All photos by Jesse Ward.
When I reflect back on my visit to the North West Delhi ADP (Area Development program), the photos I took give me a deeper sense of understanding to the important work that World Vision Australia is doing in this area. Situated an hour out of New Delhi in an urban setting, the North West Delhi focuses on a number of different social-psychological programs that aim to assist children who may be experiencing abuse at a physical or emotional level. Other common issues in this particular community are that children experience abandonment by parents, which has a direct effect on a child’s development and sense of belonging.
When I refer to the photos taken; I had the opportunity to sit in on a girls defence class run by World Vision Australia and the local police, to teach young girls about self-defence and create a greater sense of security and morale in the community. It is common for young girls to be sexually or physically abused in this community whether that be in the home or on the street. Due to this many young girls leave home and reside on the streets where their safety is completely uncertain, and they miss out on the chance to be educated.
A young girl by the name of Arti who I had the fortune of meeting, told me about her role as a youth volunteer and leader in the community. Arti, who was studying a Bachelor of Arts, helped run not only the girls self-defence class but was also in charge of making monthly visits to the 250 children assigned to her that were being sponsored in the community. As a young woman she felt her role was particularly important in showing other young girls that they should feel empowered to seek education and not be afraid to pursue their own dreams. She felt that by making girls feel more secure in their community it allowed them to move more freely between home and school, and to feel safe while playing in the streets. This simple change to their state of mind and sense of security changed the way they envisioned their lives and what their potential was as an individual. Girls like Arti are leaders in a change of attitude towards Women and young girls in India, where there is a growing demand for further gender equality.