Educating and Empowering Underprivileged Women in India
Riaz Aziz and DeLana Duffy-Aziz started the BEGUNAHITM foundation shortly after returning home to the USA from a trip to India in 2013. The journey was to spend time sightseeing and enjoy the wonders of one of the oldest civilizations on earth. Shortly after arriving, Riaz and DeLana befriended the manager at their hotel and she shared with them a story that would embark them on a course they had never imagined.
The manager was part of a woman's organization that had rescued 52 children who had been taken out of their village after their parents were told their child would receive an education. The children were from rural India, where poverty and illiteracy is high, and a promise to educate a child offers families the only hope to improve their impoverished lives.
When the children were rescued, they were found living in filthy conditions, sedated with drugs and alcohol, offered no education, confined within a small space, not permitted to play outdoors, and forced to give up their bodies to an industry trafficking on the innocence of children. Using threats and coercion, the children were kept from sharing information about their plight with their families. After being rescued, the children were examined by medical professionals who determined that virtually all of the children had been sexually molested.
Shortly after returning home in the U.S.A, Riaz and DeLana started BEGUNAHITM (meaning innocence), in the belief that we all have a social responsibility to those in need, and they have dedicated the foundation to educating women and girls so they become empowered to improve the quality of their lives and stand on their own.