Bollywood Actress, International recording Artist and UNICEF India Ambassador Priyanka Chopra met with young women in Chandrapur,
India, to mark International Youth Day and to witness how their lives are being transformed through the Building Young Futures programme, which is run in partnership with Barclays.
Priyanka Chopra has been supporting UNICEF’s adolescent work in India for eight years. During her visit she met young women from the Building Young Futures programme, locally known as Deepshikha, and saw how they are being empowered to help fulfil their potential.
Building Young Futures is a global partnership between Barclays and UNICEF that aims to unlock the potential of young people from disadvantaged communities. Through the programme in India young women are receiving peer to peer support in developing the life, enterprise and financial skills they need to overcome the challenges they face to become strong, financially independent women as well as agents of change in their communities. This includes learning how to save, building business plans,developing their own enterprises and learning how to network as well as buildingconfidence, understanding girl’s rights and leadership skills.
In India there are around 243 million adolescents who are facing rising youth unemployment . Life can be particularly hard for young women as they face the challenges of limited economic opportunities and access to training and employment, which reinforce broader issues of discrimination, early marriage, violence and poverty.
Priyanka Chopra said: “Girls have the ability to transform their own lives, develop their own enterprises and help grow India’s economy. The Building Young Futures programme being implemented by UNICEF in collaboration with Barclays is giving them the vital skills and support they need to make this happen.
“I met girls who have experienced incredible hardship in their lives. Building Young Futures has given them a voice and confidence, or ‘daring’ as they call it. These girls are working together, setting up businesses, planning their futures; they are empowered to handle the challenges life throws at them. I strongly advocate that parents, care-givers and educators must give the girls more and more opportunities to grow in their lives.”
In India,by 2015, Building Young Futures will have empowered around100,000 girls and young women directly and another 200,000 girls through the programme being scaled up by the Maharashtra Human Development Commissionerate.The programme depends on UNICEF, Barclays