Urja Trust acts as a catalyst for runaway and homeless young women who are vulnerable to sexual, economic and physical exploitation and abuse. Our project works to provide shelter and comprehensive rehabilitation; psychological, legal, education and non-traditional livelihood training, so these young women may pursue their lives with freedom and dignity. We also aim to bring about policy changes on this issue through advocacy intervention with Government and society.
Unequal gender and caste norms in India render women homeless right from the time they are born. Young women run away from their homes or are thrown out in dire circumstances. They might run away to escape poverty, abuse, alcoholism in the family, etc. Some girls from State-run institutions become homeless when they turn 18 as they are asked to move out. With little support from society and Government, they are deprived of basic necessities. This restricts their ability to realize their full potential, and exposes them to further inequity and exploitation.
Our project primarily ensures a safe and secure environment for homeless young women who have mental health issues. Our approach is democratic and participatory. Urja facilitates an environment in which young women can be truly empowered - they can avail of safe shelter and opportunities for development, emotional, psychological, educational and vocational. We also envisage long-term change: to strike at the root cause of these problems by advocating policy and normative change in law, government, other institutions and society.
Since its inception in 2012 Urja has changed the lives of 350 homeless young women. Through our interventions, in a year 80 girls are able to -
- Articulate their dreams and aspirations
- Take ownership of their lives and exercise freedom of choice
- Enhance skills in decision-making and leadership
- Attain economic independence and justice
- Reduce high-risk behaviors
- Develop a sense of identity, self-worth and confidence
- Sensitize civil society (family and community) and government to the issues of homeless young women.
- Develop a government mental health policy to address women's needs, based on best practices gleaned from Urja's project Soch.
Fund Utilization Summary:
|US$ 3500||Shelter space rent and other development activities|
|US$1500||Overhead and Administrative cost (Rent, electricity, etc)|
|US$500|| Other expenses|