Through Free The Children's groundbreaking Adopt a Village model, the firm is supporting holistic sustainable development in three communities in Rajasthan, India with a particular focus on developing Alternative Income programs.
Free The Children co-founder Craig Kielburger commented: "KPMG's generous support has been a critical part of the positive change seen across all three communities. The communities have been supported to maintain good health, stabilize school attendance rates, diversify livelihoods and reduce the risk of economic insecurity, effectively breaking the cycle of poverty."
All KPMG people and their families have the opportunity to travel to Kenya, India or Ecuador to learn first-hand about life in a rural communities and how Free The Children is working to empower local people to lift themselves out of poverty.
KPMG is a proud national sponsor of We Day, a movement that brings together a generation of youth to be engaged in changing the world through an inspirational event and year-long educational initiative. KPMG helped to expand We Day across Canada by raising support in the corporate community. Hundreds of KPMG people and clients have attended as honoured guests and volunteers.
- Click here to learn more about We Day.
- Watch their latest video.
KPMG people and their families have provided tremendous support for Free The Children campaigns such as We Scare Hunger, Redefine Possible and We Create Change.
Many KPMG offices have hosted Family Engagement Workshops which enable our people and clients to empower youth in their lives to make a difference. The experience provides families with tools to raise socially responsible children.
KPMG people across the country have been inspired by Marc and Craig Kielburger, Spencer West, even Maasai Warriors Wilson and Jackson. Me to We speakers offer unique perspectives on the work of Free The Children, finding a passion within your community and making a difference.
|Here are some highlights of our work internationally:|
Blog #4: Nanki's Story: The Hope to End Poverty
Nanki, age 25, is the mother of two and lives with her husband and his family in the small community of Udawad.
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The Hope to End PovertyBlog #3: Strengthening Confidence, Income and Equality
Nanki, age 25, is the mother of two and lives with her husband and his family in the small community of Udawad. It is one of the most remote villages in the region, located 100 kilometres from Udaipur City in Rajasthan, India. The community has historically faced several challenges relating to marginalization, social exclusion, lack of clean water and lack of adequate access to education.
As a child, Nanki didn't have the opportunity to go to school and is illiterate. Instead of learning how to read, she was taught how to farm and take care of the household by her parents. Growing up, she remembers suffering through periods of drought which severely affected her family and the community, killing their livestock and leaving them hungry. As a child, Nanki did not have career aspirations and proclaims that she "never thought about anything in my life." Now as an adult, her family at times finds it difficult to secure food for the household and often times relies on the small amount of milk sourced from their only buffalo. Throughout her adulthood, Nanki has also traditionally lacked access to credit; credit which she believes would help her and her family. If she had the ability to secure a loan, Nanki would purchase more livestock and would install an electric water pump to irrigate her fields, helping break the cycle of poverty.
During the last few months, Nanki has been able to lessen some of these daily obstacles. She first heard about Free The Children's programming from her mother-in-law, who advised Nanki to become involved in the community women's group. Now an active member, she learns new skills and accesses important information that she shares with her family. Since joining, Nanki already feels a change in herself and in her community. She tells Free The Children that she is no longer shy and quiet and is committed to enhancing community development. Nanki believes that the overall community mindset has changed drastically and that community members are now more accepting of new things. She also believes that there's now an added motivation for students to study and for family's to focus on improving their financial situation. Through the support of Free The Children and KPMG, in combination with the success of the women's groups, Nanki has established her own kitchen garden. When it comes time to harvest, Nanki will be able to further strengthen her family's food security with the goal of also creating new income generating opportunities for herself and her household.
Nanki's ultimate hope is to earn enough for her family to feel secure and to end poverty in her community.
Jasoda Lohar, 26, lives in the remote village of Bagad, India, with her three sons: Bhavesh, Umesh and Vikas, ages 10, 8 and 4, respectively.
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Strengthening Confidence, Income and EqualityBlog #2: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty with Free Range Chickens
Jasoda Lohar, 26, lives in the remote village of Bagad, India, with her three sons: Bhavesh, Umesh and Vikas, ages 10, 8 and 4, respectively. In many ways, Jasoda takes on the responsibilities of a single parent, with a husband who works hundreds of kilometres away in Surat City. She had to find ways to support her family and survive without the financial support of her husband after his initial departure. Fortunately, with a grade 4 education, Jasoda was able to secure a job working at the community's anganwadi, the government-funded health centre. Though she was receiving a salary from the government, Jasoda was finding it difficult to support her children. Even now with the added support from her husband, she is still unable to access credit, without which, she will never be able to pursue her dream of starting her own business.
Jasoda understands the barriers faced by the girl child in her community and knows what it feels like to be discriminated against based on one's gender. That's why when Jasoda found out about Free The Children's women's groups she decided to get involved. She is now receiving training from Free The Children on financial literacy. Jasoda confidently declares that the women of Bagad are ready to focus on self-development and that through the support of Free The Children women are redefining their roles and identities. As community members become more aware of women's rights, Jasoda is hopeful that poverty will decrease and that her work will bring prosperity to the community. For Jasoda, Free The Children means working together for community development. Full of dreams and aspirations, Jasoda is confidently hopeful that her newly developed skills will help her realize her goal of opening her own business, lifting herself and her family out of poverty.
Many exciting projects are in full swing in the Adopt a Village community of Kamoda.
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Breaking the Cycle of Poverty with Free Range ChickensBlog #1: Alternative Income and Livelihood Programming in India
Many exciting projects are in full swing in the Adopt a Village community of Kamoda. Supported by KPMG, this community works in close partnership with all of us in the Free The Children India office, to develop long-term sustainable income generating solutions. Many people in Kamoda work in the farming and agriculture sector. Unfortunately, Kamoda faces several challenges that prevent farmers from harvesting successful crops. Not only does the community experience severe dry seasons, but their land is also riddled with poor soil fertility, subjecting Kamoda to vulnerable crops and unpredictable incomes.
Addressing these challenges and setbacks, Free The Children work closely with community members to find solutions to their adversities and find new opportunities to supplement their income. Such projects vary village to village. We work with community members to better understand components of their culture, traditions, resources, habits, climate, environment and other contributing factors that help determine projects best suited to their needs. In response to the challenges associated with poor soil fertility and extreme weather patterns, we have begun to implement animal husbandry programs in Kamoda. The projects address and mitigate the challenges faced by the community, while also strengthening Kamoda's access to better income generating opportunities.
Back in July of 2012, we began working alongside Kamoda's women's groups to implement chicken husbandry projects. Not only were the women provided with chickens, but they also received the resources and training necessary to shelter and tend to their free range birds. Having received the training, tools and resources necessary, women are now seeing the fiscal benefits of the program.
Kanku Laccharam is one of the most successful beneficiaries of the program. In Kamoda, families like Kanku's are challenged by the inaccessibility to varied diets and nutrients. Fortunately, Kanku is now able to access protein from eggs laid by her chickens. Kanku, along with many other beneficiaries have recently introduced omelettes and scrambled eggs into their daily diets. Not only does this program provide strengthened food security, but women like Kanku are also able to earn a substantial amount of alternative income. During the months of August to October of 2012, Kanku was able to earn over $35.00 CAD from selling chickens and eggs. Kanku's sustainable backyard chicken husbandry coop will continue to provide nutrients, income, pride and confidence to herself, her family and her community. We would like to give a huge thanks to KPMG and to KPMG people for their support and for helping to break the cycle of poverty in Kamoda.
Free The Children works in partnership with village members to create successful income generating programs.
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Alternative Income and Livelihood Programming in India
Free The Children's Adopt a Village development model provides communities around the world with sustainable solutions every day that improve access to clean water, education, nutrients, health and income generation. Alternative income and livelihood projects empower communities, help break the cycle of poverty and provide community members with economic security. By identifying and implementing initiatives that address the needs of a specific community, Free The Children can work in partnership with village members to create successful income generating programs.
In India, Free The Children works in partnership with several communities, addressing their particular needs and helping secure viable economic opportunities. With 29% of the country living below the poverty line and with 12% of Indian children working as child labourers, Free The Children views its alternative income and livelihood development pillar as critical focus area to ensure the sustainable growth of a community. Sustainable economic solutions not only lift families out of poverty, they also provide them with better access to education, healthcare, clean water, food and nutrients.
With the support of KPMG, Free The Children works in partnership with three communities in India: Kamoda, Bagad and Udawad. These communities have traditionally relied on animal husbandry and agricultural farming initiatives. Unfortunately, they continue to face obstacles in these industries and many villagers opt for migrant labour employment opportunities. A large percentage of men in these communities now work outside of their villages, travelling far distances to Ahmadabad, Surat and Mumbai, finding jobs in the general labour industry and as jewellers.
Some communities in India, such as Kamoda, have access to governmental public works programming. Unfortunately, such programming only provides temporary employment, failing to address the need for long-term sustainable solutions. Free The Children is working alongside community members, finding viable solutions that mitigate the need to migrate for work and that provide long-term economic security options. Adopt a Village addresses the unemployment crisis by providing a hand-up, instead of a hand-out, by combating water scarcity, conducting livelihood training and providing new opportunities in the agricultural and animal husbandry industries.
In India, Free The Children also focuses on establishing women's groups, which aim to increase social and economic conditions, as well as providing business and financial literacy workshops. These strategies continue to prove to be effective, strengthening community pride and overall development in communities across India. Free The Children is excited to continue to strengthen alterative income and livelihood programming within India and is exciting to share the successes made possible through KPMG support and contributions.