Live among them
Learn from them
Plan for them
Work with them
Start with what they know
Build on what they have
Teach by showing
Learn by doing
Not a showcase but a pattern
Not odds and ends but a system
Not piecemeal but integrated approach
Not to conform but to transform
Not relief but release
– James Yen
This is the motto of World Vision’s New Hope Area Development Program in Chennai. I was privileged to visit one of the slums where they are making a significant impact through Self Help Groups that emphasize saving and building financial capacity through micro entrepreneurship programs for women. This project has initiated 420 Self Help Groups covering in the slum areas. These groups provide loans on a repayment basis where money is recycled back into the community. Many of the women now contribute to their family’s income by participating in saving as well as running small businesses of their own.
Just to give some perspective, there are 8.4 million people living in Chennai (the fourth largest city in India). There are 200,000 people living in the slum which we visited today. Approximately 40-50% of the population in Chennai live in slums.
The women we visited with all affirmed that through this program they have gained respect in their family, and they’ve contributed to the financial stability of their family.
World Vision is doing an incredible job in bringing new hope to families in the slums!