She Begins: Women's Empowerment in India

In September I will be embarking on a journey to Jodhpur, India to volunteer with a non-profit organization, Sambhali Trust, for 3 months. I am raising money to cover the cost of the trip and to donate the remaining funds to aid the programs at Sambhali Trust.


Sambhali Trust is a women's empowerment organization that builds confidence and economic independence for marginalized women and girls in the Rajasthan state of India. Sambhali focuses their work on women and girls from the Dalit community. Those from the Dalit community are discriminated against and treated unjustly by their society due to their social class (caste). Although there are laws to protect the Dalit community against discrimination, the traditional caste system still influences day to day life in India and discrimination remains evident.


Gender roles and societal beliefs about women in India cause them to have significantly less power than men. Women are vulnerable to oppression, especially those from the Dalit community.

According to the International Center for Research on Women, 50% of women in the state of Rajasthan, India are married before the age of 18, preventing them from taking leadership over their own lives. 

Women in India have difficulty earning an income and are financially dependent on their families. According to the World Economic Forum, 50% of women are illiterate and only 30% of women make up India's work force. 

Societal attitudes and beliefs about women prevent them from living a life free of oppression, discrimination and violence. 

Sambhali Trust is trying to change that by giving women and adolescent girls a voice in their own lives.


Sambhali Trust has more than 13 programs for women and girls. These programs include: empowerment centers that provide training on income-generating skills and Math, English and Hindi classes; a boarding home for young girls who receive scholarships to attend a local school; a self-help group (providing a means to financial independence through saving money and having access to loans) and a shelter for women seeking refuge from familial and community violence.

This video summarizes the programs at Sambhali Trust:


I hope to provide as much support to the women and girls at Sambhali as I can while I am there. My role at Sambhali will not be decided until a week after my arrival. This is to ensure that my skills are matched with the current need of the organization. During my time with Sambhali, I could be teaching English, conducting workshops on nutrition and health, teaching the women how to make bracelets to sell for an income, providing administrative support, expanding the Sambhali Boutique's customer base to the U.S., and/or securing donors for funding.
***I will provide updates on my work at Sambhali after my arrival!***


You can donate any amount you wish and it will be greatly appreciated!

OR You can choose the Sponsor Reward Level (donate $.50 for every day I will be volunteering)
and you will receive a bracelet handmade by yours truly! Click on the sponsor reward level below and choose a bracelet from the picture. Then send me a message with the design of your choosing!


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$1800: Flight
$500: Accomodation
$1400 (approx): Vaccines and travel health insurance
TOTAL: $3700
***The remainder will be used for educational supplies and donated directly to projects at Sambhali Trust***

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT! I am forever grateful. On behalf of Sambhali Trust, I also want to thank you for helping acheive their mission of empowering the women and girls it serves.
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Mandy Frisco 
Philadelphia, PA
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