WELL- Woman empowered
On December 26, 2004 the tsunami hit the coast of South India. The tsunami left behind damage that is beyond just the physical realm. Though the flood water resided, lingering in its’ debris, were woman in trauma deprived of their usual source of income and without knowledge for other employment. On October 26, 2004, the Merguei Family arrived in Auroville, a multi-cultural village in South India, in search of a life that would have a truer meaning for them, promoting recycling and papier-mâché crafts in particular. These two events and the support of good friends gave birth to a vision to create an environment that will promote rehabilitation and livelihood to the women from tsunami’s affected villages, trough papier-mâché art.
Name of implementing organization
The WELL project belongs to the livelihood branch of the Tsunami rehabilitation program, which is a part of the village action organization in Auroville.
Name of proposed project
WELL - Women Empowered by Local Livelihood
General Time Frame
The projected time to achieve the initial goals is approximately two years. The first year will be dedicated to preparation, organizing, study and training. The second year will be focused on establishing a financially sustainable unit which does not rely on donations. For more detailed time table see the relevant appendix.
- The workshop location will be in Auroville close to the coastline. It will enable the target population to stay in their surroundings and will make the commute easy.
- The population is drawn from the fisherman’s villages devastated by the tsunami on the coastline of the Auroville district. More information about the surrounding can be found in the Auroville web site under the tsunami relief section.
- The target group is women from tsunami’s affected villages in the above mentioned locations.
- The target group suffers from trauma (the sea which was the main source of livelihood disappointed them dramatically), loss of the husband’s mental, emotional and financial support, and are feeling insecure about their own and their children’s future.
- The intended first priority solution is to generate income from a trained skill in the arts.
The project is operated by:
- Orly, which is a Social- worker that for many years instructed different groups with special needs trough handcraft workshops. Orly leads the project and takes care for the social and art aspects.
- Danny, an accountant that mainly worked auditor and consultant of big organizations. Danny will take care of the finance and organizational aspects.
- Anbu, Village action coordinator will orient the project in relation to the local community, particularly the Paalam structure of village organization (i.e. Village leadership) and the women’s group.
- An English-speaking Tamil Woman that understands the local mentality and culture will assist with the communications of the target group.
- The overall objective is to assist the target group in creating a livelihood and to promote awareness of recycling within the surrounding areas and populations.
The specific objectives are as follow:
- Grant a profession, source of income and social benefits to the target group.
- Market recycled products.
- Built up self-confidence in the women.
- Maintain a support group for daily issues.
- Increase awareness about recycling and collecting waste.
- Strengthen the human unity within the surrounding villages.
- Provide social support to the target group.
- To spread awareness of human unity to the donors.
Outputs and indications
- Papier-mâché workshop that initially employs 10 – indicated by the fact that the workshop is successfully running.
- Sufficient income from sales of products to cover the workshop activities. – indicated by the financial figures.
- Reduction of recycled waste in the surroundings. – Follow up by purchased/collected waste for the workshop.
- Designing new products from recycled material. – Marketable and sellable new products.
Assumptions and Risks
- A major risk is derived from the products’ demand in the global market.
- A risk of participation by the target population.
- Relationship with the community.
- Proper location to operate the project.