It’s been a long time coming but we are happy to announce that we’re finally heading over to India! This summer, from July 10th to 24th, Ginie Servant, Floris Eland and our newest recruit Krissi Silianova will be bringing the empowerment of martial arts to a community of girls in the Holy City of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. We will be working together with a local association Ashadiya, who has been looking after girls from very underprivileged backgrounds in and around Varanasi with the support of their French parent organisation. We expect to bring self-defense and the basics of martial arts to 25 girls aged 10 to 17 this summer, in what promises to be two very intensive (and hot) weeks.
The coming together of FairFight India has been no mean feat. Last year Ginie travelled to Bangalore with the hope of setting up shop in two schools there, but since that trip, too many difficulties cropped up and it was getting more and more likely that we would have to postpone India until 2017 at least. Then, out of the blue, two students from Erasmus University College contacted the FairFight team: they had just returned from Varanasi and were very keen to introduce us to the association that they had volunteered with. We arranged a Skype meeting with Meera Rana and Anne-Laure Chanteloup who run Ashadiya locally in early February and immediately saw how our two organizations could work together.
As we’re travelling to India with a small crew and martial arts equipment is readily available in the country, we will bring only a minimal amount of training gear with us to India and hope instead to purchase everything locally. We’re also on the lookout for a martial arts teacher in Varanasi. We have a couple of leads in kickboxing, taekwondo and karate, but so far we’re still waiting to hear back from our partners on this subject. We’re making this our number one priority between now and July as the sustainability of the FairFight model rests on investing in local martial artists. We’re confident that this will fall into place in the next couple of months, and will be keeping you up to date!