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Save the Children - Youth Champion
Rizwana is a 17-year-old girl who lives with her mother and her older brother Mohammed (22) in an informal settlement next to a busy market in Mumbai, India. Rizwana had several difficult years but was assisted through them by Save the Children partner Hamara Foundation to better educate her family and avoid attempts of child marriage and child labour and eventually continue with her education.
Rizwana passionately believes that women need to be educated and able to earn their own incomes, so they aren’t dependent on men for their safety and support. She cares about education for all girls and works hard to ensure other children in her community have access to the right support so they can attend school or continue their learning remotely.
Rizwana’s leadership skills led her to being selected as a Save the Children Youth Champion, and through the additional support she has received through the Youth Champion program, she has continued to advocate for children’s education, the end of child marriage, and financial independence for vulnerable children and youth.
As part of this, Rizwana was selected be the Assistant Manager of an informal banking program for street children, run by the Hamara Foundation with support from Save the Children. In this role Rizwana manages the accounts of street children, who give her any additional money they earn in a day – which could be as low as 1 rupee – which she records and then deposits in a bank managed by the Hamara Foundation. When the children have an emergency or need to travel, they come to her to request the savings, which she then goes to the bank and obtains.