WHO GETS HELP?
The very poorest communities of India are hidden from most tourists, their villages not usually being very accessible. They comprise the so-called Scheduled Castes, often described as Dalits and ‘Untouchables’ and 'Tribals'. We work mainly with women within these communities who have been forced into indescribable situations ~ difficult for us to believe possible! The Friends help these communities through our local workers, providing basic essentials, tools or facilities. The tools include sewing machines, fishing nets, rope-making equipment or looms, for which we provide additional training. Animal Husbandry and horticulture can also offer substantial improvement in their living standards
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.