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Google's philanthropic arm announces $2.5 million grant to 3 Indian nonprofits for women empowerment

Google had earlier announced plans to support 1 million rural women entrepreneurs in the country as part of its 'Women Will' programme

November 08, 2021 / 07:10 PM IST
Image Source: Google India

Image Source: Google India

Google's philanthropic arm Google.org has announced a $2.5-million grant for three Indian nonprofits—Pratham Education Foundation, Samhita-Collective Good Foundation, and SwaTaleem Foundation.

This grant is part of the $25-million global impact challenge for nonprofits and social organisations announced by Google.org on International Women's Day in March this year.

As part of this initiative, 34 recipients have been provided grants in 19 countries.

Pratham Education Foundation will receive $1 million to connect more than 7,000 rural, unemployed young women to jobs in the beauty and health industry and the male-dominated automotive, mechanics, and electrical industries.

It will also connect women to technology-enabled livelihood clubs and offer 300 to 500 hours of all-expenses-paid training to help them gain accreditation from National Skills Development Corporation.

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Established in 1995, Pratham Education Foundation focuses on providing quality education and vocational skills to underprivileged kids and youngsters in the country.

"With this support, we hope to raise awareness, increase access, enhance abilities and support thousands of women as they pursue their aspirations, " Pratham Education CEO Rukmini Banerji said.

It was an opportunity to reach more communities and improve the effectiveness of their training programmes, she said.

Meanwhile, Samhita-Collective Good Foundation (CGF) will receive $800,000 for its "REVIVE Alliance" project that aims to provide interest-free "returnable" grants to 10,000 women who do not have access to traditional finance support systems to invest in digitisation and cover their business needs.

REVIVE Alliance is a multi-stakeholder blended financing facility, backed by the likes of Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Omidyar Network India, US Agency for International Development(USAID), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and British High Commission.

It uses CSR funds and philanthropic capital to provide returnable grants to semi and unskilled workers, entrepreneurs and micro enterprises. The firm notes that this grant is essentially a zero interest, zero collateral loan with a moral, not a legal, obligation to repay. Once the women pay back the grant, they will gain access to Samhita-CGF's banking and microfinance partners.

“With the help of Google.org Impact Challenge for Women & Girls, the REVIVE Alliance will be able to further our goal of providing access to finance to women in the informal sector who have been systematically excluded from the formal economy,” Samhita-CGF founder Priya Naik said.

SwaTaleem Foundation, a non-profit focused on facilitating quality education and increasing decision making and foundational skills in adolescent girls, has received a grant of $700,000 from Google.org.

The foundation currently works with Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, the residential secondary schools run by the government for girls from minority groups.

SwaTaleem Foundation will partner with Humane Warriors, a volunteer network working towards environmental & social justice, to educate marginalised girls and women in rural India through a low-tech platform.

It will provide girls access to traditional subjects such as math and science as well as socio-emotional and financial literacy training like how to open a bank account, through an app and automated audio files played on speaker phones, thereby skipping the need for Internet.

In a pilot, it provided education to 900 girls and families despite coronavirus lockdown where internet access was poor and prevalence of child marriage high, the company said in a statement.

With Humane Warriors, it aims to reach another 5,000 girls over the next two years.

"It is important to understand that the digital divide is gendered and the solutions to navigate it must incorporate working with other decision making stakeholders who surround girls. With the help of Google, our idea aims to create an ecosystem that supports the girls as a collective but we also want to focus on the process of achieving this - through respect and empathy for the communities we work with" said Ananya Tiwari, co-founder of SwaTaleem Foundation.

SwaTaleem is also among the four other global funding recipients to receive dedicated Ad Grants support from a Google Account Manager to reach more educators and supporters online with Google Search Ads at no cost, the firm said.

The tech giant said Google.org, Google's Accelerator team and its global Women Techmakers programme will run a four-month global virtual accelerator programme where highly skilled Googlers will provide pro bono support that includes training, networking, and mentorship.

Google on March 8 announced plans to support 1 million rural women entrepreneurs in India as part of its 'Women Will' programme.

Google.org had also provided a $500,000 grant to Nasscom Foundation to provide digital and financial literacy training to 100,000 women agricultural workers in Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh.
Vikas SN
first published: Nov 8, 2021 06:20 pm

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