Grant Making Principles
Asia Initiatives offers grant funding for projects based upon Professor Swaminathan’s ideals of empowerment. Grant decisions are based on the guidelines below:
Asia Initiatives provide funds for sustainable enterprises via our Micro-Credit Bank (MCB) programs where loans are given to groups of people, mainly women, from rural villages. With access to capital, these people have proven themselves to be successful entrepreneurs, developing and expanding small business ventures of handicrafts, paper-making, garment production, and enterpreneurship. Over 200 MCBs have been established to date.
In partnership with MSSRF, we encourage creativity and entrepreneurship by enabling villagers to develop business ideas to be submitted to our Micro Enterprise Capital Marketplace. We help create employment by providing financial support for the establishment of small businesses.
Digital Bridge Initiatives
We disseminate critical knowledge for development: Over 3,500 used computers have been sent to VRCs/VKCs to provide critical information for farming, entitlements and health, as well as for literacy programs. The VKCs are computer-based knowledge centres with Internet connection and provide need-based static and dynamic information. A set of VKCs operating in a region are connected with a ‘hub’ in the centre as nodal point, which receives the generic information and adds value by converting it to locale-specific information in the local language. Need-based content creation is regularly done on the basis of the need assessment and feedback from the local women and men who visit the center. The local village people are trained in operating the computers and hardware maintenance.
Asia Initiatives helps to educate children and adults through Village Knowledge Centers/Village Resource Centers (VKCs/VRCs) literacy programs that are critical to village development. Donated computers enable schools to offer highly effective computerized learning programs. By supporting Mobile Crèches, we provide education to children of migrant construction workers in New Delhi We also support boys and girls clubs run by Ashta no Kai in the villages of Pune to educate youth about life skills, health and gender issues such as early marriage and dowry.
We target development in slums by supporting the planning and design of low-cost housing. Through the rotating loans provided by Asia Initiatives to Arpana in Delhi, many slum dwellers now have solid, safe homes. Asia Initiatives has also supported URBZ: User Generated Cities, in providing programs for children of Dharavi, Mumbai, as well in running participatory workshops on pressing urban issues.
Around 97% of funds received by us go directly to projects in the field. 100% of the donations made for Micro-Credit Banks, or a specific project VKC/VRC’s reach the target groups.