Empowering women through organised groups
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 50,000 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.
50,000 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.
Power to the people
Women’s self help groups assist their communities with:
- health and education campaigns
- representation of villages to the relevant authorities to lobby on matters such as drinking water, public sanitation, roads, electricity
- promoting tree planting
- promoting kitchen gardens and other food growing activities that improve the environment and people’s livelihoods
- health promotion