Meet Shubangi, one of our longest attending Balbhavan beneficiaries who we have proudly watched grow up over the past 12-13 years. She lives in one of our poorest slums with her 2 younger sisters and brother. Her father is one of the ubiquitous vada pav sellers plying bus stands and her mother is a maid.
As well as completing her final years of a BA in social work she has been campaigning for girls' education as a peer mentor for our Educate. Empower. Lead. campaign. Having watched all her friends give up their education in favour of marriage, the 22 year old is determined to complete her degree and join the police force before settling down herself. Having grown up attending our evening study classes she still turns up every night to teach and inspire the next generation and is a great role model for other girls living in slums.
On top of all it all she also has a passion for football and is a member of our women's football team and having represented Snehalaya and Maharashtra in the Slum Soccer state and national championships and has been selected to represent India in the 2019 Homeless World Cup in Cardiff, UK. The competition works with partners in 450 locations, reaching 100,000 homeless people every year and so far has impacted the lives of 1 million homeless people around the globe. Save the date for the competition which kicks off on 27 July with the final being played on 3 August. Shubhangi says:
"I am so happy and excited to be representing my country in Cardiff, playing football. I will also be representing all girls and also my family from Snehalaya because without them and my family at Balbhavan, I would not be able to train every day and play the sport I love."
We need your help to ensure Shubhangi makes it to the pitch. It will cost around Rs 1 lakh (US$1,500, £1,100) to cover her pre-departure training and UK travel expenses. You can show your support by donating and if you are in the UK this summer, cheering her on at Cardiff's iconic Bute Park.