Providing empowerment one punch, one kick, one kiai at a time.
Green Tara Project believes in the transformative power of mental and physical self defense. It is our mission to empower women and girls through self defense and life skills education and training, to create a world where women have the power to be their own agents of change. We create and teach programs designed specifically for women and children to embody the spirit of ‘Green Tara,’ a female Buddhist figure of liberation, protection, and enlightened activity.
In 2010, it became clear to the founder of Green Tara Project that psychologically and physically vulnerable women and girls become the victims of human trafficking. There are many reputable and hard working organizations providing excellent care to females who are impoverished, illiterate, or otherwise at-risk of falling prey to human trafficking, as well as to those who have suffered and been rescued from trafficking situations. But we know that these same organizations and the survivor face a daunting road to recovery. Building self esteem and self confidence take something that no money can buy: time and will. And yet, without self esteem and self confidence, girls lack will, hope and the ability to dream. As a result, rebuilding a real life from the horrors of abuse and/or trafficking is often out of reach for many women.
Green Tara Project is paving the way to that future by helping at-risk women become their own agent of change through turn-key personal safety programs for women’s organizations. Green Tara Project has had great success engaging with at-risk and rescued ladies, building their self esteem, and guiding them to experience their power and their ability to hope and dream again.
We realized Green Tara Project was not only doing sessions in defense techniques but also in enhancing confidence building of girls. The girls discovered a new self in them and ‘I cannot do this’ turned to ‘I can do anything’ for all the girls.” – Jyoti Nale-Tajane, Senior Program Officer, Save Our Sisters (Save the Children – Mumbai).
Before Green Tara Project was a glimmer in my eye, I set my sights on the seemingly impossible: beginning competitive karate at the age of 37. Eight years later, having won numerous tournaments, I asked myself, “Hmmm, if that is what I can accomplish with an intense amount of focus, what else can I do?” I read the book ‘Half the Sky’ by Sheryl Wudunn and Nicholas Kristof, and was exposed to the heinousness of human trafficking. With no more than a desire to help and some karate skills, I ventured to India in 2010 and taught 75 at-risk and rescued girls. At the end of what I thought was a one-time trip, I asked myself, “What else can I do?” I researched human trafficking and women’s personal safety issues and found there was a gap. Even as violence against women globally escalates and self esteem amongst teen aged girls plummets, there is limited access to self defense and esteem-building programs. So in 2012, I formed a 501( c ) (3) organization to empower unempowered segments of humanity who fall prey to human trafficking. Green Tara Project was born
Since that time, nearly 800 women and girls have received self defense training in some of the more marginalized, impoverished, and dangerous places in the world.
I believe in a world where women have the power to be their own agents of change. Where all women have the tools to be a ‘Green Tara.’ Where all women experience their own power, and ask themselves, “What else can do?”