After establishing a footprint of collective good and giving people a hand forward in Africa, YUVA has expanded its operation to India by launching YUVA India.
The call for NGOs to be set up in India has many reasons. India is the biggest democracy globally and globally the third-largest economy. However, this comes with many challenges. With activism, civic duty, and the existence of non-government aligned organisations, solutions can be found and enacted. India ranks 78th out of 180 countries in the Global Corruption Index 2018. The rate of illiteracy in India is also immensely high. There is a wide gap between rural and urban areas and men’s and women’s literacy levels. Currently, India’s adult literacy rate is 73.2 per cent. There are still 313 million illiterate people, 59 per cent being women.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) 2021 State of the Education Report for India recommended better support for teachers to fulfil their duties. Healthcare is neglected in India. Almost 50% of rural Indians do not have access to healthcare providers. The Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is 34 per 1000 live births. There is also an alarmingly high lack of nutrition, and 36% of people in India have no access to sanitation. Two-thirds of the Indian population live in poverty. About 68.8% of the population live on less than $2 a day. This falls under extreme poverty. The unemployment rate in India has been decreasing. The overall unemployment rate in India was 8.10 per cent in February 2022 and fell to 7.6 per cent in March 2022. Despite the decrease, the unemployment rate is still high for India and the rural poor, said retired economics professor Abhirup Sarkar at the Indian Statistical Institute.
YUVA’s overarching goal is the sustained well-being of children, youth, and vulnerable communities. Since its inception, it has won various NGO leadership awards. Amplifying its reach and impactful work for the communities it serves. The 2021 project update report is a testament to this. YUVA provides remedial classes to secondary school students in Mauritius. Overall, 79% of learners enrolled in the classes improved their overall academic performance. Irregular attendance at their regular classes decreased by 45%. The learners’ reading skills also improved by 74%.
Over 8000 children between 13 and 16 years old graduated from YUVA’s moral, civic and sex education programme. The learning experience provided children and youth with the necessary information needed to improve their personal development. One of the risk factors leading to sexually transmitted disease infection, unwanted pregnancies and sexual exploitation is a lack of knowledge. The YUVA course helps to mitigate this lack of education. YUVA actively supports learning in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).
The YUVA team reached the first global robotics challenge semi-finals for children between 14 and 17 years old. Its academy provides various leadership courses like Leadership for Social Change (LSC). YUVA encourages ethical leadership across all spheres of life and sectors. It offers practical training to develop young leaders to help find solutions for societal challenges.
YUVA’s Entrepreneurial Mindset Programme has over 4000 graduates. Many of the programmes were conducted in secondary schools. The programme was designed to encourage small business inception and job creation. The organisation also has a Positive Parenting Programme (PPP) to equip parents with skills to raise their children to be responsible and respectful adults. YUVA’s medical camps have impacted over 9000 Mauritians. They conduct basic medical checks like diabetes, hypertension, and overall health. They also have nutrition and sanitation campaigns to encourage healthy eating from a young age and hygienic living.
YUVA has also united communities, businesses, and individuals to mobilise for environmental issues. It organised World Clean Up Days across several villages in Mauritius. It is also helping to reduce unemployment through its online employment portal, helping facilitate employment for the jobless.
Through its programmes, YUVA’s grassroots activist approach has impacted each community it serves positively. It advocates for education, wellness, and sustainable employment. It will be a welcome addition to India to aid and empower its people.