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There are nearly 3 million people in the city of Lucknow in Northern India. Few can match the determination of a tenth grader named Kiran Sahu. After her father passed away, she spent much of her childhood in other people’s homes, cooking and cleaning to support her mother and siblings.

In this picture, a woman with a medium-deep skin tone wearing a blue and 
orange shirt is shown in an ally with multiple bikes behind her.

Her financial circumstances alone would have made attending school difficult, but as is so often the case with girls’ education, it wasn’t just a question of resources. Members of her family couldn’t stand to see her attend school. One relative burned her books and uniform. At age 13, that same relative pulled her out of school on five separate occasions.

But in the face of gender discrimination and high school fees, Kiran had champions. That includes her mother, who always encouraged her to get an education; to choose a path different from the one she followed. And it also includes Dr. Urvashi Sahni, the founder of the Study Hall Educational Foundation and the Prerna Girls School that Kiran attends.

A girl with long hair with curly ends, deep skin, dot shaped earings, and a mostly blue, with black, and feint yellow accent dress stands holding the side of a door way. She looks out towards a road. The lighting is dark. The buildings are made of brick that has moss growing at the bottoms and flaking paint.

Prerna is more than just a school. It’s an accepting environment that provides access to education for more than 800 girls, many of whom could not otherwise afford it. Prerna also provides girls like Kiran a safe space to discuss issues outside of school work, offering them emotional support and care beyond the classroom. And if girls are ever forced to leave, Prerna and Dr. Sahni welcome them back with open arms when they return.

A older women with long brown hair, medium skin with warm undertones, a red dot with three small dots in a pryamid shape above just below her forehead, and rosy cheeks. She is wearing fabrics typically seen from south-asian cultures. She is standing with her hands on two school desks. She is in a green classroom with a chalk board in the backgrond. The room is dark and in ok condition.

Dr. Sahni, Kiran’s teacher and the founder of the Study Hall Educational Foundation

Dr. Sahni is one of the grassroots leaders that the Girls Opportunity Alliance supports around the world. Her Foundation has helped expand girls’ education throughout urban and rural India and was one of the first organizations listed on our crowdfunding platform. Thanks to the support of donors from around the world, we’ve raised $25,000 to support Dr. Sahni’s efforts to provide a formal education to girls in rural communities, like Kiran.

Now I am proud to say that I’m the most educated person in my family.”


Today, Kiran is well on her way to earning the education she always wanted, and fulfilling a new dream: to become a police officer and prove that girls can run the world.

In this picture, three young girls with different skin tones are shown with 
magnifying glasses are looking into a cut-in-half bottle of brown water.

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You can support young women around the world through the Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund.

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