India – The Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls’ School in Rajasthan is opening to support women and girls through education – with an added dose of craft skills.
Known as the Gyaan Centre, the school runs a state-based curriculum in a bid to close the education gap for girls living below the poverty line in the Thar Desert region of Jaisalmer District. Beyond traditional schooling, however, the initiative is also working with local artisans to teach women weaving and embroidery techniques. While this element will preserve local craft, it will also stimulate the local economy through designs that can be offered and sold via the global marketplaces.
‘I realised that through an economic avenue, I could entice these communities to send their girls to school. I decided to build a girls’ school and a women’s economic development centre focused on educating girls and preserving the dying handicrafts,’ explains Michael Daube, artist and founder of Citta, the non-profit organisation behind the Gyaan Centre.
Globally, Young Nativists are reconnecting with their indigenous roots, seeking experiences, communities and education that preserve ancestral knowledge.