Asia Initiatives

Promoting Self Defense and Health Awareness Amongst Girls

Pune, India 

For the past 10 years, Asia Initiatives has supported Ashta No Kai-India, an NGO that equips young girls in Shirur County with the skills necessary to overcome daily gender discrimination and exclusion from formal education.  Adolescent girls grades 8-10 can congregate at ANK-I’s Women’s Centers for weekly sessions about reproductive health, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, menstruation, children’s rights, violence, and child marriage.  The girls have the opportunity to discuss socially taboo topics and ask questions in a safe learning environment. The girls even embark on overnight trips where they can meet girls from other villages and visit popular historical landmarks. AI also supports a karate program by ANK-I, which empowers girls to learn self-defense in a world with an increasing prevalence of gender-based violence. The work of ANK-I, along with our support, has kept girls in secondary school, allowed young women to enter the professional world in fields such as dentistry and engineering, and has instilled discipline and self-confidence through self-defense. You can read more about how this project is supporting the potential of girls here.