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Talitha Cumi Unnati

overview

Talitha Cumi Unnati (TCU) is a nonprofit based in Southern India dedicated to rescuing trafficked girls and helping them rebuild a new life. Additionally, TCU carries out prevention activities for the most vulnerable and marginalized girls by helping them stay in school.

 

about

Talitha Cumi Unnati was established in 2019 and serves 280 poor and marginalized girls who are school dropouts and often are victims of human trafficking in rural Andhra Pradesh.

These girls face discrimination, exploitation, and limited opportunities, hindering their education and prospects for a dignified life. Marginalization perpetuates gender inequality and violates basic rights, with far-reaching consequences on personal development and community well-being.

Efforts are directed toward rural adolescent girls deprived of dignity and liberty, instilling hope, compassion, and empathy to restore their dignity and prevent them from falling prey to dangerous networks through supportive relationships, awareness campaigns, mentoring, and addressing the systemic causes.

challenge

Globally, over 700 million girls are married before the age of 18, with India having a big share in this phenomenon. India has the largest adolescent population in the world (253 million), and due to pernicious social norms, adolescent girls are exposed to multiple layers of vulnerability.

About 43% of girls drop out before completing secondary education. Some of the reasons include limited access to education, early marriage, economic constraints, child labor, limited vocational and skill development opportunities, and inadequate healthcare and hygiene facilities at the school.

India grapples with widespread gender inequality and discrimination, with early marriage deeply ingrained as a social norm, resulting in the largest number of child brides globally. Adolescents lack access to information on issues affecting their lives.

goals & partnership

The name “Talitha Cumi” means “Little Girl Arise!” TCU’s theme, Rise & Act, reflects its bold plan of “Rewriting the future” of 10,000 vulnerable girls. The initiative aims to prevent girls’ marginalization while breaking the culture of silence and indifference.

TCU’s goal is to accompany 1,000 girls by providing them with quality education and empowering them through mentoring, leadership development, housing, job creation, skill training (such as digital literacy), trauma support, nutrition, and resource mobilization. Each girl will then be encouraged to become a mentor and a role model for ten others facing similar challenges.

AVSI-USA serves as a platform to raise visibility for TCU in the United States, facilitating connections with American donors who wish to support marginalized girls’ education and empowerment in India.

divya's story

TCU met Divya when she was 17. She was an orphan with a mild heart disorder. Raised by her aunt, she never attended school and became a domestic worker at a young age. A woman in the village offered to show her a job in a different small rural town, brought her there, starved, tortured, and had her raped. Divya was only given food if she could attract and entertain men on the highway. A fruit vendor noticed and observed her for a few days and reported her to the police. Fr. Don Bosco, the Director of TCU, welcomed her to one of the centers. Volunteers helped her get out of the terrible situation, providing safe shelter, psychological counseling, prayer support, mentoring, material and financial support. Now, she is doing better, still lives in one of the shelters and has a tailoring job. 

other resources

local Contact

FR. DON BOSCO | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

FRDONBOSCO@GMAIL.COM

US Contact

EMAIL INFOAVSI-USA@AVSI.ORG