Mighty Leaf for Mighty Women
Women make up the majority of the tea labor force; 70% of tea garden workers are women. Yet women rarely, if ever, rise to supervisor-level roles. We believe that by giving women access to more education and opportunity, we are empowering them with opportunities to make a difference not just in their own lives, but in the lives of their families and communities.
Every year, we will select women-focused non-profit organizations to partner with. This year, we’re partnering with She’s the First. She’s the First is a global non-profit that provides scholarships, mentorship, and empowerment to girls in low-income countries who will be the first in their families to graduate.
This year, we are sponsoring ten She’s the First scholars, giving them access to text books, tuition and the support programs they need in order to succeed in and outside of the classroom. Meet some of our She’s the First Scholars in India.
Rakshitha M. is in Grade 3. She says, "I live with my father, mother, sister, brother, grandma, and grandfather. I like to play on the swings in my home, my brother pushes me so high! I also love to study English. My favorite story is the Three Little Bears. My favorite memory was a time we played on the playground with some new volunteer teachers. We slid down the slide together and had lots of fun. When I grow up, I’m going to be a doctor. I want to be a doctor so I can help people and take care of my parents if they’re sick."
Sunitha S. is in Grade 4 and lives with her mother, grandmother and older brother. She says, "School used to be really challenging for me. I didn’t have very good grades, but I worked hard to learn how to study. Now, I always study and make good grades. I love to dance! My favorite music is hip-hop. I really like to dance to Michael Jackson music. My favorite memory is an arts camp we had. Amazing arts volunteers came during the summer and taught us songs, games, dances, and art. It’s really fun! When I grow up, I want to be a Veterinary Doctor. I want to make animals better and keep them from spreading disease to people too. Veterinary Doctors get to help animals and people!"
Mercina D.L. is in Grade 6. She says, "I live with my mother, grandfather, and brother. My mother cares for my grandfather and my 10-year-old brother at home. Since she can’t work, my uncle supports us financially. When difficult things happen in my life, I tell myself that I can do it if I keep trying! Inside I know that I can, and I try my hardest to overcome whatever challenge I’m facing. I love dancing to Bollywood music, and singing Hindi music. In the future I want to become a cardiologist that takes care of peoples’ hearts. I want to take care of my family and others."
Hannah M.A. is in Grade 12. She says, "I live with my parents and siblings. I have four siblings; an older sister and a younger brother, and two younger sisters. My mom works in tea packaging. One of my big challenges is trying something new outside of my comfort zone. Only if you come out of your comfort zone will you know that there are things you can do that you did not know about before! I love playing soccer, reading science fiction, and dancing Hip Hop and Bhangra. I’m also learning to play the piano, and I love to sing too. I want to become a computer science engineer when I grow up, but I also want to do it in such a way that it includes business."
Boovitha A. is in Grade 12. She says, "I live with my mom, my dad, and my older sister. My mother works in sewing and my father works with metal. I love playing soccer, singing, and dancing. My favorite songs to sing are pop songs, and I love dancing to hip hop. At school, I’ll never forget jumping into the swimming pool with all of my friends and the volunteer teachers. It showed how much love we have for each other. In the future, I want to become a banker. People don’t want to invest in India, but I do! It will be my way of giving back to my country."