Posts tagged ‘India’

Be the Change: The Be in Their Shoes Project

Marcel Tavelini and Emilia Galiano are spending two months in India working with the Mann Deshi Foundation:

“Mann Deshi Bank, active in six different locations across Maharashtra, is a pioneer in the microcredit field in India and mainly focuses on women empowerment. It’s sister organization, the Mann Deshi Foundation is responsible for several programs concerning women’s literacy and non-financial support. This organization believes in the adoption of a holistic approach: on the one hand they provide financial services to poor women, making them economically independent, on the other hand they provide training, mentorship and support, so as to make women self-confident.”
On arrival, they realized that the children in the area had unsuitable or no shoes to play sports in, so they launched the Be in Their Shoes (BITS) project to raise money for shoes.  BITS has 3 weeks to raise $5,500 – and Marcel and Emilia have promised to commemorate reaching their fundraising milestones with funny photos and videos! 
Click here to donate or learn more:

July 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm Leave a comment

Coming Soon: Book Reviews

This week I attended a fascinating Asia Society event entitled “The Indian Woman: From Myth to Modernity.”  It featured a distinguished panel of brilliant and talented Indian women, and after hearing them read and speak about their work, I had to jump online to order three of their books.  Stay tuned for reviews, coming soon:

In Search of Sita: Revisiting Mythology by Namita Gokhale and Malashri Lal
Pomegranate dreams & other stories by Vijay Lakshmi (short stories)
Confluences: Indian Women, Indian Goddesses by Nishi Chawla (poetry)

July 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm 1 comment

Development: Gender Matters

This article from the journal Gender, Technology and Development provides a striking illustration of the importance of understanding gender relationships when designing development programs.  “Empowerment and Disempowerment of Forest Women in Uttarakhand, India” examines the community impacts of a World Bank-funded forestry project.  “Instead of increasing women’s empowerment, the top-down interventions… are doing the opposite by disrupting and marginalizing their own struggles and achievements, transferring power and authority to the forest department and local elite men,” the author notes.

Read more:





June 1, 2011 at 10:54 am Leave a comment

Ela R. Bhatt: “Empowering Women to Forge Their Own Futures”

The Ford Foundation recently announced the winners of its Visionaries Awards, awarded to “12 social innovators who, through their extraordinary vision and courageous work, are improving the lives of millions of people.”  Among the recipients was Indian women’s empowerment pioneer Ela R. Bhatt:

Empowering Women to Forge Their Own Futures

Ela R. Bhatt

Ela R. Bhatt
Founder & CEO, Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)
Ahmedabad, India

“Widely recognized as one of the world’s most remarkable entrepreneurial forces in grassroots development, Ela R. Bhatt has dedicated her life to improving the lives of India’s poorest and most oppressed women workers. A former parliamentarian, she founded the Self-Employed Women’s Association—a trade union for poor, self-employed female workers in India with more than 1 million members. Bhatt also founded Sa-Dhan (the All-India Association of Micro-finance Institutions) and the Indian School of Micro-finance for Women, which together have created new financial opportunities for millions of women across India.”

Read more about SEWA:

Read more about the other Visionaries Award winners:

May 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

“In South Asia, Women are WISER”

Check out this post from sister blog SHEenergy:

In South Asia, Women are WISER

“The Women’s Institute for Sustainable Energy Research (WISER), based in Kerala, India, is ‘promoting the active participation and leadership of women in the energy sector’ in South Asia.”

Read more:

May 2, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Nest: More than Microfinance, More than Fair Trade

“Nest is a nonprofit organization that empowers female artists and artisans around the world. Using a unique combination of interest-free microfinance loans, mentoring from established designers, as well as a market in which to sell their crafts, Nest helps its loan recipients create successful small businesses. Nest instills pride of ownership, preserves ancient artistic traditions and successfully moves women from poverty to self-sufficiency.”

Shop their fun, distinctive, handmade offerings at!

A few favorites:

Hayat tote:

Temple Beads by Lolita:

TranquiliT savasana throw:


Nest is a 2011 Tranquil Space Foundation grant recipient!

April 20, 2011 at 12:12 pm Leave a comment

Expanding Access to Finance for Health e-Conference: March 29-30

Next Tuesday and Wednesday, the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, and the USAID Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector project (SHOPS) are hosting an online conference on “the use of financial services to strengthen the global health care supply chain”.  

SHOPS is a five-year cooperative agreement focusing on “increasing availability, improving quality, and expanding coverage of essential health products and services in family planning and reproductive health, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, and other health areas through the private sector.”

Join participants from Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar,  Nepal, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, the UK, the US, and Zambia (and that’s just who’s signed up so far) in learning about finance in healthcare!

To register for the online conference or learn more:

March 25, 2011 at 12:41 pm Leave a comment

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