International Women’s Day 2017

How did you celebrate International Women’s Day this year?

Earlier this month saw the annual return of International Women’s Day – a day dedicated not just to celebrating “the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women”  but also to promoting the need for accelerated change if women are to enjoy gender parity by 2030. At Jeevika Trust we believe that women’s empowerment and equality is vital – not only for women, but for the development and progress of humankind. Our projects prove that, when women are empowered, the results are dramatic.

We are very lucky to have a Board of Trustees who live and breathe the values we hold dear at Jeevika Trust. Read on to find out how one of our Trustees, Julie Hutton, has shown her support for International Women’s Day…

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Dhanalakshmi’s Story: Project Mithra helping families living with HIV

“Thanks to Project Mithra, my children and I have enough to feed ourselves.”

Dhanalakshmi has been on Anti-Retroviral therapy (ART) for 12 years and still finds it difficult to accept the fact that both her children are HIV positive and are on ART. After her husband’s death, her mother-in-law introduced Dhanalakshmi to Mithra’s staff when Dhanalakshmi was finding it difficult to make ends meet.

adminDhanalakshmi’s Story: Project Mithra helping families living with HIV
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Jani’s Story: Changing lives through beekeeping

“Beekeeping makes me so happy!”

Jani lives in Badakuradangi village in the Chandaka Tribal Forest area with her husband, Sudam, and their son and daughter.  The family lives below the poverty line on less than £1.50 per day and they own no property or agricultural land. To survive and to help send their small children to school, both Jani and her husband have traditionally gone to the forest to collect wood, fruit and wild honey to sell at the local market. The annual income of the family was less than £84 per year which amounts to just £1.60 per week.

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Rainbows and Kings – How Jeevika Trust’s Walk for Water 2016 linked London to Rural India

by Catherine Purvis, Trustee at Jeevika Trust 

Back in October 2016 a number of our supporters took part in Walking for Water to raise vital funds to continue delivering projects in rural India. Catherine Purvis, one of our Trustees took part on the day and has shared with us her thoughts on the walk and why fundraising events like this really matter.

adminRainbows and Kings – How Jeevika Trust’s Walk for Water 2016 linked London to Rural India
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Join us for our Jeevika Lecture 2016 on Thursday 24th November at the Royal Geographical Society, Kensington Gore.

by Andrew Redpath, Executive Director at Jeevika Trust

Our Jeevika Lecture 2016 will be exploring the theme of “INDIA and CHINA : Modern Travels in Ancient Civilisations”… and who could be better to illuminate us on this subject than the popular broadcaster and historian Michael Wood?

adminJoin us for our Jeevika Lecture 2016 on Thursday 24th November at the Royal Geographical Society, Kensington Gore.
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Join us at Walking for Water 2016

by Andrew Redpath, Executive Director at Jeevika Trust 

There has to be a fair chance that Sunday 16th October will be a beautiful autumn day of russet colours, peaceful deer, blue skies, sparkling Thames – all just perfect for a Walk, starting and finishing in Hampton Wick, with a gentle October sun overhead and good walking company.  Up through Bushy Park, then through Hampton Court Palace, and down Long Water to Barge Walk for a really nice tea and talk at the Glass House.  Will you join us?

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Kamalam’s Story: Growing millets to buy a cow

“In January, when the crop was harvested, for the first time ever, the yield was high”

52-year-old Kamalam works alongside her husband in the hot South Indian sun, toiling for long hours to eke out a meagre existence. Though the one and half acre of land that they own is in her husband Arunachalam’s name, Kamalam – a Dalit – has worked the land since she was a young bride who came to live in Kolaram 25 years ago. Both she and her husband also work on other farms as agricultural labourers to supplement the income they earn. Her children – two daughters and a son – are now grown up and married and live some distance away.

Women’s Organisation for Rural Development (WORD) identified 50 beneficiaries in the Namakkal District of Tamil Nadu and conducted a workshop on organic farming. Kamalam and her husband were selected to take part in Project SEED, a joint initiative between Tamil Nadu-based WORD and Jeevika Trust, and provided with sorghum seeds for cultivation. 

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If you had HIV/AIDS…

by Judith Crosland, Programmes Manager at Jeevika Trust

What would life be like?

Living in a remote Indian village, few – if any – health services will be available to you. Even if your village is connected to roads, you will need money to catch the occasional bus to take you somewhere near a health centre. If luck is on your side, you may have money and strength enough to catch a bus to a hospital. Here you might wait all day and night and the next day without food to be seen by a doctor. Then you can be given antiretroviral treatment which slows your virus down. You will then need the funds and strength to make your return journey.

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Shanti’s Story: Conserving water, increasing yield

My husband died of a heart attack two years ago and my only assets are the two acres of land that he left behind. I receive very little support from my in-laws and the extended family. I now live with my father in Thottipalyam village,” says Shanti, 32, who is a mother to two young daughters and is from the Thottinayakar clan (Most Backward Caste), a conservative community where women are rarely allowed to voice their opinion or make independent decisions. 

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India: A country of violence or a country of peace?

by Michael Connellan, Jeevika Trust Trustee

Sadly, violence has been a common theme in news reports from India in the first months of 2016.

February saw at least nine people die in Delhi and Haryana as members of the Jat caste rioted over the government’s job quota system for people of different caste groups. The deaths came after police were reportedly given shoot-on-sight orders to quell rioting.

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