We strive to help our beneficiaries in a permanent and deep way rather than paying lip service to poverty alleviation. We do this through excellent training to give them life-skills and knowledge as well as offering them several services so they have multiple income streams.
• We have already helped over 6,600 home farmers start backyard farming enterprises to help lift them out of poverty.
• By working with whole families, we are helping over 39,000 people significantly improve their lives.
• After conducting extensive research we have developed three market-led livelihood enterprises - Poultry Development Services (PDS) and Agri-management Services (AMS) and Goateries.
• Our services give home farmers the tools, training and expertise they need to start, develop and sustain their own enterprise.
• Our model, based on enterprise and not just aid, is helping families gain an income by working from home.
Measuring our social impact
Measuring our impact is extremely important and drives our future strategy. We carry out social impact assessments annually on our home-farmers, using the Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI), developed by the Grameen Foundation. They look at key socio-economic factors and are a clear indicator as to whether or not the project is working.
The impact assessments from our Poultry Development Services show that the sale of eggs alone can supplement household income by 30%; this additional income enables families to have the choices to improve their lives which is very empowering for these otherwise marginalised people. Tangible results are as follows:
• increased levels of empowerment amongst home-farmers, especially women
• improved basic and financial literacy
• choices for home-farmers about how to spend their money
• more nutritious meals more of the time
• increased number of children in school as the families can afford the books and uniforms
• increased access to proper medical care
• increased access to clean drinking water
• increased ownership of toilets
• increased savings amongst home-farmers
• more families are able to stay together as fathers and sons do not need to move to find work
We are currently researching even better and more efficient ways to measure our impact with the use of mobile data collection technology and increased reporting capability.
In addition to the impact we are making on our home farmers, the Livelihood Programme has also provided jobs for 45 local people: 31 Livelihood Service Providers (LSPs), 4 supervisors, 2 data entry operators across 4 locations and 4 management personnel.
Sustainability and long-term goals
Shivia’s model of livelihood development and enterprise is based on making our beneficiaries self-sufficient rather than dependent on aid. At present, our farmers pay a small contribution to both the PDS and AMS programmes which helps sustain operations. On average our poultry farmers take 3 toolkits after which we hope they have the training, products and resources they need to continue their enterprise without our help. The AMS programme has even greater opportunity for farmers to develop a sustainable enterprise from the outset as their plots of land become increasingly productive year on year. With 70% of the population living in poverty, the scope for our programme is almost limitless and we have plans to scale up our programme both geographically and with new enterprises for our farmers. However, our ultimate goal is for Shivia/Nirdhan to be an organisation wholly managed and funded in India and we are actively researching fundraising opportunities within West Bengal itself.
Shivia has developed a really cost effective way to enable West Bengali people to raise their own standard of living. Furthermore, they continue to move towards the ultimate goal of any development organisation which is to hand over the management to local people with the passion and drive to take it onwards and upwards.” NICK JENKINS, PATRON OF SHIVIA, FOUNDER, MOONPIG
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