For the year 2019- 2020 we will give £93,000 to 12 projects in all. For the year 2018-2019 we donated £73,000. As per our constitution, we give approximately 70% to India and a minimum 30% to the UK. We also set aside an amount each year, for Emergency and Disaster relief, we gave £5000 to Khalsa Aid who were at the site, providing immediate relief through water, hot meals and dry clothing to victims of the Kerala floods in 2018.
U.K. Based Charities
1. Sikh Welfare Action Team
From one meal to one homeless person, Swat, now has 650 volunteers serving 1500-2000 meals a week at 15 outreach venues in the UK. They work 7 days a week, 365 days a year, receiving help in cash and kind, through donations from generous businesses and restaurants and food outlets. From our very humble start, of funding the costs of just 250 meals, one day a month, some of us also cooked and transported hot meals from our homes, recruiting our friends and family, to serve. We have enjoyed this journey with SWAT and watched it grow, building its profile through hard work, fundraising and publicity. SWAT has been given the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2019.
The people we serve daily are seemingly “able-bodied”, many refugees and immigrants, others are victims of alcohol, drugs, mental illness, depression and isolation having fallen through the safety net of the state. This also provides a signposting opportunity, for us to talk to people and direct them to other providers of help and support.
2. Asian Family Councelling Center - Project Diya
New charity: 2019-2020
Project Diya: Asian family Counselling Cell is a registered national charity providing low-cost, confidential and culturally sensitive mental health and relationship counselling services in five languages to South Asian communities in Britain since 1983. They have over three decades of experience in dealing with complex issues such as depression, trauma, forced marriage, abandonment, domestic violence, slavery and asylum.
Their counsellors are BACP-accredited, professionally trained and supervised therapists. They come from Hindu, Muslim and Sikh backgrounds and speak Urdu, Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi and English thus representing the diversity in the South Asian communities they serve. AFCS is aimed at all members of South Asian communities above the age of 16.
15,456 counselling sessions in the last 5 years, 2590 clients. On average 518 clients a year
3. Sangam Association of Asian Women
Sangam based in Barnet was initially established in 1971, to help the influx of immigrants and refugees from East Africa. It continues to provide regular opportunities for older people to socialize and integrate through religious and recreational activities.
Today, its core activity continues to be the Advice Centre which provides free services to all those requiring help and guidance. Sangam has innovated and adapted its services to the needs of the time and to this end the WIA works closely with them. We had started off, supporting a domestic violence project. However, since the last 5 years, on Sangam’s recommendation, in response to the “tightening of the belt” in Government funding and benefits, the Debt Advice Project- has been developed and taken shape, designed around the needs of the local community.
It is run by Sangam and funded by the WIA to keep vulnerable from sliding into the down word spiral of debt. Sangam provides weekly group sessions for training and management of personal finances and a follow up one to one session per client. This is to instill in families, the confidence and resilience to deal with related issues.
India Based Charities
4. The Women’s India Association Delhi, Okhla Village
The WIA has been supporting this for the last 42 years. It is what we in WIA refer to as “our village. Mrs. Ram Tandon of the Ankur Trust had very kindly given a space to Mrs. Shanti Singh, a past chairman of the WIA, to set up and run the WIA rehab, distributing free medicines for minor ailments. This was to become the WIA Rehabilitation Centre- providing free preventative health care and medical and dental treatment to the school children, school staff and people from the neighborhood slums of Okhla. The Ankur school provides free education to 445 children up to Std X.
5. The Ankur Trust School, Okhla Village
It is our steadfast commitment to the WIA village and Ankur school, for more than four decades that has changed lives for good. We look back and yes, we have indeed educated a whole generation. Mrs. Shanti Singh passed away recently. Since 2018-2019, we are unable to send funds to The WIA Delhi, as they are in the process of getting approval from the Government of India, to receive foreign remittances.
6. Vidya School of Excellence Scholarship
Finally, The Vidya School of excellence in Delhi. In memory of our Past Chairman and colleague Monica Singh, we have made a 10-year commitment to educating two gifted girls through to high school.
7. Delhi Bhartiya Grameen Mahila Sangh
The Delhi Bharteeya Mahila Seva Sangh operating in the surrounding 13 villages of Delhi – Mrs. Bharti Nayyar, a past patron of the WIA, who is now well into her 80’s continues to oversee its running. It comprises of 20 outreach centers over 13 villages- Each provides a crèche for 25 children. This gives the mother the freedom to work and be self-sufficient. The benefits are far-reaching. Having the mothers come in twice a day means we have earned their trust and therefore able to intervene, educate and empower in various other areas of their life like family planning, preventative medicine, and domestic violence. Again, we were unable to remit funds last year to DBMSS, as they are waiting on Government clearance.
8. Joint Women’s Programme
The Joint Women’s Programme project “Mera Sahara” which we have adopted, since the last nine years continues to work with the children of migrant and extremely disadvantaged families in Noida. This programme was started soon after the remains of several children, murdered and some raped, left to die, were found in the open drains of this neighbourhood around 2006. The Joint Women’s programme carried out a survey and found that the target group were children of families who were domestic workers, casual labour in neighbouring construction sites, menial jobs and many rickshaw drivers. Their children, left unattended and unwatched and were easy targets. Mera Sahara runs a centre for around 269 children, first and foremost keeping them safe and off the streets. These are children between the ages 2 to 14. They are provided with a midday meal, rehabilitated and prepared for entry into formal schooling. Mera Sahara also provides informal and vocational training to 13- 16 year olds who are school dropouts and some who have been rescued from child labour, child marriage and trafficking. In addition, 1250 women per annum attend community workshops.
9. Educate for Life
The Hunar Ghar Project run by Educate for Life: Hunar Ghar, translated to “skills home” from Hindi, in the village of Bakhel Rajasthan, was envisioned and founded by two teenagers from the UK in 2006. They started with 60 kindergartens and Class I children and three teachers and today serve 300 children from KG to Year 7. They have an active presence in the community acting as a hub for the village. Their services now extend to pregnancy support, health clinics women’s self-help groups and income generation schemes. The WIA has been funding the Hunar Ghar safe motherhood and early childhood programs.
Beneficiaries are the Bakhel community, populated by 2,088 individuals, making up 369 households. 75 pregnancies are supported this year, through their Safe Motherhood Programme and approximately 300 pre-school age children were looked after through our Safe Childhood Programme. Over 400 children attend Hunar Ghar School each year, with 418 children enrolled for the 2019/20 academic year. There are 43 women participating in three Self Help Groups. Over 1,000 community members benefit from the mobile clinic service each year.
As a result of the early childhood program, the infant mortality rate has dropped from 150/1000 to 50/100 in 2018-19. That is a 66% reduction. Since inception 400 women have been supported through their pregnancies.
Sangeeta Talukdar’s Pictures : –
Taken on her visit to Hunar Ghar, 2 hours drive from Udaipur – 12th Dec 2017.
10. Vidya Bhavisyayaan
The WIA is in its 5th consecutive year of a partnership with Vidya to fund the running of Bhavishya-yaan, at a municipal school in Ville Parle, Mumbai. This is a skills enhancement programme that addresses the lacunae of the present public school education system at a micro level. The children of classes 6-10 are taught NIIT certified computer courses, vocational and life skills, enabling them to find employment immediately after high school. Currently 120 children enrol in the programme annually
11. Vidya Community Initiatives Cell
Mirroring our first venture – WIA Delhi, Vidya Margam our project in Powai Mumbai, provides various life-enriching skills to women and young girls making them financially independent. Group classes are run teaching sewing, hair and beauty, Warli art, computer skills, and henna design. One wing has been set up and runs professionally by the ‘graduates’ of Margam, they cook and deliver midday meals to the neighborhood offices. WIA helps towards the running costs of Vidya Margam and Margam Udyogini, in Powai, Mumbai.
70 Vocational Training
90 Bachaat (Micro Finance Group)
5 Mehndi Course
600 Students: preparation of relevant documents Aadhar card/ Ration card/ RTE/ Health camps
200 People from the community Doc to avail Govt schemes for attending Income generating workshops.
12. St. Joseph’s Prashant Niwas
In Mangalore, The WIA continues to fund Prashant Niwas, St Josephs’ Ashram since the last two decades. This is a peaceful residential home for orphans, the dying and the destitute. The aged, sick, disabled, physically and mentally challenged and mentally retarded are made welcome. It is run by the Capitano sisters, all of whom have spent a lifetime serving the poor. At Prashant Nivas, 70 orphan children are fed, clothe and schooled and cared for, 150 intellectually challenged residents between the ages of 12 and 75, receive occupational therapy like candle and garland making. Others help with gardening, cooking and cleaning. The home for the aged has 180 residents, mostly bedridden and unable to do much. The aim is to provide for the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs giving dignity to the weakest and unwanted.
13. Project Bala
A new project under consideration, which has been proposed and will be coordinated by the Young Women’s India of the UK. You will hear more about it from Piyusha Newatia, the incoming Chairman of YWIA