About 20 students gathered excitedly at the hall at Pure Life Society, in Puchong, Malaysia waiting for the first session of the Maharani programme. The girls who live at the shelter home were eager to become Maharani girls, a programme designed especially for adolescent girls, that seeks to empower them and help them achieve their full potential.
Maharani programme coordinator M. Barathy Devi said the girls who were aged between 13 to 17 years old, seemed to really enjoy the activities of the programme.
“The girls liked it so much they asked us when we will be coming again for the next session,” she said.
The girls also bonded well with the trainers who conducted the training during the first session.
“The trainers are young graduates who managed to create the right environment and atmosphere for the girls to be comfortable and eager to carry out the activities. The trainers were just a few years older than the girls themselves and this was instrumental in building a good rapport between them,” she said.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between RYTHM Foundation and Pure Life Society recently, under which the Maharani programme is being rolled out to 20 girls who live in the shelter home of Pure Life. Every month, one day is allocated to the activities of the Maharani programme with the aim of inspiring the girls and empowering them to discover their potential. The girls will also take part in the three-phased Maharani camps which will be held in addition to the weekly activities.
This latest MoU marks the expansion of the Maharani programme to the state of Selangor. Last year, an MoU was signed with the Young Women’s Christian Association Kuala Lumpur (YWCAKL) under which about 100 girls benefited from the vocational training offered.
The Maharani Programme, initiated by RYTHM Foundation in 2010 has helped over 7500 girls in Malaysia between the ages of 13 to 16 from poor and marginalised communities, providing skills and knowledge to enable them to identify and work towards their full potential.
Through the Maharani programme, the girls learn about gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, ethnicity and culture, and the importance of physical and spiritual wellness, giving them the tools to develop into conﬁdent, responsible and civic-minded women.