Open Road Partner Landesa Featured in The Daily Beast
The Daily Beast’s “Women in the World” blog recently featured an article by Melani Grout of Open Road partner Landesa, detailing its work to empower young girls in West Bengal, India. West Bengal has one of the highest rates of hunger in India, and poverty forces hundreds of thousands of girls in West Bengal to abandon their educations and marry young to avoid paying the dowries which traditionally accompany marriage in India.
In 2011 Landesa partnered with the Indian Government to implement SABLA, a government-sponsored program for the empowerment of adolescent girls, and began assisting SABLA in incorporating lessons which teach girls how to cultivate small gardens. The premise was simple: by learning basic gardening skills, these girls could reap produce and generate income for their families, improving their own status in the community and their chances of staying in school.
After originally planning to pilot the program in 20 communities, Landesa approached Open Road for additional funding to scale its program up to 300 communities. In only two years, the scaled-up pilot program has had significant, measurable impact on age of marriage, schooling and nutrition in the targeted communities of West Bengal.