Helping Women Lead Sustainable Change In Rural India

by Manavodaya International UK

About the project


Tipping Point £1,000
Moving away from the clutches of money leaders extortionate practices £5,000
Enabling villagers to show increased entrepreneurial flair, to move out of poverty £10,000
Creating a Federation of local self-help groups. £20,000
tipping point
In-kind donations range from drinks to office supplies. We even accept homemade cakes. See what else we need!
tipping point
25 hrs
In-kind donations range from drinks to office supplies. We even accept homemade cakes. See what else we need!

More about the project

What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
Poverty, Educational ignorance, incarceration of bonded labour, gender inequality and exploitation, the caste system and externally determined development objectives all contribute to inhibiting sustainable economic and social change.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
In 2011 the population of Uttar Pradesh was just under 200 million people. The State has seen some of the highest economic growth rates at 8.08% in 2011 yet over 40% of the population remain in poverty and according to the National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development, in rural UP this figure doubles. Over 25 years it’s estimated around 150000 people have benefited from self help approach. Though Manavodaya has pioneered the process and has trained several thousand workers, it continues to remain a small organisation that requires assistance to develop and spread the facilitation approach to self help.
What is your solution?
Providing an alternative to traditional economic development approaches, Manavodaya focuses on facilitation rather than management. The distinction is critical: rather than arrive in a poor area with a set of externally determined objectives, development facilitators work to learn from the local residents and share the processes by which the residents can begin to address their own problems as a cohesive group. The facilitator focuses on teaching collective decision-making, group processes, and local self-reliance. This contrasts with a traditional development approach that usually focuses upon implementation of externally-determined projects and donations of financial resources.
How will you deliver this?
Manavodaya facilitated dialogue identifies village residents’ primary concerns and provides an entry point for discussion about how to address those concerns locally—through collective reflection When enough become interested a group can be formed of 10 to 15 individuals. A savings fund is established with targeted savings rate for each member, and the pooled funds are available to the group to be distributed as microloans. Coming from internal funding, the interest earned on these loans goes directly back to the group as income—a significant advantage over traditional microcredit loans, through which all interest is paid to an external.

Get involved

Here are some great ways to get involved with the project and help out. If you have...
  • 2 minutes
    It's about development from within. Look at the Eight steps on the Manavodaya UK website.
  • 5 minutes
    Take 5 minutes quiet time. Just concentrate on your breathing -take deep breaths. This is the first steps in Yoga – a calming of the mind!
  • 15 minutes
    Build on the breathing exercise – It may seem strange if you are not familiar with this but regularly taking 15 minutes to stop, close your eyes just listen to your own deep breaths you’ll find other distracting noises disappear. Development from Within the book describing the work of Manavodaya emphasises begin with looking at change within oneself before seeking change in others. Stopping for a few minutes regularly helps begin this.
  • 30 minutes
    Take the time to look up the Manavodaya websites both in the UK and India. Here you’ll see short films & reports about the work of Manavodaya. If you like what you see tell the people you know to do the same.
  • A few hours
    Send us a email telling us you’d like to find out more and any ideas you may have.
  • Regular time commitment
    We’d love to hear from you.

Share your comments

Opinions and comments mentioned on the FundIt.Buzz website are the personal views of individual contributors. FundIt.Buzz takes no responsibility for these views. However if you find something that you think does not meet our guidelines you can report it to

What do you think?

You need to be logged in in order to post comments

About the organisation

Vision and mission

To spread the approaches developed by rural villagers themselves and Manavodaya of working methods which genuinely transfer power to disenfranchised, marginalised people.

Geographical coverage


Our track record

In the last 25 years, Manavodaya has inspired and trained several thousand professionals who have spread the self-help approach among the poorest families. Its range of influence extends to Srilanka and Nepal. In Nepal two major banks have started the Self Reliant Group programme based on the self-help approach after training at Manavodaya.

Who do we help?

This project is aimed at developing self help groups on a wider scale in Uttar Pradesh primarily led by women and girls. However as groups grow and develop more men and boys become involved. Beyond India those involved more broadly in self help projects will be able to share in the leaning which has to some extent already influence development in the Northern hemisphere.

How do we deliver this?

The outcome described is achieved through the training of facilitators who themselves are drawn from villages whose inhabitants are living below the poverty line.