These are women who were abandoned by their communities after the death of their husbands and left as beggars. Many traveled thousands of miles across India to take refuge in Vrindavan, hoping to find shelter.
20,000 widows in Vrindavan are living without their most basic resources.
When the most vulnerable women are empowered, everything changes.
Empowering widows means giving women a life of dignity and respect.
Empowering a widow changes everything
How do we empower widows?
We offer widows jobs with salaries double the local standard to prepare daily meals for their community and local men, women, and children in poverty. These meals offset malnourishment and the need for begging. Additionally, widows are employed to clean and maintain 5,000-year-old historical sites and globally recognized sacred waters around Govardhan, India.
By giving widows paid and meaningful engagement, they become empowered, uplift their communities, and provide futures for themselves and others.
Land is restored
Water is purified
People are fed
When widows of Vrindavan are empowered
QUALITY OF LIFE
95% of widows were married as children. Most were married before 15 years old, widowed by 30, and left to spend the rest of their life begging for survival.
Empowering widows we can disrupt social stigmas against widows, show the value of these women in society, and allow them the opportunity for a life of quality.
90% of widows are uneducated and illiterate, growing up in poor rural villages without access to education.
Giving widows opportunities to learn skill sets, access to educational resources, and financial stability, widows can become strong and stable in society. Empowering widows sets standards for empowering women and girls.
80% of widows lack access to healthcare and struggle with illness, primarily due to a lack of sanitation: access to clean water, toilets, or soap.
When widows can provide for themselves financially and live independently, they no longer have to live and beg in the streets or crowded ashrams, keeping them in unsanitary situations. It also means that healthcare is no longer a struggle when needed.
78% of widows fear for their wellbeing. Living as a societal outcast, widows are left alone and abandoned.
Creating a community for widows not only provides safety and care, but it also strengthens the community as a whole. When widows are empowered, they take on community initiatives and nourish their environments.