Charitable Trust

About Village Ways Charitable Trust

This is a non-governmental organization, founded in 2008 when a group of passionate and like-minded philanthropists got together to work for community upliftment in the remote and marginalised areas of Kumaon. The Trust has partnered with BSR’s HERnetwork (Business for Social Responsibility) to work relentlessly on women’s health issues through contextualized and adapted preventive health care programmes across the remote valleys of Uttarakhand.

Through its master trainers and selection of volunteers from within the villages as peer health educators, together forming the Village Ways-HERnetwork, the Trust has successfully sensitized the remote and hard to reach villages of Saryu and Pindar valleys of Kumaon not only at the community level but also at the household level through peer education outreach activities. Women from within the villages were engaged and their capacities built to make them empowered change leaders in their own villages, be it for health, nutrition, personal hygiene or even breaking social taboos such as menstrual hygiene. The household sessions were carried out using pictorial IEC materials, interactive sessions and interesting activities. Following several rounds of peer health education at the household level through close and engaging conversations with the family members on the critical health needs identified as per the baseline, impact assessments were carried out and data analyzed to establish positive community change post-intervention.

The Trust’s experience over the years in the remote valleys highlighted on the need for basic primary health care in the villages. This in turn, necessitated the Trust to look for innovative solutions to overcome the challenge of the absence of doctors at the grassroots. Eventually, the idea of Tulsi Telehealth Care was conceived.

The Trust is currently implementing Tulsi Telehealth Care Projects in the remote Himalayan villages of Nainital and Bageshwar (Uttarakhand).

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The Trust has also been active in training the village community in making and promoting cotton shopping bags, Ringal baskets, woolen products and other local handicrafts under the Livelihood project. Women are now trained seamstresses stitching domestic and export orders.  The Trust also acts as a bridge between global markets (with no rural outreach) and skilled artisans through a reputable Delhi-based handicraft manufacturing and export house, Kapkol Exports Pvt. Ltd. A fruitful synergy between the Trust, locals, and market partnerships has helped the Trust build and finance a Supi Community Centre in Kumaon Hills, Uttarakhand. It is a space for a conducive working environment for artisans along with the premises for all the health initiatives in and around the village. The artisans visit the Centre regularly to attend pieces of training on tailoring and health.

Green Fuel Project in Kerala has been another environmental project initiated and supported by the Trust. The Trust bought a Fuel Pod and formed a women’s committee to convert waste cooking oil into biofuel. The fuel thus made is used to run a houseboat in Kerala. It is far less polluting and creates income for women-led self-help group in the Chenganda village, Kerala.

The impact of these projects drives us to scale our initiatives, create a movement of sustainable manufacturing in the remote areas of the Himalayas where women find themselves alone as husbands leave the villages in search of work in cities, sometimes only returning once a year. In addition to craft standardization, better health, and working conditions, the Community Centre brings women together, is a space for interaction and communication, bonding, and mutual support. Women in the villages, empowered by the Trust are now able to make informed and independent decisions for their lives, are sending more children to schools with the income generated by them and are living healthier lives.