Annual Report

Completed Projects

It was an initiative to give solace to the women & girls in distress. Three qualified and experienced counselors provided round the clock counseling support over telephone. The free ‘Helpline’ service centre was established with the support and guidance of the Ministry of Women & Child Development, New Delhi.

1,500 small and marginal farmers of Vandanmedu Panchayat were organized and groomed to follow sustainable farming practices. The programme was supported by Karl Kubel Stiftung, Germany. Formation and strengthening of the target farmers in to 60 farmers groups, six clusters and a federation was done under the project to promote organic farming and cultivation of food crops.

With the support of Functional Vocational Training and Research Society (FVTRS), Bangalore. 160 youth belonging to backward communities were imparted skill training to enable them for self-employment. They were given training in 4-wheel driving, 3-wheel driving for women and garment making & embroidery.

With the support and guidance of NCRI, Hyderabad two youth sensitization programs were organized at St. Thomas College, Ranni on 18 September 2010 and St. Dominic’s College, Kanjirappally on 09 October 2010 to expose the youth to the problems of the rural sector in general and methods to understand these issues, approaches to the idea of community development and the ways to address them.

In order to promote self-employment among unemployed rural poor women and widows; 37 sewing machines were distributed with the support of Mr. Thomas Thelly, Switzerland. Skill training in appropriate trades, leadership training, micro credit & bank linkage, motivating to contest Panchayat elections, etc are also done in this regard.Efforts are made to support them for self employment.

The programme was started initially in two Panchayats with the support of ADD India and Basic Needs India. Identifying the cases of mental illness, directing them to regular medication, inclusion of Persons with Mental Illness and their caregivers into SHGs, etc were the main components of the programme. Later, the programme was included in the ongoing CBR programme supported by CBR Forum, Bangalore.

Success Stories

Story of Deepthi

"The Self Help Group Deepthi was founded in the Chakkuppallam Panchayat of the Idukki District in 1998 and contained 20 members. First the group started to collect Rs. 10 per member every week as savings. As the time passed by, the amount of savings increased up to Rs. 100 per week. Now the total amount of savings per head is Rs. 28300. Every week, the members have the possibility to take loans from the collected money for their needs which they can repay at another meeting. The service charges of Rs. 50 for bigger amounts are collected and divided in equal parts among the members every year. During the meetings the members also discuss their problems related to health, family, work or the children's studies. The directions given by VOSARD through various trainings help the members to increase their income, health situation and overall standard of living. In addition VOSARD helps with interest free loans e. g. for dairy units, cattle sheds, biogas plants, organic farming, housing or goat rearing units."

Organic Methods for More Profit

"I am Biju, a small farmer residing in the Vandanmedu Panchayat. I used to culticate vegetables, tubers, banana and so on in leased land. Since the beginning I used to apply a lot of chemical manures and pesticides in the farm for pest control and increasing production. Three years back, the project staff of VOSARD directed me to attend awareness programs and trainings in organic farming. During the exposure visits to model farms I could learn innovative biological methods for pest control and methods in organic farming. VOSARD also supported me for a dairy unit and the construction of a biogas plant. Now I cultivate vegetables and other food crops organically. After adopting new methods, the production increased and I could also reduce my expences. Being produced organically, the product has good demand in the local market. I have learned and experienced the preparation and application of bio-manures and pesticides and motivate others to do so as well."

Women can also drive Rikshaws!

"Sruthi lives with her husband and her only son in a remote village in the Idukki District. They have no land. She had to obtain the families income – along with her husband – by taking daily wage jobs. Financial problems grew when they had to repay the loan for the house they built. She applied for a training in Auto-rickshaw driving course. Supported by FVTRS, VOSARD provided financial support by contributing 10% of the three-month-driving school. Furthermore emotional support was given to her through different classes. This was necessary because of the male-dominance in the field of Auto-rickshaw driving. It is common in cities whereas in remote villages it is a risk to challenge the present systems and beliefs. She was ready to face the consequences of it very boldly. Of course she also received moral and economical support from her husband and family. After obtaining the three wheeler license she purchased an Auto-rickshaw. The new occupation provides her a daily income. It gives self satisfaction. Now she is an earning member along with her husband. Since it is a self employment she can balance family life and profession. She has proved that village women are also capable of driving Auto-rickshaw. Now she earns Rs. 7500 per month. She uses this amount to repay her bank loans."

Love Letter Therapy

"Thomas and Maria are married and live together with their two children in a small house in the Idukki district. Their children were always acting hyperactively. While Thomas stopped school after 10th standard and drives auto rickshaw, Maria finished her post graduation and became a teacher. He behaved very handsome and open-minded while she was not very talkative. Due to those differences of their character they often quarrelled with each other and planned to get divorced. This also affected the studies of the children negatively. As they came to the counselling sessions at VOSARD's Family Counselling Centre, they only mentioned the children's problems first. The counsellor found out that the main problem were not the children but the parents. Within four sessions the relation between Thomas and Maria was strenghtened. After rapport building, indicidual and family counselling sessions, both wrote down the likes and dislikes about each other in a so called Love Letter Therapy (LLT) and disscussed about it. During the last session they created a plan on how they could live together in harmony. Now they are still living together, the relationship improved and the children are studying well. "

Independent Life after Cataract Surgery

"Damodhran is 68 years old and lives together with his wife and the family of his youngest son in the Chakkuppallam Panchayat of the Idukki District. He is the father of five daughters and four sons who are all married. Earlier, he was working as a daily wager. Damodhran joined an ESHG in January 2014. In spite of his eye problem he was very active in the group. It was very difficult for him to write in the ESHG's books or even attend the meetings. Since he lived in a remote place it was also hard for him to get to the ESHG meetings during the rainy season. As he could not attend most of the meetings and his cataract disease got worse, he became more and more isolated. This also caused his mental capacity to decrease. THen he attended a medical camp, organized by VOSARD. The doctors diagnosed cataract and suggested an immediate surgery. His operation was successful so that he got his sight back. He can now attend the ESHG meetings regularly and is a role model for other members. Damodhran is now aware on the rights and social security schemes concering senior citizens. Starting to work again as a daily wager he is also contributing to the income of the family and leads a more independent life."

Together against Water Scarcity

"A lot of inhabitants of Valiyapara in the Chakkuppallam Panchayat of the Idukki district faced severe water scarcity. During the winter season they could get drinking water from nearby wells, but during the summer they had to get the water from far off wells and also had to large distances to wash their clothes. For 1000 liters of water they had to pay 450 Rupees. After forming a Beneficiary Group under the Jalanidhi project, they decided to construct rainwater harvesting tanks for each household. One tank has the capacity of 10.000 litres. The collected rainwater can be stored and used during the dry season. Because of the financial support of the Grama Panchayat and the government of Kerala, the beneficiaries are able to afford such water supply schemes. Since they also contribute a significant amount of money and participate at the construction work, they feel that the facilities are their own. The families can now use the water from the tanks for drinking, cooking, washing clothes and animal husbandries. Additionally they save time for other tasks such as their profession or household activities. "

Legal Support Stops Violence in Family

"Nisha has a child together with her husband Dominic. She has been mentally tortured by him. He was addicted to alcohol and got in debt because of his money mismanagement. Dominic has also misused the money earned by his wife Nisha, who is a life insurance corporation agent. His behaviour affected the studies of their child too. When they argued he became violent frequently and broke several phones, the TV and other house hold objects. During the counselling sessions at the Service Providing Centre, both were made aware of the legal situation. Dominic was referred to a psychiatrist. After taking medicine his behavious became normal so that the matter was settled successfully. He is now working as an agriculturalist and can repay his debts. The relation between both, husband and wife, improved and the violence stopped. The child is not strained by its parents's problems any longer and is able to focus on his studies. " Then one of the animators of VOSARD directed me to a medical camp conducted by them. The doctor advised me to go for surgery. VOSARD made all arrangements for my surgery and therapy. After surgery I could walk like a normal girl. Again I was supported to join the school and now I am in 10th Standard. Thanks to VOSARD for helping me to lead a normal life."

One surgery that changed my life

"I am Anjana. I was born with club foots. It was very difficult for me to go to school by walking. Being a member of a poor family there were no other options. Taunting of other children made me always unhappy and due to that I stopped going to school after the 8th standard. Then one of the animators of VOSARD directed me to a medical camp conducted by them. The doctor advised me to go for surgery. VOSARD made all arrangements for my surgery and therapy. After surgery I could walk like a normal girl. Again I was supported to join the school and now I am in 10th Standard. Thanks to VOSARD for helping me to lead a normal life." Then one of the animators of VOSARD directed me to a medical camp conducted by them. The doctor advised me to go for surgery. VOSARD made all arrangements for my surgery and therapy. After surgery I could walk like a normal girl. Again I was supported to join the school and now I am in 10th Standard. Thanks to VOSARD for helping me to lead a normal life."