In the month of March 2018, FFLV was honoured by a second visit from Marie Avgeropoulos. Renowned actress and one of the lead stars of the popular sci-fi series “The 100”, Marie works actively to raise awareness about the importance of education for girls in India and as a global concern. She was welcomed warmly by the school girls and a beautiful cultural program was organised in her honour where the students displayed their various talents.
In her three day stay this year, Marie spent her time visiting the houses of some of the girls who are on our waiting list for admission into school. She met the families to find out about their day to day problems and difficulties and what they most wanted was an opportunity to have their daughters attend school. Most mothers of these girls never went to school and were married early. Marie is a major part of our campaign #shemustcount and she aims to ensure that this next generation of girls should have a different life than their mothers and previous generations, in which they become educated, independent and secure women who have control over their lives.
During her stay, Marie met with Rashmi, a student at our school who was saved from child marriage when she was 14. Rashmi is currently studying in 10th grade at FFLV school and looks forward to what her future holds as an educated young woman with different possibilities in her life. Marie enjoyed meeting with the ex-students of FFLV who completed their schooling and are now in university. Along with their studies, they have also taken up jobs. These girls are now the role models for the younger students at school and we follow their progress closely as they work hard to become financially independent and give back to the community.
Marie shared her experience with us:
Returning to Vrindavan, India for my second annual visit to the school was such a heart warming experience. I was welcomed with open arms, and smiling hopeful faces. Now having a full understanding of the programs created for the girls to ensure their safety, health, and education as well as community growth by FFLV, I was able to see just in a years time how the girls are really thriving. My sponsored family, Raksha, who a year ago was malnourished, shy, and had zero education is now thriving in school, has a healthy glow, and beams with self-confidence.
The sisters featured in the FFLV films last year, at that time were removed from the school by their father. He wanted to arrange a duel child marriage for both girls in the same day and not allow them to continue their education. The FFLV school investigators brought this to the attention of the police, and reasoned with the father, and I was overjoyed to see both girls back in their school uniforms and in the classroom this visit, exactly where they should be at this young age.
This charity extends its positive work in so many avenues that are helpful to ensure that learning comes first and child marriage becomes a horrible memory of the past in Vrindavan, one girl at a time. I am so happy to be a part of this wonderful organization.
There were so many highlights of Marie’s visit when she was here in Vrindavan. To find out more, you can follow our campaign #SheMustCount on Twitter @fflvIndia, Instagram – fflvIndia and Marie Avgeropoulos; also on Facebook – Food For Life Vrindavan.
You can follow, support and share the campaign online through Facebook – Food For Life Vrindavan, Instagram – FFLV India, Twitter @fflvIndia, and always tag us with #SheMustCount