Why the Friends approach is different.
“Our aim is to help people to help themselves”
• We concentrate on micro finance as a way to continue to reinvest our funds.
• We carry no overheads – all the Trust costs are carried by the Trustees.
• We follow and monitor our investments with regular visits to India to see the people we are helping and to meet with the local organisations that help us on the ground.
• We invest directly in an enterprise or equipment because it can increase the value of each worker’s efforts.
• We invest directly in local organisations which are registered charities in their local Indian State. They provide direct help for small, poor communities of disenfranchised workers.
Many of the communities we serve are made up of indigenous tribal people who are marginalised and disregarded in many ways. Some are comprised of orphans or widows who are then rejected by their families, some even reduced to enforced prostitution. All the communities are so-called Scheduled Castes, often described as Dalits and ‘Untouchables’. The Friends help these communities either by ‘micro-finance’ loans or direct grants to provide basic essentials, tools or facilities. The tools include sewing machines, fishing nets, rope-making equipment or looms, for which we provide additional training. Livestock and horticulture can also offer substantial improvement in their living standards and so animal husbandry and the provision of goats, cows and fowls has been important. All this and more helps reduce dependence on subsistence level work such as day-labouring in the fields or on the fishing beaches. Where appropriate the Friends endeavour to make ‘micro-credit’ loans which means that, when the project becomes self-sustaining, the loans are repaid and go towards re-investment in other villages and new projects.
What is Micro Credit?
We believe that Micro-Credit Schemes are one of the best ways of helping poor communities in India. We make small loans to allow groups or communities to buy animals or equipment which they can use to help themselves to improve their living conditions. They pay a very low rate of interest during the term of the loan and repay the loan principal over time. From the interest and the loan repayments, the local group can reinvest in other worthwhile projects. In this way the money continues to grow and allows us to find the funds needed to meet the continuing stream of new projects. Moreover if the loan has to be repaid, it also helps ensure that the borrowers look after the asset that will eventually belong to them. We often provide Training and Education to go alongside these schemes so that the beneficiaries can make the very best use of their investment.
Registered in England : Charity Number 1126907
friends of the poor in south india : for more information please contact Chris Brown :- firstname.lastname@example.org
friends of the poor in south india