In this project kindly supported by PepsiCo Foundation, we have teamed up with the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) to identify the needs of the community of Ahmedabad in India, and to implement a SoCCs project for improvement. This area was previously characterized by widespread viral and water borne diseases, a lack of awareness regarding cleanliness and hygiene, and a significant percentage of children not attending school or any type of educational instruction. To combat all of this, program participants earn SoCCs for waste management, attending medical camp, and sending school-aged children to classes if they had not previously been attending school. SoCCs are then redeemed for organic groceries, stationery supplies, and home improvement materials. As a result of the SoCCs program in Ahmedabad, the local government has noticed improvements in the appearance of the neighborhood and is now supporting the initiative. In addition, members of surrounding communities are also observing the benefits of the SoCCs program and have shown interest in joining.
Kadam Resource Centers for Development in Ahmedabad
AI has been working with the Center for Development in Ahmedabad, India, to implement sustainable changes in the areas of women’s self help groups, safe institutional births, involvement of community leaders, healthcare workshops, and girls mentoring their peers. The establishment of the Kadam Resource Center for Girls (KRCG) has provided a safe environment for young girls to learn about socially taboo topics such as self-defense and puberty, most specifically menstruation. The girls who attend these workshops at the KRCG then spread this information to other girls in their surrounding communities, promoting the widespread knowledge of opportunities for female advancement in society. SoCCs are earned from community leaders holding meetings, midwives providing pregnancy monitoring from conception to delivery, the implementation of first aid training in the community, and girls teaching their female peers the information learned in KRCG workshops. SoCCs are thus redeemed for KRCG girls’ travel expenses, hygiene kits for girls and women, fees for teachers, and the rent for the KRCG building.
Our partnership with Ruaab, a garment production company owned and managed by craftswomen from the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), has empowered 350 Delhi women artisans to join the SoCCs program. Ruaab previously had issues with quality control and timely pick-up and delivery for the skilled embroidery work performed by their women for name brands such as Zara and Gap. However, this is no longer an issue since women earn SoCCs for timeliness and quality of their work. Holding the Ruaab members professionally accountable for their production has helped increase wages and also improved working conditions.
The women artisans also earn SoCCs for opening bank accounts to encourage savings habits, vaccinating their children to reduce infant mortality rates, and sending children to school regularly. Individuals may redeem iSoCCs for LED lights for homes, tutoring services, and sanitary supplies to promote home cleanliness, while the community may redeem CommSoCCs for recreational activities and group insurance.
Village Knowledge Centers
Asia Initiatives supports education of children and adults through MSSRF’s Village Knowledge Centers/Village Resource Centers (VKCs/VRCs) and helps drive literacy programs that are critical to people’s ability to climb out of poverty. Support has been provided to schools in Pune in India and Manila in Philippines. Donated computers have enabled schools to offer highly effective computerized learning programs. We have also supported creation of software for use in English classes in government schools in Maharashtra with the Bombay Community Public Trust. By supporting Mobile Crèches, we provided education to children of migrant construction workers in New Delhi. We also support boys and girls clubs run by Ashta no Kai in the villages of Pune to educate youth about life skills, health and gender related issues like early marriage and dowry.