Through knowledge sharing, advocacy and project support, Hand in Hand Switzerland Association aims to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems related to access to education, women empowerment and climate change.
Education for child labourers and dropout children through residential and non-residential special training centres. Children who graduate from our centres have been nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize and Ashoka Youth Fellowships!
Women’s empowerment by providing livelihoods, digital literacy, financial inclusion and entrepreneurship training in partnership with international organisations such as ADB (Asian Development Bank), MRRD Afghanistan and Independent Development Trust (IDT), South Africa. Dr. Kalpana Sankar was awarded the Princess Sabika Bint Ibrahim Prize for Women Empowerment in 2019 as an Individual Champion.
Through climate smart agriculture, segregation of waste at source and rejuvenation of water bodies. This has culminated in us securing an observer status at the UNFCCC and forging partnerships with institutions such as Water.org.
Early Childhood Care and Development through maternal and child health programmes for rural women and children. Created communities of Mothers’ Collectives through the UBS Optimus Foundation partnership.
Through need-based skill training initiatives for women and youth, implemented a project to enhance productivity through energy-based enterprises in partnership with ADB (Asian Development Bank) and the Frankfurt School.
Providing access and entitlements to create sustainable communities
Hand in Hand Switzerland is a truly global organisation. We have been instrumental in establishing very successful pilots in 7 geographies with different cultures and regulations.
The founding organisation, Hand in Hand India works towards alleviating poverty through an integrated community development approach that was developed based on the United Nations multi-deprivation indices. The work in India has been successful since 2004 and was initially established for eradication of child labour, prevalent in the silk weaving looms of Kancheepuram, in Tamil Nadu. Understanding that poverty is the root cause, Hand in Hand India spearheaded by Dr. Percy Barnevik and Dr. Kalpana Sankar formulated a unique job creation model - where women in Self Help Groups (typically mothers of child labourers) were given more than mere credit including skill training and enterprise development training - so that they become microentrepreneurs! Together, they replicated the model globally in South Africa, Brazil and Afghanistan with support from local stakeholders and a professional team.
3.8 million women employed
334,217 children mainstreamed into govt schools
328,731 people reached through curative care
139,084 women have been skilled
Hand in Hand Cambodia along with along with Cambodian Rural Development Team and the Asian Institute of Technology started a pilot Livelihoods project in Cambodia in 2012,
the Hand in Hand model of Self Help Groups and job creation was adapted to the South East Asian context in the Kratie and Strung Treng provinces, the pilot was pivotal in
exposing the community to sectors other than agriculture for income generation, the organisation now holds a microfinance licence and works actively in training rural women
in capacity building for enterprise creation. In addition, advocacy on children’s rights, health camps and education are conducted regularly.
Besides a stable source of income, the SHG model has inculcated the habit of saving among the beneficiaries. Moving forward, HiHCSPL aims to form 100 SHGs each year until 2020 targeting 600 SHGs.
A pilot project was initiated in Bogalay township of Myanmar in 2013. Using our job creation model, the pilot built wealth creating capacity for the women in this town. A revolving fund model for small businesses such as fisheries, trading and agriculture was created to help women save independent of banks and borrow at lower rates of interest.
Hand in Hand Lanka was established in 2011 to support communities in post war Sri Lanka with community development and poverty alleviation projects. With Sevalanka and Berendina as the two partners, the districts of Vavuniya and Mannar are our areas of operation. The second phase includes expanding to Kilinochi, Mullaithivu and Jaffna, where we will enable an environment for promoting livelihoods, skill training, education, health and microfinance. We have organised exposure visits and knowledge sharing visits to India so far.
The Inter American Development Bank and Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), invited Hand in Hand India to foster South-South partnership in Brazil for alleviation of poverty. The project facilitated access to credit, technical support and market linkages for close to 50,000 people in North Eastern Brazil. By working in parallel with the local Government and creating an enabling environment for women, the model was a success and was taken over by World Vision, Brazil and replicated in 5 different countries in South America.
Hand in Hand India initiated its project in South Africa through an idea shared by the late Nelson Mandela and an invitation from the South African government. Being the first project outside India, several of our learning culminated in formalising the cooperative model in South Africa as the best method for job creation and poverty alleviation. Hand in Hand South Africa had rolled out a microcredit programme to provide finance to emerging micro and small enterprises and a corpus for incubation fund has been set up, along with handholding support provided to value chains. With the encouragement of joint venture businesses, a significant change was brought about amongst women in South Africa.
In 2008, Hand in Hand India set foot on Afghan soil with the invitation from Hon’ble President Hamid Karzai and support of Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. Hand in Hand India was pivotal for piloting a two year project to understand the feasibility of microfinance in Afghanistan. The predominant work involved explaining the concept of promoting savings and lending among groups, to not just the community but first to Islamic religious leaders. Changing mindsets was not an easy task. However, by the end of the two years, women who had not ventured out of their homes were busy running their own businesses. The success of the model and pilot was picked up by the World Bank that continues to date, being implemented by a local team. The model has been lauded as being relevant, gender-balanced, inclusive and culture friendly. The programme gave boost to Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Programme and formed 459 Savings Credit Group (SCG), of which 40% was all-women SCGs and 8000 businesses were established.
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Your work is amazing and incredibly impactful. I wish all our partners were as stellar as Hand in Hand India.Matt Damon
It is no small measure that’s to the cooperation of devoted organisations such as Hand in Hand that that we are able to, as you very well mentioned, touch the lives of so many in the Latin American and Caribbean Region.Luis Alberto Moreno
President, InterAmerican Development Bank
Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Program pilot is already being implemented by Hand in Hand with generous funding from the Indian Government for two districts in the Balkh province. This pilot has provided a number of lessons learnt that have been incorporated in the design of the main Program.Wais Ahmed Barmak
Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development, Afghanistan
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