working with marriage services providers (such as priests, beauticians, event organizers and DJs) to sensitize them on child marriage; and advocacy with the government and media.

So far over 600 child marriages and 450 child marriage consummation ceremonies have been prevented, 74 villages have remained ‘child marriage free’ and over 150,000 people have taken an oath never to perform or participate in a child marriage.

GoPhilanthropic has made an initial grant to Vikalp Sansthan to help them start up the first women’s counseling center and a helpline of its kind in Udaipur, which will provide essential psychological, legal and economic support to women and girls in distress.

March 27, 2018 (Tuesday) • Flight to Pune (Flight 9W – 2094: 0720 / 0820 hrs –  9W – 618: 1000 / 1045 hrs)

After arriving in Pune, we will check into our hotel, have a quick lunch, then meet with a fantastic new partner of ours, Equal Community Foundation (ECF), one of the few NGOs in India working solely with men and boys to create a better and more gender equitable society. Their mission is to raise every boy in India to be gender equitable. Their amazing behavior change programs target adolescent boys in slum communities in Pune and have seen some incredible results – such as boys persuading their fathers to let their sisters go to school and helping to fight gender-based violence in their communities. They believe that “not every man is part of the problem, but that every man can be part of the solution.” They are passionate about sharing their model and training and supporting NGOs across the country who work with women and girls to start engaging boys in their existing work. Evening at leisure.

March 28, 2018 (Wednesday) • Drive to Kolhapur (4 hours)

This morning we will transfer by vehicle to Kolhapur—the land of magnificent temples and the religious pride of Maharashtra. Nested in the tranquil laps of the mountain ranges, it is situated on the banks of the River Panchganga. Also termed as a city of palaces and gardens, it is a historic Maratha City, with the Mahalakshmi temple attracted devotees from all over India.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Sayaji Hotel

March 29, 2018 (Thursday) • Visit AVANI & WCRC

Meet the inspiring Anuradha Bhosale, director of AVANI and Founder of Women and Child Rights Campaign (WCRC) to learn about her work protecting and empowering vulnerable women and children. In visiting with Anuradha, her team at WCRC and local villagers, we will better understand how a lack of women’s rights contributes to child labor. Divorced, widowed and impoverished mothers often lack any family support which results in a vicious cycle whereby women send their children into child labor for needed income. WCRC has found its solutions in empowering rural woman, providing them information regarding their basic rights (including governmental support due to them) and encouraging them to make change on their own.

This morning we will visit various migrant workers’ camps; see brickyard sites and learn of the issues relating to child labor. After discontinuing child labor practices at the brickyard sites, AVANI has established teaching locations for the children where students convene in makeshift tent schools.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch (provided by AVANI), Dinner
  • Accommodation: Sayaji Hotel

March 30, 2018  (Friday) • Return Drive to Pune (Delhi Flight9W – 786: 1530 / 1735 hrs)

Depart in the morning driving to Pune and then take connecting flight to Delhi.  Enjoy your evening at leisure.  Prepare for late evening flights home or extensions available.

  • Meals: Breakfast

OPTIONAL Accommodation: Leela Kempinski or JW Marriott

SE ASIA TRIP COST

$3,800.00 per person (sharing double room) 

$500.00 single supplement for private room

Trip Includes

  • Accommodation with breakfast
  • All private transfers and transportation
  • Entrance fees where noted
  • English speaking guides
  • Meals as indicated

Trip Excludes

  • Flights to and from destination and departing countries
  • Indian Visa
  • All airport taxes
  • Other meals and drinks
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Other services not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tips/Gratuities
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“Listen and Learn” instead of “Serve and Solve”

We will share some of GoPhilanthropic’s lessons learned over the years, such as the value of entering into visits with an openness to “listen and learn” instead of “serve and solve,” and ways to ensure we are respectful to culture and tradition while visiting. Learn how GoPhilanthropic Foundation selects the programs that they support. We will discuss both the opportunities and ethics of the use of photography in our journeys and explore ways to best capture and celebrate their dignity.

Recent History and Modern Day Challenges – a Local Perspective

Our local guides will provide insight into the historical and political influences that impact day to day life in SouthEast Asia. During our stay in each country we will enjoy discussion topics with them ranging from religion, war history, and societal challenges. Our guides will also provide valuable information regarding cultural norms and etiquette.

The Inspiration to Make a Difference

When visiting with grassroots programs in each of the countries, we meet with the founders or integral staff members who are inspired to make a difference in the lives of those they are supporting. These discussions will give us the chance to better understand the needs in the communities and how these founders have chosen to drive positive change for the future. This is a valuable opportunity to ask questions and share thoughts with respect to effective community development.

Our Journey: Reflections

At the end of the journey, you may wish to share your thoughts and reflections on what you experienced — the most difficult or inspirational moments, and the visits that made the most significant impressions during the journey. You may also wish to explore possible ways to engage further with the people and organizations you have visited.