Education Champion Network

Yuman Hussain

Executive Director, Azad India Foundation Champion since 2019
“Empowered girls can voice their opinions and challenge structural and gender-based inequality.”
Helping girls reenrol in school and keep up with their coursework through supplemental classes

The Issue

There are over 23 million girls out of school in Bihar state, the second highest number of any state in India. In many communities, gender stereotypes force girls out of the classroom and into household work. As a result, only 21% of girls in Bihar state move on to secondary education.

Yuman’s approach

Community Advocacy

At a time when it was taboo for Muslim women in the district of Kishanganj to leave their homes, Yuman became the first woman in her community to defy that practice. She then set up a learning centre for girls near her village, which became the foundation for her organisation, Azad India Foundation (AIF). AIF supports women, adolescents and children in Kishanganj by providing them with education and life skills training.

With her Malala Fund grant, Yuman leads non-formal education programmes and holds supplemental classes at her centres to help marginalised girls in Bihar reenter school or keep up with their coursework. Through life skill sessions and vocational classes, AIF equips girls with the skills they need to pursue careers of their choosing and become financially independent. AIF also hosts community workshops to teach parents and school officials about gender equality and how to make schools safer for girls.

Yuman’s impact

AIF is currently working with 5,600 children — including more than 4,000 girls — in 130 villages. Since 2019, AIF has helped 470 girls from their learning centres reenrol in government schools.

With the Indian chapter of the Malala Fund Education Champion Network, Yuman led the 2020 #SpendOnEd campaign to increase the government’s spending on education to 10% of the national budget.

More about Yuman

Website: AIF
Twitter: @yumanhussain
Organization's Facebook: Azad India Foundation
Organization's Twitter: @kishanganjazad1

There are 9 other Education Champions working in India.