We strive to empower the most disadvantaged and underprivileged people in rural Tamil Nadu by making them the architects of their own positive development. This is achieved by encouraging villagers to look at the root of their problems. Once they know what their problems are and what they want to solve, we offer them the support to do this.
We hire local animators, who are people who live in the villages where we work, because they know their own communities the best and are dedicated to making them stronger.
The women’s self-help groups are at the core of our integrated community development
There are currently around 3,500 women’s groups in 600 villages involving around 55,000 women. The WSHGs are involved in all aspects of village life, and their activities relate to much of the UN Millennium Development Goals to reduce global poverty.
55,000 women have saved Rs.10 crore (around 15.38m USD) to fund their own future security.
When a new group is formed the first priority is to save money together. These women’s savings groups fund many microfinance schemes for personal, educational or work-related usage. For many, this is the first taste of independence and a chance to free themselves from crippling money lenders or exploitative labour.
Women’s self help groups assist their communities with:
Five hundred new WSHGs were formed last year, and there is potential for about the same number in 2011.