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Some of the girls are studying business management or business administration, while the younger ones are still preparing for their school leaving exams. But for all of them, attending Premanjali (which translates as House of Love) is a fantastic opportunity. The boarding school in Mysore, southern India, makes it possible for around 30 girls to study – an opportunity that is unfortunately still very rare here. The Peter-und-Luise-Hager Foundation recently began supporting this extraordinary project.
“It is a sad fact that millions of Indian girls are still forced to leave school at the age of 12 or 13 in order to get married”, says Evi Hager, chair of the foundation. For many young Indian women, marriage is followed by a life of hard physical labour and one pregnancy after another. Evi Hager adds, “We are delighted that by supporting the Premanjali college project we are able to greatly improve prospects for at least a few girls.”
The Premanjali boarding school was opened in 2015. It is run by the Society of the Helpers of Mary and supported by the charity LIFT e.V., which is based in Hamburg. The Helpers of Mary run two homes in the state of Karnataka that look after the daughters of day labourers and allow them to attend school and receive training. A few particularly gifted girls from these homes can now attend college thanks to the Premanjali project. All of the girls come from underprivileged backgrounds, and one of them is a so-called “first learner”, which means that she is the very first member of her family to learn to read and write.
“The aim of our work is to create conditions in India that allow people to stay in their home region”, says Gabriele Venzky, the founder of LIFT e.V. “Educating girls and young women is the most effective way to fight poverty, injustice and overpopulation – and also extremism.”
It costs 66 euros per month to support one girl. This covers full board and lodging, tuition fees and study materials, plus bus travel to the college, which is 3 km away. The Peter-und-Luise-Hager Foundation has donated enough money to cover the tuition fees for all 30 girls at Premanjali for a year.
About the foundation: The Peter-und-Luise-Hager Foundation is a charitable organisation founded by the entrepreneurial Hager family in 2010. We support projects in the areas of science and research, education, art and culture, environmentalism and social affairs. We currently support around 20 projects. Many are based at our sites, but others – such as the girls’ home in Mysore – are located in other parts of the world. www.hager-stiftung.de
About the project partner: LIFT e.V., which is based in Hamburg, was founded in 2009 by Gabriele Venzky. At the time she was the Asia correspondent for the weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT. This charitable organisation keeps its administrative costs very low – at about 1 per cent – which means that 99 per cent of the donated funds it receives are used to finance its projects directly. www.liftindien.de