This action research project is about the education for livelihood and life skills of marginalized young girls. This project was based from my experience in the Youth-Led Action Research Project organized by ASPBAE and UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning (UIL), which gradually led to the conception of the present action research project for the empowerment of the marginalized rural girls suppressed by patriarchal social systems. The Shodhinis are the subjects and objects of this action research. A hundred girls from ten villages conducted action research on the topics of gender, education, livelihood and life skills to young marginalized young girls aged between 14 to 25 years old in their respective communities. The Shodhinis discovered the joys of learning as they took positive steps in discovering and empowering themselves. The research enabled them to conduct various research methods like census and in-depth surveys of their fellow girls in their villages. As part of the research process, the girls also drew up a community map to understand their village. The relevance of this project to GCED values cannot be overemphasized especially in developing the cognitive, emotional and the behavioral dimensions of the girls themselves.
This project not only focuses on analyzing the findings derived from the gathered data but also on generating action based on the data. It helped improve the way Shodhinis looked at themselves, their families, and their communities, inspiring them to become agents of change in their own lives as well as those of other girls in their villages. By amplifying their voices and opinions in the decision making processes at the family and community levels – for instance, by lobbying for the construction of libraries – the Shodhinis were able to demonstrate their leadership skills in shaping the development of their villages, thereby enhancing their dignity and self-worth.