By Saheli Volunteer, Nikita Singhal
Saheli’s Economic Empowerment Program (EEP) strives to support low-income families and female survivors of domestic violence in gaining economic self-sufficiency. The diagram below, taken from Saheli’s website, illustrates the four major services offered by Saheli: financial assistance, educational courses, mentor programs and career planning.
Since the organization’s successful Nirbhaya Gala in 2013, EEP has provided financial assistance to twenty-one women to support them in their stride towards independence. These funds have been used in a variety of ways based on individual circumstances and needs. While some women may be working towards long-term goals such as certification programs or obtaining Violence Against Women Visas, others applied for funds for immediate necessities such as winter clothing or transportation payments. In September 2015, Saheli hosted a second – and highly successful – Nirbhaya Gala, doubling Saheli’s funds for the EEP program.
Saheli is now introducing the ‘Meri Saheli’ program. With this service, clients will be able to navigate through the different aspects of EEP with the help of a guide who is both passionate about Saheli’s mission to assist others in leading safe and self-sustaining lives, and adept at problem solving with a knowledge-base in community resources. Saheli recognizes the value of mentor programs, and created ‘Meri Saheli’ to ensure that cash assistance given to clients is used effectively, and the help given is long lasting. ‘Meri Saheli’ matches interested clients with volunteers who will provide individualized support to clients. This will help clients to think comprehensively about financial hardships and the steps they can take to secure and maintain economic self-sufficiency.
The ‘Meri Saheli’ program is now available to South Asian women of low-income families and survivors of domestic violence. If you are driven to empower others in your community, and feel passionate about advocating for clients in the EEP initiative, I encourage you to join our volunteer team. Please click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities and to fill out an application.
About the Author:
Nikita Singhal is a human services professional with a focus in child and family programs. She is committed to providing high-quality services for low-income and minority populations. Her experience spans from teaching ESL to young boys in Delhi, to mentoring at CREDO House for Street Children in Trinidad & Tobago, to developing a blog and writing articles regarding accessibility for a blind and visually impaired audience.