Samfunnsutvikling i landsbyene

SevaChildren has programs to strengthen the villagers in the areas in which we are working, so that they have the opportunity to influence their own lives.

In a series of articles, we will update our readers on our overall activities in India. With this article, we give you an insight into how we empower the villagers to become aware of their own opportunities, strengths and abilities.

Clean drinking water through local Self-Help Groups

Teervethi is a small village near Hosur in the state of Tamil Nadhu. The inhabitants are all from the ethnic group «untouchables». Many in this village are traditional snake catchers and snake tamers. Some earn money by performing work as porters or as landless tillers. It is a poor community where they live in small cottages built under the government's welfare schemes. A drinking water supply provided by the government was in use for about three years when the tank and the connecting pipes were severely damaged. When the villagers reported this to the government, they spoke for deaf ears, and they now had to go to great lengths to fetch drinking water. SevaChildren had meetings with the local community and together they mobilized a press group by forming a self-help group for women. It is a savings and micro-credit-based group, and has 15 women as members. Encouraged and supported by our social workers, they met the authorities and finally succeeded in getting local authorities to hand over to the self-help group the responsibility for buying a new tank and repairing it. The local authorities also agreed to share some of the expenses. SevaChildren contributed the remaining expenses and checked that the work was completed satisfactorily. All the villagers in Theervethi now have clean drinking water available near their houses. The group members feel very happy to have contributed to the development of their village. This first experience of success has been an encouragement to continue working for their local community.

Dirty drinking water kills many children every year through various diseases!

Organization of the urban, marginalized ethnic groups to better bring about development in the areas

With the support and help of the social workers at SevaChildren, needs and available resources in each of the villages are now being mapped. A woman in each village with the desire and potential to become a leader is identified. They receive training for leadership roles in the development of their respective villages. Several awareness-raising programs are being implemented for the village population. In each village we mobilize women and increase awareness of their own value and strength, forming more female self-help groups) based on savings and microcredit. The management groups have been strengthened, in collaboration with Sevachildren, to be responsible for community development activities in the individual villages. This model has proven to be efficient, sustainable and economically cost-saving. We are witnessing the emergence of a power base at the grassroots level, with increased awareness of their ability to address issues that concern them, and through their own efforts and resources have an impact on their own lives. They learn about their rights and take willingly responsibility to participate in societal development issues.


Community development in the villages

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