The heart of our work lies in the Women’s Groups. All of the additional programs ADWAN offers benefit the women who make up these groups, their children, and other disadvantaged children in their communities.
Twenty to thirty women from Dalit and other caste backgrounds make up each Women’s Group. They meet monthly to solve personal and community problems as well as to contribute to and borrow from their group savings and loan fund. Fieldworkers provide ongoing support and information.
In the Women’s Groups women build solidarity across caste lines and form invaluable friendships they would otherwise be challenged to have. By providing support and empowering the economic status of women, the Women’s Groups have also been instrumental in diminishing the occurrence of domestic abuse and relaxing forms of misogyny practiced within the home.
When ADWAN establishes a new group the women receive a number of helpful starter services. In addition to benefiting from the Blue Shirt Program (a program for their children), a fieldworker teaches the women how to save, distribute loans, and calculate interest; how to write their names; and basic information about health and nutrition.