Safeena Husain is the Executive Director of Educate Girls. Safeena has been committed to girls education in India since 2002. She has worked extensively with rural and urban underserved communities in South America, Africa and Asia. From 1997 to 2004, she was the Chief Executive Director for Child Family Health International in San Francisco, managing and supporting a range of development programs in the area of health. She was also Board Chair of the International Development Exchange in San Francisco, a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable solutions to poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America, as well as serving on the Advisory Council of the Clarence Foundation. Safeena holds a BS from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, and was born and raised in New Delhi, India.
Educate Girls’ mission is to reform government schools for girls’ education by leveraging existing community and government resources. The vision of Educate Girls is to achieve behavioral, social and economic transformation for all girls towards an India where all children have equal opportunities to access quality education.
Educate Girls’ model leverages the current government’s investment in education. It mobilizes underutilized resources in the form of parents, communities, teachers, government officials, and even other children to bring girls who have dropped out back into school, and improve overall school quality. Educate Girls also identifies outstanding young women and men committed to the cause of girls education, called Team Balika, to be lifelong leaders who will continue to spread this movement long after Educate Girls’ exit.
Educate Girls works with out-of-school girls in gender gap districts in Rajasthan. The organization focuses on enrollment and retention of girls in government schools. The organization brings about school reforms through community ownership and impacts learning outcomes of all children. The model has been designed in keeping with the best interests of the girl child, non-discrimination and community participation.
Educate Girls covers 4,425 schools in the Pali and Jalore districts with 495,210 children. Empowering and educating girls yields positive returns to individuals, families and societies, both now and for generations to come. Educated girls are three times less likely to have HIV+, earn 10% more income than their non-educated peers, marry three years later on average, and have healthier and fewer children. Between March 2010 and February 2012, Educate Girls had the following impact: