Strengthening girl's voices and empowering their agency for over 3 decades
Vacha emerged as a women’s group during the 1980s. Initiated by women active in the women’s rights movement, it started as a resource centre to address the need for space for discourse, resources and collective action. It was established and registered as a Trust in 1990.
Since 1995, Vacha has focused on working with adolescent girls and boys with a special focus on girls. Vacha looks at its work with adolescents as a preventive measure against the creation of vulnerabilities in women due to lack of education, exposure and opportunities. Vacha believes that empowered girls and sensitised boys have a better chance of developing into adults who value equality and become productive citizens.
Vacha adresses issues of girls through educational programmes, resource creation, research, training, campaigns and networking. A strong belief in gender equality and rights forms the core of Vacha’s work.
Girls’ Resource Centre
Imparting knowledge and training in 21st-century life skills such as conversational English, Computers, Photography and Communication through sessions, workshops, visits and events in the centre and the community.
Capacity building and increasing social capital for youth and actively engaging them in civic issues such as safety, sanitation and access to resources.
Research & Training
Gender trainings and workshops conducted to combat gender inequalities. Engaging youth in research and documentation.
Awareness Building & Networking
Initiatives entirely led by programmeme participants and mentors where they target problems affecting them in their communities and implement interventions to address them.
Mobile Library & Resource Creation
Creation of content and inculcating reading habits among adolescent girls and boys. Over 3380 children’s books in seven different languages are made available to those who enroll themselves.
Creating Pathways to Education and Knowledge
82555 individuals were reached out to in Mumbai and Thane
16,824 direct beneficiaries were enrolled
1,408 Girls & 313 Boys were impacted through empowerment
454 Mothers were reached out
18 communities were opened in Mumbai & Thane
We have reached out to 30,629 adolescents in the year 2020-21
Vacha has been actively working towards empowerment of intersectionally deprived girls through empowerment through diverse interventions for the past 31 years. We create safe spaces in bastis (commonly referred to as slums) by hiring or sharing community spaces such as Aanganwadis, Community Halls etc. thereby fostering community partnerships and support. The houses in these bastis, are small and occupy around 5 to 7 family members in a space of less than 100 sq. ft. In these bastis, most families are Scheduled Castes (formerly considered untouchable) or are OBC (belonging to other backs ward castes) coming from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and rural Maharashtra. Girls in these communities are enrolled in poorly run state-supported schools or in low-paid private schools and educating or equipping them for life is not a priority with the residents in this community. Hence, Vacha began its work in these communities to equip girls with soft and hard skills to train them in taking up leadership roles in community work.
Currently, our interventions are in 18 basti centres in Mumbai and Thane Districts.
Putting your funds to work
Your support empowers individuals, strengthens families and communities. We initiate youth groups in bastis that take action in their neighborhoods on civic issues such as the safety of girls and women.
Roshni, a Vacha researcher has broken barries of individuality and proved her family that she can be self-sustainable.
Reena, a college student, has been with us throughout in the journey of self-development. Click to learn of her story.
Seema, a schoolgoing kid, was very shy. Read her story of breaking barriers when it comes to education.
Our Covid Response
Vacha youth (Umeed Youth Group) from Kalyan-Dombivali area in the Thane district took the initiative in addressing questions regarding vaccintion by holding a 2-hour webinar on Sunday 16th May 2021. It was attended by 95 individuals (77 women/girls and 19 men/boys) across 6 bastis. Responses in the feedback form reflected that all of them appreciated the Information shared by the expert. The webinar emphasised prevention is better than cure.
We are planning to extend this campaign to 12 bastis in Mumbai as well. The youth are working on follow-up strategies to ensure that a maximum number of people get vaccinated. They will make and distribute pamphlets to motivate people to get vaccinated. Sessions on COVID 19, explaining the importance of taking timely action, precautions to follow and the facilities available for them are also being held and more are being planned. A Whatsapp group where they can seek clarifications has also been created.
Our interventions are addressing nutritional, educational, medical & mental health needs
Grocery kits containing Rice, Wheat, Pulses/lentils, sugar, oil distributed to 6000 individuals.
28,500 multivitamins strips and 9650 paracetamol strips were distributed to nearly 6000 individuals.
14,758 packets of sanitary pads distributed to girls and women in communities & BMC maternity hospitals.
33,925 soap bars, 141 bottles of handwash and 3,000 masks given to young kids in communities.
1700 sanitiser bottles distributed to Police stations in Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal corporations
25 smartphones, books, art and craft supplies, and scholarships were provided to 1,500 participants.
434 kids (5-6 year old) attend literacy & numeracy classes run by 120 Vacha mentors across 17 Mumbai & Thane branches.
Vacha youth participants organised Vaccinations awareness drive and reached out to 3000 families.