Safeena Husain, founder of Educate Girls. Photo by: Emma Smith

Growing up in India, Safeena Husain, the founder of Educate Girls, was always encouraged by her father to follow her own path. This led her to study in London before taking a job with a startup in Silicon Valley and then quitting that to pursue her “calling” in life and work in community-based global development.

In 2004, after 10 years working with underserved communities in South America, Africa, and Asia, Husain returned to India. While she was aware of the opportunities, achievements, and skills afforded to her by her education, a trip to a rural village to set up a clinic with her father reminded her that this is not the case for all girls. During that trip, Husain saw how the women in the village pitied her father for having only a daughter.

About the author

  • Emma Smith

    Emma Smith is a Reporter at Devex. She covers all things related to careers and hiring in the global development community as well as mental health within the sector — from tips on supporting humanitarian staff to designing mental health programs for refugees. Emma has reported from key development hubs in Europe and co-produced Devex’s DevProWomen2030 podcast series. She holds a degree in journalism from Glasgow Caledonian University and a master's in media and international conflict. In addition to writing for regional news publications, she has worked with organizations focused on child and women’s rights.