jour·ney /ˈjərnē/ noun. An act of travelling from one place to another. c.1200, “a defined course of travelling; one’s path in life.”

Man on bicycle in India

We want to invite you on a journey.

This isn’t the kind of journey that needs a passport or visa, and thankfully it doesn’t involve lugging overweight suitcases to the airport. All you need to bring is yourself.

A journey with Jeevika might be an Indian woman’s involvement in a livelihood we help to support. It might also be one of our partner NGOs learning to deliver a new project or a UK supporter taking part in one of our annual events.

The important thing is that everyone can come on a journey with Jeevika. As though it were as easy as hopping on a train, it’s possible for anyone—whether in the UK, India or elsewhere—to come along and join us for the ride.

About Jeevika

Jeevika Trust was founded in 1970 under the name ‘India Development Group’, as a non-political, non-religious UK charity. Jeevika is a Hindi word best translated as ‘livelihood’.  For us the term ‘livelihood’ goes beyond just making a living, to embrace all the primary conditions for a viable, dignified and hopeful existence.

In June 2005 we adopted the working name ‘Jeevika Trust’ with the explanatory slogan ‘village livelihood in India’ to better reflect ourmission of ‘tackling the roots of poverty… through revitalising rural communities’.

Committed to extending our horizons across India and responding to the challenges of globalisation, we have increasingly channelled our support through our grassroots NGO partners and are currently focused on two states, Orissa and Tamil Nadu.

About our team

Jeevika is run by a small team of part-timestaff and committed volunteers from its office in Hampton Wick, near Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, UK. Here’s a look at who’s behind the blog…

Jeevika Trust DirectorAndrew Redpath, Director
India’s not quite in Andrew’s blood (he was 6 months old on his first visit, and stayed for 6 years), but it’s close. Years later, he started going back for business in the 1970s when India was crippled by socialism. He kept going till the Millennium, when he was lucky enough to meet Surur Hoda, his predecessor as Director of what is now called ‘Jeevika’, and to start supporting its work. And here he is, still enjoying India with all its beauty and challenges, and proud to be part of the team–whether from our UK office or in the field.

Jeevika Trust TeamJudith Crosland, Programmes Officer
For the past 15 years, Judith has had responsibility for monitoring Jeevika’s project delivery which includes visiting field projects and reporting to funders. She works closely with partners to assist the design of new projects and helps facilitate bi-annual Stakeholder Workshops which build the capacity of partners to maximise their organisational effectiveness. Travelling in India over many years has provided her with wonderful opportunities for developing cross-cultural friendships, including those with temple elephants!

Jeevika Trust TeamMark Roberts, Funding Strategy Officer
Mark has spent over 20 years as director of various charities and today gives half his time to Jeevika as Deputy Director, working mainly on programme funding strategies. Mark first travelled to India as part of a UNESCO sponsored trip to forge links between Indian and EU-based NGOs. During this trip he visited scores of villages. Many offered promise and opportunity; others held desolation and poor health. Working with Jeevika offers a way to try to understand the reasons for this and make that difference….

Jeevika Trust VolunteerMark Hoda, Fundraising and Events Consultant
Mark’s father and uncle were founders of Jeevika Trust, along with E.F. Schumacher, so he has a long and deeply personal association with the organisation. With a background in public affairs and campaigning, he is tasked with developing relationships with Jeevika’s key stakeholders. He also chairs our sister organisation, the Gandhi Foundation. Mark loves Indian cuisine and eating Bhindi jaipuri was a particular culinary highlight on his most recent trip to India (although it was expertly cooked for him in Tamil Nadu rather than Jaipur!).

Jeevika Trust staffBecky Buchanan, Communities Consultant
With a fervent social justice ethic and a lifelong love of travel, Becky has put her Sociology and Anthropology MA to good effect in the international development arena. She has experience in a variety of education and empowerment projects in India – from cosmopolitan New Delhi to gypsy camps of Tamil Nadu in the south via the deserts of Rajasthan in the north, living within the local communities. Now back in the UK, Becky’s focus at Jeevika is on fundraising and building stronger links with local communities.

Candace Rardon Jeevika Trust VolunteerCandace Rardon, Communications Consultant
Candace’s first introduction to India was driving an auto-rickshaw (otherwise known as a tuk tuk) 3,000 kilometres across the country as a part of the Rickshaw Run. Since that fateful journey from Shillong to Jaisalmer, she’s developed a passion for India and for documenting its stories. As a travel writer and photographer, Candace takes care of Jeevika’s blog, website and social media involvement, and, once based in India from August on, she will also be working with our partner NGOs and carrying out research projects.