What we have achieved
The call to replicate is undeniable
People have started dreaming of a future with possibilities
Number of communities: 3
Number of people impacted: 2,250
We never set out to design a model to alleviate global poverty. But 8 years after we started working with Pardeshi community we are getting close. Through trial and error, successes and failures. And always determined and keeping the interest of the community at the forefront.
The call to replicate our approach in other communities is undeniable. What if we could change the world on a large scale?
Below some highlights of what the Tiny Miracles approach has achieved:
- Over 100 awareness sessions are organized yearly, ranging from trips to the bank to healthy cooking classes to sessions on how to deal with sexual abuse to daughter in law and mother in law meetings.
- The entire community is healthy, knows how to stay healthy and now have health cards to get free medical assistance from the nearby hospital.
- Group bonding & friendships developed among families that first did not talk to each other due to deeply rooted conflicts. Group formation enables community members to tackle challenges together, for example to keep the community safe and clean and to take care of the vulnerable and elderly.
- Women have overcome some superstitious beliefs. This is crucial as they wouldn’t always get the right medical assistance before, due to such beliefs, even in cases of emergency.
- There are no longer any child marriages in the communities.
- The communities have now accepted girls marrying outside their caste and outside of the community, where before they would have been outcast.
- Widows are allowed to remarry which was never allowed before.
- All women know how to use the bank & many are able to save money every month. Before almost none of the women had bank accounts and no savings.
- All women now have an accident insurance under the government insurance scheme; many women obtained a life insurance.
- We see a clear trend towards women investing for the future: buying small apartments outside the city and gold.
- Women are fighting for their rights at the municipality & in the community, where they even created a women’s group to tackle local challenges collectively.
Simran (19): “In this community women are traditionally expected to marry at an early age. Whether or not they are allowed to work often depends on the husband’s will. Such beliefs are now slowly changing. Thanks to the many social awareness sessions and the stable income, women feel increasingly empowered and independent!”
- All children capable go to English schools, all those less capable go to Hindi/Marathi schools
- All children go to after school homework classes.
- All (18-45 years) women are literate now; many were illiterate before.
- All girls now aim for higher education, whereas before none of the girls would because parents wouldn’t allow it.
- The first children have recently completed their graduation programs, supported by Tiny Miracles. In 2016 the first girl even obtained a Master’s degree for the first time in the history of the Pardeshi community.
- All community children are immunised and are in stable health where at the start, the majority was malnourished and dealing with frequent malaria and tuberculosis
- After 5 years of structural doctor visits and health sessions to the community, most inhabitants are now very much aware about how to stay healthy and and/or receive proper treatment for (chronic) diseases.
- They have the right knowledge to independently visit doctors and support each other if needed.
- Community members now have enough resources (the majority of which through our income generation program) to pay for visits without assistance from Tiny Miracles. Assistance is only needed for most vulnerable categories, such as elderly without any family to support them.
Jayshree: “I only reached high school, 10th grade.. then I dropped out. Now I have 4 daughters going to school, and the eldest even goes to college!”Simran (19): “When my mother was my age she lived on the streets of Delhi, with little hopes and dreams for the future. With the support of Tiny Miracles I completed high school in English, and now study at the University! The road has not always been easy. when you go to school, a lot of things need be taken care of, such as clean uniforms, study materials…but how could I ask my family for that? Tiny Miracles really helped me a lot!”
- Since 2011 many fun activities and celebratory sessions have been organized by Tiny Miracles.Now, these activities are organized from bottom-up: the (empowered) women come up with specific requests and are responsible for preparing a budget and successfully carrying out the organization of fun programs. They still receive (some) funding from Tiny Miracles.Every community member makes a monthly contribution to the community fund. How the money is spent is decided by mutual consent, examples so far are:
- Painting and decorating of the room where after school program is carried out
- Organizing picnics
- The women collect money from every family to hire someone to clean the community on a regular basis.
- Most of the women in the communities are involved in the Income Generation Programs: they are skills trained and work with us
- Income increased from ca. €25/month per family with average size of 6 members, to €1.20/hour (monthly income depending on work volume).
- This substantial increase in income has driven huge leaps in self-confidence for the women & created a true entrepreneurial spirit in many of them.
- A number of families have purchased rooms with their savings from the work generated by Tiny Miracles. They rent it out to 3rd parties to gain extra income. Such long term investment brings the women one step closer to financial independence.
The work through Tiny Miracles has also inspired adolescent girls (mostly the daughters of the mothers who work with us) to work outside the community to earn a decent income, for example at banks, hospitals or café’s.
Shoba (49): “Tiny Miracles motivated me to work as much as I can. When there are fewer orders I now organize additional work. I take orders from clients, for example to make flags. I hire other Pardeshi women as well, who can use the skills that they learned during the Tiny Miracles stitching classes! ….Being able to work and sustain my family makes me so proud, and I will not stop working until I am able to buy a real house. The real difference will be made by the next generation, of that I am confident.”
Jayshree: “My biggest dream is to buy a real house for the family. Thanks to Tiny Miracles I could use my savings to buy a room outside of Mumbai. I sublet it to earn extra income. This is a very important step towards achieving my dream!”