In the Thiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu, social status, dignity and financial stability are hard to come by. The most vulnerable members of society, the tribal poor, have no access to amenities, stable incomes or methods with which to escape this entrapment.
The New Entity of Welfare Society (NEWS), receiving funding from Tzedek for a second time, proposes to teach 40 women the skills they need to attain financial stability and self-sufficiency. This group of women, from 3 villages in the district, will be trained in marketing and simple accountancy skills. These skills will be combined with funding of seed money to establish petty trading businesses.
From the skills training and the establishment of businesses, women will be able to increase their daily income from £0.65 a day, below the poverty level as set by The World Bank, to over £1.30 a day. In areas where poverty is a matter of pennies, not pounds, a doubling of income amounts to a significant lifestyle change; mothers will have far more utility for supporting their families. In addition, the social status of these women, and therefore their communities, will be protected and enhanced, and they will retain their dignity through their work.
The Knock-on Effect
NEWS initiated this project with the express aim that a small proportion of beneficiaries new salaries (15% per year) would be given back to NEWS, in order to fund repeat programs in the future. This management plan will ensure that more women can be lifted from poverty and more families as well.