21-year-old Roma comes from India, where she lives in a resettlement colony in Southern Delhi with her parents and two younger siblings.
When she was in her late teens, Roma’s family faced severe financial difficulties and she was forced to drop out of school, before she could get qualifications and skills required to gain a decent job.
With limited education or vocational training, Roma had difficulty finding work. After months of searching for a job that would allow her to take care of herself, to support her family and to save enough money to go back to school, she enrolled in a youth economic empowerment project being implemented by Plan International in Delhi.
After enrolling, she successfully completed her vocational training and secured a good job very quickly.
Today, not only Roma is able to cover her own expenses and help her family, she is more independent and more confident as a result. “I am much more confident now that I can take care of myself and my family,” she says.
Since she started working two years ago, Roma has saved enough money to start studying again. “It was a real moment of pride for me,” she says. “If everything goes well, next year I will be able to pass my Bachelor’s Degree.”
Roma strongly believes that girls should be given equal opportunities and encouragement so that they can realise their full potential, and she never misses a chance to advocate towards that goal.
“If I could make decisions about my community, I would make sure that all girls get an education and opportunities matching their skills,” she adds. “If given the opportunity, young people can become the agents of change in their community and country.”