What we do

Promoting Social Entrepreneurship

Towards fulfilling its mission of sustainable community development by empowering women as leaders and entrepreneurs, the Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) Group has promoted social enterprises that offer a range of skill-building, livelihoods and health-enhancing opportunities to rural women and youth. Since 2006, the SSP Group has been engaged in facilitating the entry of community level, grassrootswomen’s groups & federations into new emerging rural markets as network of Sakhis or village level entrepreneurs, by spearheading social enterprises and partnering with corporations. The SSP Group has experienced teams and established social enterprises that support innovation and learning for the BOP, to foster models, co-create affordable products, ease of services, IT applications etc.

Group Services: Skill-building & entrepreneurship, sustainable agriculture, health services, water &energy products, financial & insurance services for rural youth, women & families.

 

SSP Health Services and Advocacy

SSP’s Community Health Program, offers poor underserved families access to health services, health insurance, HIV/AIDS and other health education, and seeks to work with local governments on improvements in basic services including water and sanitation deficiencies. It also advocates for better health in government arenas, both regional and national. A key ingredient of the SSP approach is direct collaboration with private/public health providers to improve health service outreach. Impact areas include:

 

·         Community participation in health promotion and disease prevention

·         Holds health providers accountable for delivering high-quality health services

·         Ensures delivery and quality of government health services

·         Reduces healthcare costs by 30%.·

 

Women and Agriculture

SSP began its agriculture initiative in early 2008-09, in four districts in Maharashtra and spread this approach to 3 states. Today, SSP works with around 3,000 women farmers and over 1500 male farmers in crisis ridden districts of Vidarbha. In the light of the threat from climate change, vegetable production can be a resilient solution due to short crop cycles, crop rotation and seasonality. Women’s informal efforts to scale up vegetable production will be amplified by using their knowledge of nutrition, food and seed processing.

SSP works on a scaled up strategy in the agriculture sector. SSP’s women and agriculture initiative seeks to organize women farmers so they gain exposure and knowledge on farming techniques and are recognized by families and institutions as farmers and experts. At the centre of SSP’s strategy is to empower women to view themselves as farmers and innovators. The initiative provides for sustainable livelihoods and incomes and ensures food security.


Impact

·   Access to over 1000 ++ acres of land for experimentation by women

·  Vegetable produce is now available for households whereas earlier families stopped consuming vegetables as they had to travel far.

·   Women increased their market access and income to meet food consumption needs in families.

·   Reduction in vulnerabilities through diversification of livelihoods,

·   Increase in technical knowledge around agriculture & skills

·Ability to conduct business in local markets.

· Long term improvement in soil condition and yield quantity and quality in cases where organic techniques are used, which illustrates an increase in environmental protection through promotion of sustainable agriculture.

·     Learning Network of leaders with vital expertise on innovations in farming & scaling up

·     Plans to scale-up to launch 6000 women as farmers groups by 2015

 

Building Resilient Communities

SSP is a global and national leader in building resilience of women and communities in the face of disasters and sudden climate crises. SSP has partnered with Groots International (Grassroots Organizations Operating Together in Sisterhood), the Huairou Commision, the United Nations Development Program to create pioneering interventions and develop community trainers.  A founding member of the National Alliance on Disaster Risk Reduction, a network of 170 NGOs,SSP established a Community Disaster Resilience Fund (CDRF) that addresses the growing gap between local initiatives and those at national and global levels. Lessons from the CDRF experience are part of the national level advocacy with state and national programs through India’s National Disaster Management Authority and through local governments.  SSP’s approach and partnerships ensure that grassroots women’s priorities are brought to the national disaster-reduction agenda.  

 

Background

SSP began by working on disaster reconstruction since 1993 after the Latur earthquake. By centrally involving grassroots women and communities in re-building homes, SSP seeded the concept of building resilience in crisis ridden communities. SSP partnered with Govts and communities to extend its women centred approach after the Gujarat earthquake 2001 and the Tsunami 2004 in Tamil Nadu, and currently partners with NGOs flood and cyclone prone areas of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar and Assam.

Recognized for its grassroots approach, SSP coordinates a global initiative reaching out to Guatemala and Honduras. Selected among many, SSP’s community resilience and HFA advocacy effort covers over 60 communities in 3 states in India. The World Bank –GFDRR South-South project equips grassroots women to demonstrate climate resilient solutions by using small funds. Women’s groups in vulnerable areas are trained by NGOs to identify local hazards and vulnerabilities and partner with local governments.

Impact

     SSP is a global and national leader in recovery and building resilience among women and communities in the face of disasters and sudden climate crises.

         SSP and its grassroots networks have spearheaded innovations, a highlight being the Community Disaster Resilience Fund, which puts funds directly into the hands of local women’s groups /networks to reduce disasters and climate impact.

       Advocacy processes ensures that grassroots priorities/practice are brought to the national DRR -disaster-reduction agenda.

    SSP partners with GROOTS International and Huairou Commission to ensure that grassroots priorities are brought to the national and global disaster-reduction agendas