What difference does your $20 a month make?

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SAFP’s Family Development Program partners our contributors with impoverished families in India in a unique way to promote empowerment and sustainable development. The monthly $20 donation is deposited directly into a bank account that has been set up for the family, so that 100% of the donation reaches them. Our staff in the field support families in planning and budgeting to address the issues that are most important to them and to start a small business. Beneficiaries also receive training on a variety of topics designed to promote physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy families and to provide skills needed to improve their standard of living.

What does all of this mean for the families and what kind of changes can it make in their lives? We asked some beneficiaries to share their experience with us and here is what they had to share.

Jasmine from Kannur, Kerala says: “In the beginning did not have the confidence to go outside of my house, I was too frightened. After joining my self-help group, the Save A Family Plan staff motivated me in starting my own business. So I began selling clothes and making candles. My husband is now preparing to start fishing in his new boat which we bought ourselves with our own funds. Now I have become the secretary of my Parish Church. Now I can take classes with others and am able to go and train other people without hesitation or fear. I am able to motivate others as well.”

Meera from Amravati, Maharashtra shares with us the change she experienced in her life: “My family was deprived of even our most basic needs. With the intervention of SAFP I received a new life and self-confidence. Thank-you for coming into my life and for giving me my dignity.”

Fulma from Amravati, Maharashtra shares: “I am very happy about the life that I live now. There is alot of joy in my life and I have satisfaction. From this village, my daughter Permila is the only girl who did nursing and has good job with Rs. 7000 income. I am very proud of my family. Millions and millions thanks to the family who helped me to come out of the bad days. I have no words to express my thanks to SAFP, to the Coordinator and Animators of SAFP. You all have brought light into my life and family.”

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Lilly from Mysore, Karnataka says: “I was poor and went through many difficulties. With the financial assistance from the benefactor, I started a petty shop at home. Now my family income is about Rs. 4500/ per month. Now we are not depending on others for our sustenance. We earn our livelihood from our petty shop and we are proud to have it. This shop is the remembrance of Family Development Program. In the meantime we also availed Government housing scheme to build a house with all basic facilities. We are leading a happy life and even making savings for the future. I am very grateful to the benefactor and SAFP for standing with me in my struggles and building up my family”.

Shantha from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu shared with us the impact of FD program in her and her family: “I lost my husband and was left with two children. I was uneducated so I did not know anything of the outside world. Through this program I gained more confidence…I started a small snack shop, and took up tailoring and stitching clothing. I expanded my small shop by selling milk and tea. With this earning I was able to give a good education to my sons. My elder son is employed with a good company and my younger son is doing his Masters in Business Management. This was only possible through the income I gained through my shop. This program has given me the ability to lead my family.”

Jancy from Ernakulam, Kerala says: “I have been receiving SAFP assistance since 2007. At the time of selection we were living in an old broken house. My husband was only the earning member of the family. We were struggling a lot to meet the educational expenses of the three children. Now our condition is totally changed through SAFP’s Family Development Program. After attending EDP training, I decided to get trained in the flower making craft, mostly from the eco waste materials. For that I did a certificate course under the Ministry of Textiles of Government of India. By using the Government grant and SAFP assistance, I could start an eco-shop near to my house. It was profitable. Moreover I got many chances to take classes of making flower craft. Now my position is raised from an ordinary housewife into a trainer. I am so proud to say that I am also an income earner of my family. It is achieved only by the great influence of SAFP programs and social workers. We could built a good house by the help of local Government’s housing scheme ,SAFP assistance, SHG loan and bank loan .My eldest son completed his engineering. Now he is working in a Private sector and an earner of the family. My second daughter is an engineering student. My youngest daughter has completed her Secondary School Leaving Certificate. My husband is also in good condition and continuing his works. By the grace of God Almighty and the great support of our benefactor, we are now in a good position in the society. For all our progress we are thankful to all who are helping a lot through the SAFP programs.”

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We join the thousands of families and communities across India who are on path to improving their quality of life and becoming self-supporting to thank our wonderful contributors who are journeying in partnership with them.


Towards Equality

“Men and women ought to recognize their intrinsic unity and should be able to cherish a life of mutual love, service and respect, togetherness, cooperation, and reciprocity rooted in human dignity and based on equal partnership. Only then will true progress, peace and development be brought about.” – Kerala Catholic Bishops Council of India (gender policy, 2009)

“Men and women ought to recognize their intrinsic unity and should be able to cherish a life of mutual love, service and respect, togetherness, cooperation, and reciprocity rooted in human dignity and based on equal partnership. Only then will true progress, peace and development be brought about.”
– Kerala Catholic Bishops Council of India (gender policy, 2009)

“A woman is now raped in India every 20 minutes…” A statistic from the National Crime Records Bureau of India, which made international news this year with relation to the horrific cases of rape and violence towards women in India. Sources show that rape cases in India have doubled between 1990 and 2008 and that 24,206 rape cases were registered in India in 2011. The real situation in India is that the number of cases of gender-based violence is much higher, it just goes unreported.

The issues around why this culture of abuse and violence towards women exists are extremely complex. This is not a recent trend but one that stems from a deeply rooted and inherent preference for boy children and an undervaluing and lack of appreciation of girls and women. These statistics are more than just numbers to Save A Family Plan (SAFP), as the women and girls within our programs face this discrimination on a daily basis. We have seen the faces and heard the stories of those who have very real experiences with acts of emotional, physical and sexual violence.

SAFP is committed to the empowerment of the poor and marginalized people of India, and to promoting a society where women, men, boys and girls are valued equally. We recognize the important role that women play within their families and communities. Our programs encourage and support them to become decision makers within the social, political and economic spheres of their lives. As women gain confidence to fully and meaningfully participate within their families and communities, they can no longer be seen as objects of burden.

Women participants of the Family Development Program in Hyderabad, Andra Pradesh celebrate their strengths and success through song and dance at an Annual Family Gathering.

Women participants of the Family Development Program in Hyderabad, Andra Pradesh celebrate their strengths and success through song and dance at an Annual Family Gathering.

Our programs also show that women are more likely to give back to their families and communities once they feel they are contributing members. Statistics show that when women can make an independent income they will give 90% of it back to their families and communities. The story of Kavitha shows the personal change and growth that is possible through SAFP’s Family Development Program.

When Kavitha was born, she became the youngest of four girls in her family. Her parents were faced with the burden of paying a dowry for all of their daughters. At the age of eighteen Kavitha’s marriage was arranged, but after three months they had to separate. If she stayed in the marriage her life would have been in danger. Her husband was an alcoholic who physically and mentally abused and tortured her. After her separation, she became depressed, her community ignored her, and as a result she did not have the confidence to leave her parents’ house. She was traumatized by her experience and could not work or speak to anyone.

One day a social worker came to the village and gave an awareness training on the economic and social program available to the community. From this, she was motivated to join her local self-help group where she heard about SAFP. She became excited by being a part of this community of women and attended the meetings regularly. After some time, she was selected by the group to become a participant of SAFP’s Family Development Program. Through financial support she received from SAFP, she was able to begin her own clothing sales business, where she went door-to-door in the village to sell clothes. Kavitha explains how these small successes began to motivate her: “From this business I received a good income, which boosted my confidence. I received training in tailoring, and with all of these skills I planned to start up a tailoring unit.” Slowly her business grew. Initially, she used her home for a shop but eventually she had saved enough money to rent a store front nearby and purchase two more tailoring machines. She is now running her own small business, continuing to sell clothes within the community, and earning approximately $140.00 a month.

A participant of the Family Development Program from Marthandom, Tamil Nadu co-owns a tailoring business with her husband, which they named after their daughter.

A participant of the Family Development Program from Marthandom, Tamil Nadu co-owns a tailoring business with her husband, which they named after their daughter.

Kavita expresses the change in attitude and confidence she has experienced and how she hopes to help others in the community do the same: “I am proud to say that through my small business I’m able to employ another girl from my village from a very poor family background. I am now able to help people who are also in difficult situations. Through my experience, I wish to teach tailoring to other widows and abandoned women in our community, so that they feel the same confidence and pride that I do.”

By Laura Stinson
SAFP Canada Staff

What does poverty look like?

Try to put faces to the many victims in these recent news stories from India…

June 2012: A 32-year-old woman in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu sold her five-month-old twin daughters for a promised Rs 25,000 (CAD$463) and Rs 15,000(CAD$278) respectively. The woman, named Selvi, is a single mother with an eight-year-old daughter. Her husband had deserted her and she was unable to provide for them, earning only minimal income as a daily wage labourer. She, and those who assisted her, were arrested and imprisoned for this crime (Times of India.) One of the twin girls later died after falling ill at a government-run adoption centre (Indian Express.)

June 2012: In Harda district in Madhya Pradesh, a 40-year-old farmer named Rajendra, his 35-year-old wife (name unknown), and their two boys Aniketh and Mohit, aged 14 and 11, committed suicide by jumping in front of a train. A police spokesperson said that the family had been in financial distress. (Times of India)

June 2012: Police rescued 108 child labourers from small-scale industry units in Mumbai, Maharashtra, and arrested 25 alleged employers. Aged 8 to 14, the children were working in bag and purse-making units, and zari manufacturing. (Zeenews.com)

June 2012: Two underage girls who were to be sold for Rs 5,000 (CAD$93) each have been rescued by police in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. One person has been arrested and two are being questioned. Police were tipped off that a person would be arriving at the city’s train station with the intent of trapping girls for prostitution purposes. The girls, from Bihar and Jharkand, were lured with promises of jobs. The accused admitted he looked for girls at Metro stations, railway stations, intersections, and slum areas, and that he had already sold five girls. (Times of India)

July 2012: In Jagatsinghpur district in Orissa, a 25-year-old woman, Basanti Mandal, killed herself by consuming poison. She also attempted to kill her two-year-old daughter, who is in serious condition after being rescued. Basanti’s husband had deserted her six months prior. She worked as a low-wage daily labourer in a small fishing village. (Times of India)

July 2012: After being lured away from their homes by child traffickers who promised them good jobs, nine boys from poor families in a small town in the East Champaran district of Bihar were rescued in faraway Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The boys, ranging in age from 13 to 18, were going to be sent to the industrial city of Tirupur to work as cheap labour in the textile industry. Parbar, a father of one of the boys, is a daily-wage labourer. who told authorities that the contractor had paid him Rs. 1,000 (CAD$18) in return for providing a job for his son. (The Hindu)

July 2012: As of July 1st of 2012, 422 farmers have committed suicide in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. Farmers are distressed at the lack of rainfall due to the delay of the annual southwest monsoon, knowing that their crops will fail and they will be unable to pay their debts. (Thaindian News)

April 2012: A 13-year-old housemaid has been rescued and two doctors, a husband and wife, have been arrested in Delhi. The girl, from Jharkhand, had been held captive and starving in their home while the couple vacationed in Thailand. She was rescued after neighbours saw her crying on a balcony. The girl alleges that, prior to this incident, she had often received beatings from the couple during her term of employment. The two home-owners have been charged under the Juvenile Justice Act, Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act and Indian Penal Code. (Expressindia)

The stories in the news speak loudly of hopelessness and desperation–of husbands and wives and parents and children who have been let down by the rest of us. Is there no safety net? Despite the massive investments of the Indian and State Governments toward programs that address poverty and inequality, there are obvious failures. Men and women continue to lose hope, and children are sacrificed.

Economic logic helps us to understand that people who are disadvantaged or without adequate financial resources cannot participate fully in society, whether it be as producers, consumers, or decision-makers. It is important to know this. Yet, for the most part, the concept of poverty remains impersonal and faceless. Who are these people that suffer the indignity of not being full and respected members of society?

Poverty is indeed personal, and has a face. Save A Family Plan and its partner agencies see the faces of poverty every day among the thousands of people in the many villages in which it operates in India. Those of us who have chosen to support this organization are first introduced to these people by reading their troubling stories and seeing their faces in photographs. I’m sure that most of us are affected, often disturbed–just as we are when we read news stories such as those above.

Recently, I was reading an article (Faus 2012, p16) that made reference to the writing of E. Levinas, a French philosopher. Levinas, according to Faus, believed that “the face is an appeal, a call to respect, to sustenance, to communion.” He goes on to say that, “…contemplation of the face transcends the simple recognition provided by sight and becomes a call which asks to be listened to…“. (my emphasis)

By looking at the faces of poverty, we are acknowledging the call which asks to be listened to.

SAFP’s family and community development initiatives allow us to look into the faces of those calling out to us. Our support has direct impact on the lives of the poor–helping them to build livelihoods that can provide a steady income source; ensuring that their children get educated; providing them with the information that allows them to access health and social programs; and helping them, both men and women, to know their rights–and more importantly, their worth.

LL Chan

Gambling with the Monsoon

India is an agrarian country with 52% of its people employed in the agricultural industry.  As I rode the train between some of India’s southern states during my last trip there, there was no shortage of evidence of this.  Outside of the major cities in rural areas, you are surrounded for miles by farm crops specific to each state.  Coconut and pineapple trees, mango groves, fields of bright red chilies, cotton, maize, and the deep dark green of the rice paddies, form the squares of the quilt which this country is covered in.   The livelihood of millions of people in India are dependent on farming and consequently on the weather and environment.  Agriculture in India is often attributed as “gambling with the monsoon” because of its almost exclusive dependency on this season.  There, you are at the mercy of the environment, and often victims of it as communities struggle through droughts, floods, land degradation, poor growing conditions etc.   This can be seen in the situation of the Korku indigenous people, living in the village of Hettighat, in the Melghat Mountain region of Maharastra State, one of the areas where Save A Family Plan operates.

On the morning of my visit to Hettighat we set out on a bumpy, unpaved road, dodging pot holes, goats and wooden carts being pulled by oxen.  I had left behind the lush green crops that I frequently saw in other states, and instead was surrounded by dry and barren hills.  We passed through a small village at the bottom of the mountain that had a small market and the only water access in that area.  I was told that in past years the mountains had been more heavily forested and rivers were flowing for longer periods of the year.  Due to deforestation the density of the forest reduced and the availability of water became limited.  For the last few years, there has been scarcity of water due to reduced rainfall and erratic Monsoon seasons.  These poor environmental conditions make agricultural livelihoods impossible in Hettighat.  As a result, families are forced to migrate from the area for employment during harvest season.  Migration forces families to uproot their lives and is the source of many safety and human rights violations.  It takes away from villages’ attempts to create a sustainable economy and it forces children to be removed from school which contributes to illiteracy.  For women, there are high reports of violence and sexual abuse, and they live in small tents for months with no access to water, sanitation facilities or health services.  There is no regulation of pay or labour laws to protect women.  They work longer hours than men and are paid less.

Through Save A Family Plan and the Jevan Vikas Sanstha Social Service Society, the community of Hettighat is being given the opportunity to diminish the need for migration and to create healthy, sustainable communities.  Our Family Development Program encourages locals to start small, innovative, businesses through a micro-credit program.  Businesses such as snack shops and animal rearing are becoming successful as they do not rely on the agricultural industry, erratic monsoon rains or the poor growing conditions.  Through the program and community participation, the local economy strengthens, and the skill training offered by staff members provides opportunities for new jobs and businesses to be created.   In building and strengthening their community through participation, there is no longer a need to migrate and children can stay in their community to attend school.  Their health and safety situation has improved and they are able to budget and rely on a stable income.  We are excited for the community of Hattighat as they grow and strengthen their community through economic justice and empowerment of their people.

By Laura Stinson
SAFP Canada Staff

Creating an Inclusive Society

Save A Family Plan’s founder, Father Gus, was strongly committed to building an inclusive society and continuously advocated for people with disabilities through his work in India. Today, SAFP aims to continue this important work and to promote the values that were so dear to him.

In Canada, SAFP is partnering with Community Living London, a local organization that is dedicated to supporting people with intellectual disabilities and their families. Michelle Palmer, the Executive Director of this wonderful organization, shares with us about the work undertaken by Community Living organizations.

There are many challenges people with intellectual disabilities face, but on a positive note there are many efforts to create an inclusive society where all people are included in all aspects of community life.

Community living organizations across the country advocate for and support people who have intellectual disabilities and their families. We believe that all people have the right to share in all elements of community life – to live, to work, to be educated, to participate in recreational activities, to receive health care, and to have connections with friends and family. And each person needs to belong and feel respected.

Supports that are offered to assist people to be successful in community life include but are not limited to:

• Residential supports – from a couple hours a day in their own home to 24 hours per day in a group living shared home

• Employment supports – supports businesses to employ people with intellectual disabilities. Adults are assisted with every aspect of finding meaningful employment, including job readiness, resume writing, job searches, development with potential employers and job coaching. Participating businesses gain a hard-working, dedicated employee and develop a greater understanding of people with intellectual disabilities. Training and education to assist a person to obtain competitive employment for a fair wage.

• Community Access – gets people involved in the neighbourhood where they live. We link adults who have an intellectual disability to meaningful leisure, recreation, practical learning and volunteer opportunities, creating a schedule of daily activities that is as unique as they are. The goal is to facilitate great life experiences. Whether it’s a night at the movies with new friends, Karate classes, learning to cook, or volunteering in the community, we connect people to valuable opportunities to learn and grow.

• Respite Services – offer a wonderful opportunity for children and adults to broaden their social circle and experience inclusive community activities.

Parents and caregivers benefit by taking time for themselves or spending time with other family members. Respite Services can provide the break you need to take a vacation, or to cover for times of emergency or crisis.

All of these supports facilitate opportunities for people to be engaged in their home community. They develop friendships, employment relationships, and also enhance the positive relationships they have with their own family. We have come a long way since the days of institutionalization and isolation of people with disabilities in our society. But we still have much work to do.

Did you know that Canadians who have a disability are one of the most underrepresented groups in the workforce? In 2006, 14.3% of Canadians identified that they have a disability. And only 45% of people who have a disability were in the labour force in 2001. Employers rate employees who have an intellectual disability as positive (93%), reliable (90%) dedicated (90%) and hardworking 93%. So why are so many people with disabilities still unemployed?

This is one of the many challenges we continue to advocate for. And that is why our work will only end when all citizens are equally valued, provided equal opportunities, and respected equally.

To learn more about the SAFP’s partnership with Community Living London, check out this article about SAFP’s volunteers.

Crime Against Children in India

India’s National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) publishes detailed crime statistics in an annual report called Crime in India. Published since 1953, the guide serves as a comprehensive reference source for the country’s policy-makers, law enforcement agencies, and citizen stakeholders.

Criminal activity is a negative aspect of life for citizens of any country. Unfortunately, for those whose health and security are already compromised by poverty and marginalization, the effects of crime and victimization are even greater. In all societies, it is the children who are most vulnerable and therefore most at risk. This is quite evident in India.

Crime in India 2010 includes data that relates specifically to ‘Crime Against Children.’ According to the report, there were a total of 26,694 reported cases of crimes that were committed against children in that country in 2010 (p.91). These are crimes that are punishable under either the Indian Penal Code (IPC) or under Special and Local Laws (SLL), and all pertain to children less than 18 years of age. They represent wide-ranging acts of abuse, neglect, and exploitation that are especially tragic because of the young age of their victims.

The following table breaks down India’s 2010 child-victim crime numbers into specific categories:

Murder 1,408
Foeticide 111
Infanticide (0 to 1 year) 100
Abetment to Suicide 56
Exposure and Abandonment 725
Kidnapping and Abduction 10,670
Procuration of Minor Girls (for illicit intercourse) 679
Selling of Girls for Prostitution 130
Buying of Girls for Prostitution 78
Rape 5,484
Other Crimes including (Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006) 7,253

(derived from Table 6A, p.96)

Facts of interest:

  • The national average rate for crimes against children was 2.3 per 100,000 people; for Delhi the rate was 19.8 per 100,000 (p. 92)
  • The state of Madhya Pradesh, with 6.1% of population, was responsible for 18.4% of all crimes against children; Delhi, with 1.5% of population, was responsible for 13.6% (Fig. 6.1)
  • Kidnapping and Abduction cases represent 40.3% of crimes against children (Fig. 6.2)
  • Rape cases represent 20.5% of crimes against children (Fig. 6.2)
  • 8.9% of all rape victims (women and children) were girls under the age of 14 (p.83)
  • In 97.3% of all (22,172) rape cases, offenders were known to the victims (family members, relatives, neighbours) (p.83)
  • The states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra accounted for 35.2% of child rape cases (p. 95)
  • The number of cases for Procuration of Minor Girls increased by 186.5% from 2009 (p. 96)

Crime is often an indicator of social malaise caused by the hopelessness, frustration, and desperation of poverty.  Lack of employment opportunities, inadequate food and water supplies, land degradation, sub-standard housing, poor sanitation, ill health, discrimination, and limited education all create conditions whereby individuals are at greater risk of becoming both victims and perpetrators of crime.

That such great numbers of children in India and around the world continue to be victimized by crime is a pointed reminder that we have not fulfilled our duties as protectors and caregivers.

If, indeed, it “takes a village to raise a child”, then perhaps the solution lies with the village, or at least the community of citizens to which the child belongs.

Communities can exist as neighbourhoods or as groups of people with a common interest (eg. social, cultural, religious). The value of community is that it brings people together and actively involves them in the issues and activities that affect their lives. It often relies on the sharing of skills, knowledge and experience. Many community groups are based on the values of fraternity, friendship and empathy. Others have a specific mandate, such as women’s self-help groups, farmers’ groups, microcredit groups, or advocacy groups that stand up for citizens’ rights.

What does this have to do with crimes against children?

Without community, a family or individual is disempowered—they don’t have access to the support and information that could be helpful in a situation requiring advice or help. Nor do they have effective opportunities to voice serious needs, concerns, or opinions. For such a family living in poverty, the consequences of such isolation can be critical. For instance, there are many situations in India when a family’s financial debt-load puts their children at great risk for abandonment, prostitution or trafficking.

Promoting active participation in community life, and then nurturing that involvement through training and education, is an important starting point for restoring social health and stability. Like a healthy family, a strong community will act in the best interest of its members, especially children.

As an organization seeking to end poverty, Save A Family Plan is committed to supporting the empowerment and healthy development of families and communities. And through its work with the poor in India, if there is one less crime committed or one less child hurt by an act of violence, then that will be a success story.

LL Chan

India’s Scheduled Tribes

Indigenous people are among the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in India, facing disproportionately high levels of poverty, illiteracy, and poor health. These communities, referred to by the government as “Scheduled Tribes”, make up more than 8% of the country’s 1.2 billion inhabitants. Many have little contact with the outside world and continue to survive through hunting and gathering or farming with rudimentary agriculture techniques. It is estimated that more than half of these people live below the national poverty line.

As we work to combat poverty in India, special assistance must be provided to tribal communities to help them address their many needs in a way that respects their unique history and way of life. The Kothamangalam Social Service Society and the Highrange Development Society in Idukki have been working with tribal communities in the area of Marayoor, Kerala for nearly two decades. Prior to this, the communities had no interaction with the outside world and at first, they were cautious to have contact with people from the outside. Over time, staff members were able to establish a trusting relationship with the communities and were eventually welcomed in the tribal settlements. These staff members discovered a people with a nomadic culture, their own dialect, unique cultural arts and traditions, and a custom of nature worship. They also found high rates of infant mortality, insecure temporary shelters, many cases of early marriages, and extreme poverty.

The staff began to work with the community to illustrate the importance of formal education and eventually they worked together to create a school for the children of the area. It has been developed and expanded over time and now provides education up to Grade 4 for 200 local children. In addition to housing classes, the school also acts as a community centre where many gatherings take place, including community discussions on important issues, celebration of the local tribal festivals, medical camps, meetings with local government officials, and administration of the local Credit Union.

Save A Family Plan (SAFP) works in partnership with the Highrange Development Society to support the ongoing operation of the school and to continue addressing the needs of the children. In 2008, a midday meal program was started for the students after it was discovered many were missing class because they were hungry and spent the day searching for food in the forest instead. The following year, “an egg a week” program was started to provide additional nutrition to the children.

In early 2011, a survey of the community revealed that only 10% of the people in the tribal settlements had access to proper sanitation, while the rest were using open areas for their washroom. This practice leads to a variety of health issues and diseases that could be seen among the population. SAFP is now partnering with Highrange Development Society with a goal of building 60 latrines in the settlements this year. This will decrease the cases of endemic diseases, prevent the contamination of drinking water, decrease the infant mortality rate, and raise awareness of the importance of hygiene throughout the community.

SAFP is happy to support the work of the Highrange Development Society and the committed staff who spend their time working and teaching in these remote areas. In order to reduce poverty in India, it is essential that all people have the chance to take part in the country’s development and to benefit from the progress that is being made. Many marginalized groups, such as the Scheduled Tribes, require a helping hand to begin identifying and addressing the problems they face and to ensure their human rights are being met. We are pleased to work together with these communities as they engage in development with dignity and become active, participating citizens within their country.

By Cassandra Griffin
SAFP Canada Staff