Our Work

Case Study: From Fish Farmer to Politician
Key Stats:
Number of Indian organisations Tzedek has partnered with:
Indian States that Tzedek works in
Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar
Our evaluations show:
Increased levels of income
Our evaluations also show:
Our projects also allow the release from debt to money lenders, increase community participation, enable more children to go to school, and improve family life.
What's been said:
"The livelihood support delivered by Tzedek through ROSE helped me and my family overcome our economic burden. We now lead a life with dignity, self-respect and self-rule!"
Mrs Nagavalli

Tzedek has been working with partners to lift communities out of poverty for over 25 years. In creating sustainable increases in income, Tzedek focuses on four main areas – agriculture, vocational training, livestock and microcredit.

Our projects are initiated and run by our partners. We approve, fund and evaluate our projects. Our projects have consistently shown to help our beneficiaries earn more than £1 a day, bringing them above the poverty line and enabling beneficiaries to live life in dignity. However, an increase in income is just the beginning.

We sent a questionnaire to our partners asking them what additional changes there have been in their beneficiary families and communities following our funding. Here is a wonderful story from the Rural Organisation for Social Education (ROSE) in Tamil Nadu, India.
Ms Nagavalli, 40, is a mother of two children and her husband is a traditional fish worker. Before joining the project, she worked in pottery to earn additional income. Following Tzedek’s funding, ROSE led training in capacity building in livelihood development and their rights as workers for 30 coastal fisherwomen. The training inspired Ms. Nagavalli to lead social change for her community – and beyond.
“I took a personal interest and played a vital role in forming two more Women’s Self Help Groups in the same village. When the government planned to launch the SEDHU CANAL project, which would displace thousands of members of the local fishing population, as well as affect the entire livelihood of the fishing community and the vibrant ecosystem of flora and fauna, we put up a brave fight and prevented the project.”

“Similarly, I took the lead in protesting against the setting up of shrimp farm at Seetharamapattinam, as it damages the environment and causes a lack of drinking water and fishing opportunities. We campaigned across 52 coastal villages, and we organised mass rallies and street corner meetings. I became an activist in protecting the coastal resources by arranging public meetings, advocacy activities, campaigns and other forms of activism.”

“I also made effective use of the Right To Information (RTI) Act to get the required information and data to advocate for the rights and entitlement of the poor women. Using the RTI, I successfully lobbied government departments to allocate new houses to the needy and deserving fish workers in the coastal villages.”

“When the Self Help Gropu members encouraged me to stand in the local elections, I agreed and got elected as a ward member. I deeply appreciated this achievement, since this was the first time a woman from the fishing community had ever come to the forefront of public life!”

“Unfortunately, the path of my success was not as smooth as anyone would think…..They fabricated stories against me. They went to the extent of teasing my son who was studying in a college. He felt ashamed and hence refused to go to college and dropped out. He wasted one year before he was motivated again and persuaded to continue his college studies. I received hundreds of threatening phone calls from unidentified sources. My family had many sleepless nights.”

“The livelihood support delivered by Tzedek through ROSE helped me and my family overcome our economic burden. We now lead a life with dignity, self-respect and self-rule!”