Empowering women to create sustainable livelihoods with dignity
Three fundamental facts underpin Shivia’s mission to empower very poor people to create livelihoods with dignity: Women are more likely than men to live in poverty. When women have spending power, families and communities benefit. We believe women’s economic empowerment is key to poverty reduction. Since 2011, we have been delivering on our mission through Poultry Development Services, working in 1,350 very poor rural villages near Kolkata. We provide the tools and training for women to earn money from raising chickens and selling the products - money they spend on essential items to support their family. Our farmers start with a toolkit of ten chicks and, over the next two years, we train them to become fully fledged entrepreneurs, like Kamala (pictured) who now runs a sustainable poultry farming business, plus a shop selling chicken feed. Small Charity, Big Achiever? We like to think so. In 2020, with a budget of £125,000, our small field team of 23 locally recruited people, helped 1,342 people develop a poultry enterprise, which involved sourcing and delivering over 116,000 chicks! And 465 farmers graduated to become financially independent and are now running their businesses without our intervention. That’s what we call a big achievement.