Find Your Feet (FYF) is a British charity working with poor communities in India and Southern Africa. It was founded in 1960 in response to the refugee crisis in Central and Eastern Europe. Over the last 40 years its approach to alleviating poverty and suffering has evolved from providing humanitarian aid to supporting long-term rural development projects.
FYF believes in Social Justice : a world in which everyone has the right to build a future free from poverty. It is currently supporting over 20 programmes in 6 developing countries – India, Malawi, Sambia, South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho.
It works with rural poor using their own skills and knowledge to develop sustainable solutions to poverty. Through working in partnership with local organisations, it enable poverty – sticken communities to increase their levels of food production, income, health care and education so that they can create a better future for themselves.
FYF projects look for solutions to poverty in rural areas of South Asia and Southern Africa. FYF works to ensure that rural communities are provided with the most basic human rights – the right to food, clean water and a livelihood. Its program empower and enable marginalised communities to have a great control over their own lives through active participation in civil and political life.
FYF works with very poor communities and helps to develop small business ventures that bring new sources of income and employment to local people. With the money that the villagers earn from these activities, they can afford to send their children to school, pay for health care, and generally improve their lives.
It is working in the semi-arid Deccan Plain of Andhra Pradesh, an area that suffers greatly from environmental degradation and a rapidly declining ground water-table. The poor quality land is impeding agricultural production and pushing many of the local people to the brink of starvation. To make matters worse, government incentives are encouraging mono-cropping at the expense of biodiversity.
FYF is running a community-led natural resource management project. The project is providing villagers with agricultural training and support and promoting the use of traditional farming practices that build on indigenous knowledge and experience.
By promoting sustainable agriculture, FYF is helping farmers in Andhra Pradesh increase their crop and livestock yields while sustaining the environment for future generations.
In Chhattisgarh, FYF is developing a network of local community organisations to address the needs of the communities in three extremely poor districts. Working primarily with tribal people, the network is raising awareness amongst disadvantaged groups about their rights and providing them with a platform from which to influence government policies. With the help of the network, local people are organising themselves into self-help groups. These groups are provided with vocational training and small loans, enabling their members to engage in income-generating activities.
The self-help groups are providing the communities with a forum in which they can tackle key social problems such as alcoholism and child marriage. The project is fostering a sense of unity amongst the disadvantaged communities and enabling them to work together to overcome poverty and discrimination.
Created out of the state of Bihar in 2000, Jharkhand is one of India’s poorest states with high rates of unemployment and widespread ill health, illiteracy and malnutrition. The Santal Parrgana area of Jharkhand is inhabited by many poor tribal communities and dalits (Untouchables). FYF is working closely with more than 2,000 local families, promoting sustainable agriculture and increasing long-term food security.
Formerly part of Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal is a new state bordering the Himalayas that was created in 2000. The region’s harsh climate and poor quality land hamper agricultural production and threaten food security.
FYF is working on three programmes located in Uttaranchal that are designed to :
- Improve natural resource management so as to reduce environmental degradation and ensure that the local people have enough food all year round.
- Develop village services and infrastructure to increase access to clean drinking water and health facilities.
- Set up locally appropriate small enterprises that generate income and employment opportunities.
For hundreds of years the tribal communities (adivasis) living in the Nilgiri Hills region of Tamil Nadu earned their living by collecting and selling forest produce. But when the government Forestry Department decided to auction forest produce collection licenses to the highest bidders, the adivasi people found themselves denied access to the forest lands. Deprived of their main source of income, many adivasi people lacked the means to support themselves and their children. FYF is running an Adivasi Forest Produce programme that is enabling the tribal people to have a say in the policies that determine their lives. As part of the programme, adivasi self-help groups have been set up. Through lobbying and campaigning, they have secured the right to collect forest produce within a designated area.
It is providing the adivasi groups with support and training in processing and marketing forest produce products, including jam, honey, and soap.
FYF is running three projects in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. All three projects share a commitment to helping the most vulnerable members of society assert their rights and improve their lives. By building the skills of the project participants and supporting them to set up their own micro-enterprises, FYF’s projects are creating income-generating opportunities and enhancing the socio-economic status of the traditionally excluded members of society.
Find Your Feet
North India Office : A-1573, Indira Nagar, (Shalimar Crossing),
Contact Person : Ms Savitri Sharma
Find Your Feet
Unit 316, Bon Mareche Centre, 241-251 Ferndale Raod, London SW9 8 BJ, Ph.: 0044-20-73264464, Fax : 0044-20-77338848 Email: [email protected]