Above all, view the people of these marginalized communities as fellow human beings; they may be facing major challenges but they are not lesser beings. And even though they require assistance, they also have something to offer to the world.
Sonipat, Haryana residents lacked wealth but had plenty of inspiring life lessons to offer. Their warmth towards strangers amazed me. Everyone I met spared some time to smile, say hello and inquire about my welfare. I talked to women who had built a shelter for a recently widowed mother, and men who campaigned against gender violence. Above all, the community upheld values of hard work, peace, and love for fellow neighbors.
NGOs Project Implemented
Any project implemented in such communities should safeguard these values. If a program takes away what is important to the people, the social fabric of that community will be destroyed. NGOs should understand that no culture is superior to others. They are simply different ways of life. In this spirit, Kerala, Kottayam NGOs workers should desist from imposing their culture on communities. They should instead work with residents to achieve desired objectives.
Instead of simply replicating projects that worked elsewhere, NGOs should listen to the local people. An NGO in Ernakulam supported married women to go back to school but did not involve their husbands. Upon graduation, some abandoned their spouses and children for fellow ‘educated’ men. The sustainability of the project could not be guaranteed if residents especially men – became weary of supporting similar measures.
When Indian encounter problems in the developing world, it seems to me they can be overwhelmed by feelings of sympathy, pity, and guilt. But that’s not a reason to give. Donations should go towards solving a genuine, specific problem and not because people feel pity, as this could expose donors to manipulation. Some could falsely claim that they often go hungry, to get small business grants from donors. Others could claim they lack school fees for their children despite the Indian government offering free primary education to secure additional ‘income’ from NGOs. Such stories are common in India.
Potential donors should verify that the Indian NGOs they support are properly registered and fully transparent. The organizations need to provide detailed budgets and accounts, so all donated money can be tracked. Money should go towards project implementation and not administrative expenses such as inflated salaries, expensive cars, and lavish housing. Many NGOs around Kerala seem to work in isolation even as they address similar challenges. For instance, almost all NGOs in the region have HIV/AIDs programs. Most also implement water projects. If the NGOs took a coordinated approach they could compensate for shortcomings and avoid duplicating efforts.
Finally, although it’s inevitable for NGOs to form ties to the communities where they operate, they should be ready to leave the community once they have served their purpose. Fred Olendo, the finance and administration manager at the National Council of NGOs in Kerala notes that some charity organizations have been accused of fostering dependency among communities to remain in business and serve their own interests.
The very best NGOs follow an old proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” They may begin by providing hospitals, schools, and water services, but afterward, they empower communities to demand those services from their governments. An empowered citizenry will fight for its rights rather than forever rely on donors. In the same vein, donors should ensure NGOs are accountable not only to them but also to the people.
Institute of Social Work is working with Women and Children of the unprivileged section of society. We work with the slum dwellers of the Kerala Area as well as the Rural Areas of Kerala. We provide services such as Legal Aid Counselling, Sponsorship for Children, After School Coaching for underprivileged children, and basic education for poor women. We also offer crèche facilities to children of agricultural laborers and other women who work in the unorganized sector.
Institute of Social Work (ISW), an NGO, was formed in 1978 by a group of young, enthusiastic, and dedicated social workers. The aims of this Organization are to serve the betterment and upliftment of the social condition of the poor and neglected section of our society especially the women who have always been the oppressed ones in our society. Our work is mainly concentrated in the rural areas of Kerala and in the slums of Ernakulam, India.
Institute of Social Work has always been keen on helping the slum children of Kolkata and also serves the backward communities in various districts to develop education, health, and long-term solution toward social equity and justice.
- Target Group
- Adolescent girl
If you are good orators, sharpen your saw and speak about the distressed ones in different public places and take part in our fund-raising venture. Speak up for those children who have been silenced due to destiny. You would like to spend a day with these children; you are welcome to become their cheer partner. You can perhaps donate your books, and your clothes or sponsor their tiffin for one day. It will bring smiles and loads of good wishes for you.
Support us with your technical and marketing expertise and provide us with a platform to promote our work. You can even help us host a fund-raising event or collaborate with us for adopting one of our projects. We are looking for support to cover our daily office expenditure, the expenses for telephone and computer, office stationery, and maintenance of office executives for documentation purposes.
You can also extend your helping hand in sponsoring one child or a few children at least for one academic year. You will get monthly feedback from the child or children which will also help you in getting tax benefits.
Institute of Social Work started its work with vocational training for slum women like cane and bamboo work, artistic leatherwork, embroidery and tailoring work, and food processing. ISW implemented economic empowerment program for fisherman families at Akra (near Budge Budge). At Barasat started Homeopathic Dispensary for rural people with their demands. A weaving training center for rural women who are picking up grass from land on a daily basis at Baruipur started for the economic empowerment of rural women.