‘Village to Village’ is a growing theme of Jeevika’s work – the village community of Hampton Wick on the river here, to the villages of Orissa and Tamil Nadu where our Indian NGO partners deliver the projects that we plan and get funding for.
Well … Sunday 4th August saw Hampton Wick’s high street cleared of traffic to allow the thousands of Prudential RideLondon cyclists to sweep past over Kingston Bridge. The whole street was given over to the brand new Hampton Wick Festival, which looks like being an annual fixture from now. Courtesy of Pyush Patel the postmaster, Jeevika set up its stall straight outside the Post Office: thanks to Christine, Nadia, Leila and others for their support – especially on the Grand Parade.
We marched under our tall JEEVIKA banner, along with King Henry VIII and his courtiers representing Historic Poyal Palaces, the glittering bee-lady all in gold on stilts, a penny-farthing and a classic Rolls-Royce, two alarmingly real gorillas on a motor-bike and side-car– you name it! The street and the Crafts Fair were thronged with pedestrians from noon to dusk. Many congratulations to Carol Duke and Mark Butler for making it all happen through the Hampton Wick Association.
Meanwhile at the India end, our projects continue to be focused on village communities – whether it be the 70 families on Barhampur island in Orissa’s Chilika Lake sea lagoon with their needs for integrated water & sanitation plus income generation from crab & prawn cultivation, or those around Namakkal and Trichy in the heart of Tamil Nadu where women’s needs for security from domestic violence and for access to HIV/AIDS treatment and care are being addressed by our new ‘Watchdog Committees.’
Judith and Andrew, during their March visits to monitor existing NGO partnerships, also attended the capacity building Partners Workshop in Auroville near Pondicherry: this wonderful campus with its appropriate technology institutes is an extended village in itself.
To help meet the needs of such communities we of course have to raise funding for our Indian project costs – our recent Impact Assessment study shows that for every £1 invested through our village income-generation projects, at least £3 of income is generated by the villagers.
But in order to create, fund and deliver those projects, we also have to cover our irreducible overhead expenses back here. We stay small here – a 1-room office and 3 part-paid staff – but through our Indian NGO partners and the villages they serve, our impact in India is multiplied. Our aim here is for at least half of our ‘human resource’ to be volunteers (and by the way, in this time of highly-paid charity chiefs, all my own time is voluntary too!). So, will you please help us with a donation now?
That’s all for now!
Andrew Redpath, Executive Director