Our Projects

Aid projects

In cooperation with our partner organisations in India and Nepal, Karuna Deutschland helps people to help themselves. The projects help people to improve their situation in terms of health care, education and self-determination.

India

The “largest democracy in the world”, enormous economic development, high-tech everywhere: this is India, a country that is striving towards the modern world at a rapid pace and that in many areas has long been right in the middle of it.

But India is also: a country full of slums, a country where large parts of the population are still discriminated against as “untouchables”, although according to the constitution the caste discrimination anchored in traditional Hinduism has been abolished. The caste system should no longer have any influence on people's lives and development opportunities.

The life of the poor in slums and in rural areas is something quite different. There, many Dalits, as people from the lowest classes call themselves, mainly struggle to survive.

Many of the people discriminated against as “untouchables” have converted to Buddhism, which rejected the caste ideology of Hinduism already 2,500 years ago. Their great role model, the lawyer and first Minister of Justice Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar (1891 to 1956) is deeply revered (photo).

It is a tremendous effort to make the human right to personal development a reality while living in an environment of poverty, ignorance, superstition and oppression.

 

Under these difficult circumstances, women and children have even worse prospects for a peaceful life in which they can learn and be creative and confidently exercise their human rights.

Without a push from outside and help to help oneself, it is almost impossible to positively influence one's own life circumstances. All too often, only resignation and fatalism remain.

Nepal

Nepal – known for its temples and the Himalayan mountains, which include Mount Everest. But the “roof of the world” is also marked by caste apartheid, oppression of women and discrimination. The Dalit population in Nepal is estimated at between 13.8% and 20%, according to the 2011 census. Other communities such as Janajati (indigenous people) and Muslims are also among the most disadvantaged groups.

Frequent changes of government, general strikes and natural disasters have destabilised the country. About one third of the population lives below the poverty line and life expectancy is in the bottom third compared to other Asian countries. Almost half of all children living in Nepal suffer from malnutrition and under­nourish­ment. And there are still discriminatory practices such as “Chaupadi”: according to this tradition, women are forbidden to touch other people and objects during menstruation and have to live outside the community, mostly in a cattle shed.

 

Nepal is also a country with many opportunities. The active participation of local people and sustainable engagement can bring about positive changes in this country.

Karuna Deutschland supports projects in Nepal in the fields of education, health and women's empowerment.

 

Maitri Network: effectively combating violence against women in India

16 organisations from ten states are being strengthened and further developed to effectively combat sexual violence against women. Our project partner Jan Sahas is coordinating the work, which also includes sensitising representatives of authorities such as the police and courts. Central contact points for women in need are to be established in 32 districts. Women who have experienced sexual violence are given practical and legal support. Another focus is the work with the state ministries and the central government to implement legal requirements for the protection of women.

16 organisations support women who have suffered violence. They train representatives of the police and judiciary to sensitize them to the needs of traumatized women.

16 organisations support women who have suffered violence. They train representatives of the police and judiciary to sensitize them to the needs of traumatized women.

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Reducing inequality – for violence free schools

Violence against girls and women is widespread in India, including in schools. This is where this project comes in. Raising the awareness of both male and female teachers to support a violence-free school environment is an integral part of this project. In addition, the team of our local partner organisation works with boys and their fathers as well as with girls and their mothers.

Violence against girls and women is widespread in India, including in schools. The aim of this project is to strengthen girls and boys against violence, to sensitise teachers and to offer children a protected and successful school time

Violence against girls and women is widespread in India, including in schools. The aim of this project is to strengthen girls and boys against violence, to sensitise teachers and to offer children a protected and successful school time.

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Uplifting women and girls in eight slums of Nagpur

Our project partner Samata Mahila Foundation (SMF) supports women and adolescent girls from disadvantaged communities in eight slums. Health training for adolescents, financial, psychological and legal support for women and the provision of high-quality early education enable the inhabitants of the slums to have a better future.

Health training for adolescents, financial, psychological and legal support for women, and the provision of quality early education enable residents in eight slums to build a better future.

Health training for adolescents, financial, psychological and legal support for women, and the provision of quality early education enable residents in eight slums to build a better future.

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Self-defence and self-assurance

Girls and young women learn to say no

The self-defence courses "Wenlido" are part of the Prabodhini project in Nagpur. It supports women and girls in dealing with stressful social circumstances. They learn about their rights and the laws to protect them. They do not have to put up with being picked on or grabbed. Dealing skilfully with everyday situations of this kind and developing verbal repartee that exposes the braggarts is also the aim of the training.

Self-defence courses for young girls and women to strengthen self-confidence and effective practical self-defence (Wenlido) so that they can defend themselves against assaults.

Self-defence courses for young girls and women to strengthen self-confidence and effective practical self-defence (Wenlido) so that they can defend themselves against assaults.

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„Voice of women“

Access to effective legal services

Our project partners Jan Sahas and Lawyers Initiative Forum support Dalit and Adivasi women who have been victims of violence to cope with the experience of violence and to take legal action. For this purpose, they competently train small self-help groups on site as well as higher-level organisations. In addition, men and families are also sensitised in the target areas so they will support victims of violence.

Our aim is for Dalit and Adivasi women who have been victims of violence so that they can defend themselves and take legal action.

Our aim is for Dalit and Adivasi women who have been victims of violence so that they can defend themselves and take legal action.

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Building with eco-friendly bricks

A sustainable livelihood for rural communities

60 women and 60 men from impoverished and disadvantaged communities are enabled to generate their own income through the production of environmentally friendly CSEB bricks. By setting up ten production sites, each with a brick press, the former unemployed and day labourers are given a perspective for their lives and for the well-being of their families. The project contributes to the development of a region that is severely affected by poverty and marginalisation of individual communities.

Environmentally friendly and sustainable brick manufacturing enables 120 families to earn an independent and dignified livelihood and a perspective for the future.

Environmentally friendly and sustainable brick manufacturing enables 120 families to earn an independent and dignified livelihood and a perspective for the future.

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Vegetable instead of rats for Musahar and Dom communities

Within the Dalit castes, the Musahar ("rat catchers") and Dom ("latrine sweepers") are particularly discriminated against and disadvantaged, which also means that they have not been able to benefit from government programmes and other socio-economic advantages. This project enables 120 Musahar and Dom families a humane livelihood with the help of vegetable cultivation and the workmanship of bamboo.

Latrine sweepers and rat catchers learn a humane livelihood through the cultivation of vegetables and the workmanship of bamboo.

Latrine sweepers and rat catchers learn a humane livelihood through the cultivation of vegetables and the workmanship of bamboo.

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Dhardo Rimpoche School for children from impoverished families

The school, whose sponsor is the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Cultural Institute (ITBCI), enables children from indigent families to receive a sound school education. The parents are often illiterate and unable to provide the financial or familial support needed for their children's studies. Education extends from first to eighth grade. The standard curriculum is taught in English, which gives the students good opportunities to find a job later on.

Parents are often illiterate and unable to provide the financial or familial support needed for their children’s studies.

Parents are often illiterate and unable to provide the financial or familial support needed for their children’s studies.

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Nepal: Safe births for young mothers and babies

Birth assistance and education also in rural areas

Our project partner Green Tara Nepal (GTN) takes care of mother-child health and women's empowerment in this project. One focus is awareness raising against child marriage to prevent teenage pregnancies. The project provides improved health care for women, infants and adolescent girls in the areas of sexuality and reproduction. The ten obstetric centres in southern Nepal provide permanent medical care close to home for pregnant women and for mothers of young children as well as for newborns and children.

This project supports the development of structures within local communities to improve maternal and neonatal health.

This project supports the development of structures within local communities to improve maternal and neonatal health.

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“Strong Girls” project in Nepal

Educational opportunities for disadvantaged children

Girls (and boys) from Dalit and other marginalised and disadvantaged families are given access to quality education so that they can successfully complete primary school and move on to secondary school. In this project, 900 very disadvantaged girls are supported with the help of girls' clubs. Educational standards and equipment in 15 schools are being improved, enabling the children to receive a quality education. Parents are involved and 600 mothers are empowered to start a small business to earn their own living so that they can continue sending their daughters to school.

Dalit and other disadvantaged girls (and boys) successfully go to school, their mothers earn money, teachers are well trained and schools are well equipped.

Dalit and other disadvantaged girls (and boys) successfully go to school, their mothers earn money, teachers are well trained and schools are well equipped.

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Development education in Germany

In order to increase awareness of development policy aspects and global interrelationships in Germany, Karuna Deutschland is now also active with a project in Germany.

 

Understanding global interrelationships

Development policy in education on the example of India and Nepal

The project aims to sensitise people and organisations in Germany to development policy contexts and issues and to highlight the global responsibility of our society in order to recognise global asymmetries and neo-colonial dependencies and thus to be able to understand the reasons for the differences between the global North and the global South.

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Understanding global interrelationships

Development policy in education on the example of India and Nepal

The project aims to sensitise people and organisations in Germany to development policy contexts and issues and to highlight the global responsibility of our society in order to recognise global asymmetries and neo-colonial dependencies and thus to be able to understand the reasons for the differences between the global North and the global South.

Learn more …

Understanding global interrelationships

Development policy in education on the example of India and Nepal

On the example of India and Nepal the project aims to sensitise people and organisations in Germany to development policy contexts and issues and to highlight the global responsibility of our society.

Learn more …

 

 

Finished projects

Karuna Germany has supported a number of small projects since 2007. Our bigger projects were:

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