GEN Initiative: a grassroots empowerment network working with local NGOs and the most disadvantaged villagers to contribute to the elimination of poverty in the Alwar District of Rajasthan State, India
The GEN Initiative
The GEN Initiative is closing down this Autumn
The trustees of the GEN Initiative are delighted to announce that GEN has more than accomplished what it set out to achieve in the 12 -13 years during which it has sought to fundraise and to support and expand EP’s work from its very beginnings. We are confident that our partners, the Indian NGO (non-governmental organisation, a non-profit organisation in effect) End Poverty (EP), have outgrown the small but dedicated and active group of trustees who make up GEN and all work voluntarily from the UK.
We now intend to wind down this UK-based charity by autumn 2022.
The founding GEN trustees, and notably its chair, Sue Burke, set up, coached and supported End Poverty in establishing its mission and methods of working to alleviate poverty in deprived rural communities, initially in Rajasthan. Through a programme of initiatives and projects based on consultation with those communities, we have worked towards their own priorities and aspirations to improve rural livelihoods.
GEN and EP have worked in partnership
to deliver a highly successful and innovative literacy programme for adolescent girls,
to develop skills for women that can provide a much-needed independent income,
on agricultural and village-based projects ranging from providing saplings or seeds to grow and market fruit and vegetable produce in addition to traditional crops,
installing village gas or toilets and
a large-scale project to develop dairy farming.
Our programmes initially covered 50 Meo villages and hamlets in the Alwar district, Rajasthan, India- one of the most disadvantaged areas in the country. EP now works in seven Indian states with more than 170 employees and volunteers reaching more than 40,000 beneficiaries.
GEN began discussing and planning its forward strategy some time ago and decided that we would concentrate our efforts on EP’s women’s programmes. In rural areas, women still are in so many ways disadvantaged, especially through their lack of independent income, and of ability and opportunity to go beyond domestic and village life. Girls in rural areas still lag far behind in education. GEN has continued to provide funds, raised through public events and grant-giving foundations, and from our supporters for girls education as well as for a five-year research-based Women’s Empowerment project of training for women which is enabling them to develop small-scale village-based businesses.
Our last fundraising effort has enabled EP to employ a professional fundraiser to step up fundraising efforts in India and internationally. A generous grant from the Waterloo Foundation to fund this new staffer’s work has meant that EP is expanding its presence on all social media platforms, is effectively building relationships and tapping into social responsibility budgets in the Indian private sector (all large Indian corporates are obliged by law to donate a portion of their profits to charity).
During the Covid pandemic our work continued though fieldwork was difficult and mostly carried on remotely while fundraising in UK became more difficult, as for all in the voluntary sector. One of our own, GEN’s company secretary sadly succumbed to Covid.
We are grateful to all our friends and supporters, those who turned up and enjoyed our “Ten for GEN” walks in London and in the countryside around, other fundraising events and especially grateful to all the institutional grant providers and donors who have supported our work over the years.
We leave this innovative low-cost project with great satisfaction and in the hope and trust that EP will continue to thrive and expand its work while staying within its commitment to grassroots development, working side by side with India’s rural communities.
This letter to all our friends and supporters of the Grassroots Empowerment Network (GEN) Initiative Ltd will now be the final one. With that, we bid you a grateful farewell and trust that, with us, you may from time to time take an interest in the continuing work of End Poverty in Rajasthan and beyond.
Bet Tickner, Chair of GEN
The GEN Initiative Ltd. Charity Commission Registration No. 1101193 Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee No. 4620446
Who We Were
GEN was a UK based charity that worked in India to alleviate poverty.
Until Autumn 2022 We worked in close partnership with an Indian grass-roots organisation, END POVERTY, which we helped establish in 2009.
See our partners' website https://www.endpoverty.org.in/