For the time being, CFCE-India has chosen to concentrate our work among a small subsection of the poor women whom we call Miss Gen.
Who is the Miss Gen? It stands for Missed Generations, meaning the lower strata of women who were born between 1960-1990 (who are now mostly in the late 20-50 years age group) in Kerala. They were born poor and grew up poor. Unfortunately, they grew up at a time when very little educational and economical opportunities were available, particularly for the socially discriminated lower class folks like Dalits (former untouchables), the Fisherwomen or the Tribals (Adivasis). Most likely, many of them were also victims of the culture which often considered the girls’ education or economic advancement unimportant, compared to those for boys. For most of these generations, it was a constant struggle for everyday survival. In those days, the social system offered very little opportunities for these women to get a proper education or employment. Many of them had perhaps one option- to become house-hold servants. These are the Miss Gen, we are focusing on.
Basically, our goal is to educate them, encourage them and empower them. Our hope is that our efforts will offer them opportunities to improve their educational levels, gain useful skills and give them sufficient motivation to pursue suitable economic activities to advance their lives and become a part of the emerging India.
In short, through an experimental social project, our vision is to create a workable and self sustainable educational and economic model with emphasis on family –centered development and economic growth among the Miss Gen community. If successful, this will become a model which can be further replicated widely within the state of Kerala and elsewhere in India. In that sense, ours is a social experiment with a larger vision.