Our Story

Our Story

 

In 2000, Christopher Brown and his brother Philip made their first visit to the ancient city of Madurai in South India. Laurie Green, then Bishop of Bradwell, had independently also visited Madurai. The three soon realised that together they could offer something that would help transform the lives of those in the surrounding villages where poverty was at unimaginable levels.

They therefore set up "the Friends" as a Registered Charity to raise funds in the UK which would support womens's self-help groups to establish training and sustainable employment for the women and their families. To identify the right projects, the Friends decided to work only through trusted local organisations in the region. Over the years close friendships have grown up so that we can now offer all sorts of appropriate support in addition to the funds for the many projects.

LAURIE & CHRIS MEETIING WITH VILLAGE WOMEN'S SELF-HELP GROUP

WHAT'S SPECIAL ABOUT THE FRIENDS?

 

• TRUSTEES PAY ALL OVERHEADS so every penny you give

goes directly to the poor!

 

• WE WORK ONLY WITH FRIENDS IN INDA, so we can be

sure no donations go astray.

 

• WE VISIT INDIA REGULARLY getting to know the poor

families we serve, where advice is requested,

and monitoring the projects for effectiveness.

 

• WE WORK WITH LOCAL REGISTERED INDIAN CHARITIES

as they provide direct help for small, poor

communities of disenfranchised workers.

 

• WE CHECK ALL PROGRAMMES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Every project must help to provide sustainable

income through good training &

quality employment.

 

• WE USE THE MICRO-CREDIT SYSTEM so that when a

beneficary is back on their feet they can repay

our investment which is then used to fund the

next beneficiary. It makes them feel proud &

your donation just keeps going round and round!