Vasandham has been working in the Varusanadu valley, a remote area of Tamil Nadu, South India, since 1987. Our mission is “to help the people most in need to help themselves”.
Vasandham works with the rural community, especially women, offering support, training and advice. Our programmes focus on women’s development, community health, and natural resource management. We work in 143 villages, reaching around 80,000 people.
The Varusanadu valley is formed by the Vaigai river, surrounded by hills with deep gullies, rock outcrops and forest. The area is remote and rural, soil erosion and desertification affects much of the land; productivity is very poor, and income is low.
Most of the population are either marginal or small farmers or landless agricultural day labourers. Agriculture provides the only potential source of employment, there is no other significant industry in the area. Migration is a common feature of life.
A high incidence of other poverty indicators are found in the area: a low literacy rate, little access to public health care, a high rate of infant mortality, a high suicide rate and a low ratio of women to men.
Vasandham works to combat these problems through fostering strong community organisations such as Women’s Self Help Groups and Farmer’s Groups. We provide training and support to help local people develop skills, access resources and demand action to improve their lives.
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