GRL Collective was founded by Kristine Acosta in October of 2017. As a survivor of child sexual abuse, she sought to help educate other children and young girls on how to prevent this type of abuse. After doing research she found that every 1 in 2 children in India is sexually abused. She found the Sambhali Trust in Jodhpur, India that runs a 'No Bad Touch' program and decided to quit her job at a marketing agency and volunteer for 40 days with the trust.
The Sambhali Trust has two guest homes and several empowerment centers to help women and girls in Jodhpur. The boarding homes have girls ages 5-17. These girls come from villages nearby where they do not have access to education. The trust takes care of giving the girls a place to live, medical care, and access to a nearby school. They also provide volunteer tutors to help with homework and teach workshops to the girls. In addition, women and girls who do not live in the boarding homes have access to the empowerment centers which are open all day. At the empowerment centers in the morning volunteers teach women and older girls basic English, Math and writing skills. Most of these women and girls have never been to school a day in their life. They are allowed to bring their babies and it a safe space to learn. In the afternoon the empowerment center takes in younger kids from surrounding school to help with homework, play and more.
Upon returning home it was important to continue helping these girls that had forever changed our outlook on life. Education is empowering and it is the key to escaping poverty. GRL Collective is a for profit company that has partnered with non- profit, The Sambhali Trust to provide these young girls scholarships to continue their education. In addition, the dream has been to create a collective that is for all women. Through travel, networking, volunteer work and mentorship we hope to empower women all over the world because are truly better together.