Jeevika Trust - village livelihood in India
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The starting point of all our considerations is poverty, or rather, a degree of poverty which means misery, and degrades and stultifies the human person.
E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful

Will you give a woman in India the Sweetest Gift this Christmas?

By training them in the art of beekeeping & the production & marketing of honey, we’ve helped hundreds of impoverished women in rural India become self-sustaining village entrepreneurs with increased household income, a greater level of respect within their communities and a brighter future. Sweet, right?

We need YOUR help to reach more women & help them lift themselves out of a life of poverty & dependency.

We know the project works. We’ve already identified villages & women that desperately need our help.

Please give the sweetest gift & help us make it happen.

Click on the Bee to find out more and to donate!

Sweetest Gift Campaign Logo


Jeevika's Current Projects in India
To learn more about what’s going on in the field, take a look at this overview, and PLEASE do visit our monthly Blog which has been built throughout the past year with contributions from our own staff and our friends describing their experiences of direct contact or informed comment about our projects and workshops in India.

One of the UK Government’s last aid projects to India was our women’s livelihood Project Madhu, funded by UK DfID, which came to an end in mid-2014 having trained and empowered 300 isolated bee-keepers in Orissa to become effective producers and marketers of honey: we have planned to extend this project to other parts of Odisha, but are still seeking the necessary funding. Have a look at our 2-part blog ‘Bees in the Big Picture’. (

A tough year in 2014! DfID closed its development aid program to India in response to wide-spread, but mis-informed, public doubts about the reality of poverty in rural India: rural India contains ONE-THIRD of the whole world’s people defined as Below the Poverty Line – far more than all 26 states of sub-Saharan Africa put together. DfID’s decision sent a chill through the rest of the funding market, which has severely dented Jeevika’s project funding pipe-line for the year just ended in March.

...but the good news is! .... we are delighted to have confirmation during March 2015 of three new funding grants which have gone against this trend: all three are from funders who have supported us in the past. In Odisha (Orissa) the Waterloo Foundation is funding a 1-year grant to enable our partner Jeevan Rekha to deliver safe-water and sanitation facilities to 550 tribal villagers; and in Tamil Nadu, we have a grant from Zurich Foundation for our partner Mithra Foundation to support 100 women villagers living with HIV/AIDS, while innocent foundation is giving us a 2-year grant for Project SEED to enable 1,400 low-caste women farmers and students in 13 villages to diversify and upgrade their agricultural skills, with attendant health, education and other benefits. This was a great start to our new year, but we know we’ll have to work extra hard this year to keep raising our essential project funding.

And better still!...After this promising start, we can now report that Monsoon Foundation has decided to support our exciting 1-year Pilot project JEEVAN SATHI, covering 25 tribal villages in Odisha. This is a ground-breaking project addressing the huge challenge of menstruation among rural women and girls (over 20% of girls drop out of school at puberty): village women’s Self Help Groups will produce and distribute affordable, hygienic eco-disposable sanitary napkins (‘SNAPS’) for 5000 women and 500 adolescent girls, who will also receive preventative/reproductive health education. The project started this June – so please keep an eye open on our Blog for follow-up information.

For more details about taking part in any of our events or organising your own, please email

Impact Assessment

2015 News Update


Impact Assessment: BasantiWhere does your money go? How are daily lives different? Does our Rural Women's Livelihood Development Programme create dependence or independence?

These are tough questions that deserve honest answers. We did a review, complete with interviews and statistics, and the results were positive. In the words of Basanti (a member of a Self Help Group that cultivates crabs): 'Earlier we were very idle; now we are active. Now we have the savings to live. We are free from the four walls of the house.'

Read more in our Impact Assessment

House of Lords Reception with Vince Cable MP
We were extremely grateful to our patron Lord Dholakia for kindly hosting a reception for us at the House of Lords on 6th November, with Business Secretary Dr Vince Cable, our local MP, and Baroness Northover, DFID spokesperson in the House of Lords, as guest speakers. With an invited audience of representatives from parliament, and the business and charity sectors, Jeevika was seeking to promote awareness of the tri-sector approach to rural development, and new ways in which business organisations active in India can engage their skills and experience in the vital task of tackling rural poverty.

Jeevika's 8th Capacity-building Workshop in Bangalore on 15-18 September 2014 brought together our 5 NGO partners.  Led by , and Judith our Programmes Officer it challenged some traditional notions of gender.We also explored new ways of analysing, planning & implementing initiatives that are vital for achieving women’s empowerment. Issues related to hygiene, reproductive health & income-generation were high on the agenda and it was a great success.

Innocent Foundation visits Chilika Lake in east India. is a prime supporter of Jeevika’s projects, and IF’s Geraldine Visser has been there for a 2-week learning & development visit . When Cyclone Phailin ravaged India’s east coast in October 2013, IF helped restore our livelihood Project ECO on ecologically-vulnerable Berhampur village in the Chilika Lake sea lagoon. Implemented by our NGO partner JRP (, IFs additional support enabled the island’s women to restore their crab and prawn cultivation activities. You’ll be able to read Geraldine’s blogs of the women villagers she met on our website from the middle of September (