Charity Spotlight: Desai Foundation
This week, we are honored to showcase the Desai Foundation which was founded in 1997 with the aim of empowering women and children in India and the U.S. through community development to elevate their health and livelihood. The foundation was established as a family foundation but after several years of gaining insights about the needs of the communities they served, the Desai family made the decision to become a public nonprofit to be able to reach more people through their work. This decision was made in order for the foundation to design programs in collaboration with the individuals in the 55 communities the Desai Foundation serves and to be able to expand effective programs and practices to new regions. Over the course of 20 years, the Desai Foundation’s work has touched the lives of more than 330,000 people and will continue to enhance the wellbeing of many more in the years to come. The foundation’s focus is community-led efforts which build dignity throughout communities, enabling individuals to dream beyond their circumstances.
Learn more about the Desai Foundation by watching this video.
Asani (by Women, for Women) – advancing Menstrual Hygiene Management in India
The Desai Foundation recognizes that one of the dominant obstacles for women and girls, preventing them from achieving their potential, is a lack of awareness about menstrual health and hygiene including the cultural shame associated with this process. Did you know that in India, 71% of girls report having no knowledge of menstruation before their first period? The Desai Foundation’s Asani Sanitary Napkin program, made by women for women, is systematically changing this for the women in the villages they serve. By bringing women and girls from all ages together in conversation with community and health leaders, they are opening the doors to cross generational and cross-gender dialogue about menstruation, eliminating questions and fear about the process. The Asani brand employs women to produce and sell a quality, affordable product which they feel ownership of, generating safe and stable employment opportunities for women across the region. Asani is creating a future where entering womanhood does not result in a loss of dignity, a keen focus of the Desai Foundation. The program’s menstrual hygiene access and education, enables young women in India to develop their own dreams, stay in school, and continue to do what they always do; help to nourish their communities.
Recent Partnership with Payal Singhal, Indian based Fashion Designer
The Desai Foundation is building dignity and opportunity through their latest partnership with Indian based global fashion designer Payal Singhal. Payal has been a dear friend to the Desai Foundation for many years and is devoted to improving the lives of women on and off the runway. Though ethical fashion is on the rise around the world, the notion of working with rural women to produce high-fashion products and contributing a percentage of sales back into those communities for vocational training programs is effectively unheard of in India. Payal Singhal and the Desai Foundation are now leading this movement by example.
Both Payal Singhal and the Desai Foundation believe that women are the backbone of society and healthy women lead to healthy communities. For this reason, generating economic opportunity and leadership roles for women are at the core of this partnership. By employing women to produce several of the pieces of the collection (available both in India and the US) and reinvesting a percentage of the proceeds generated back into community vocational training, this partnership is enabling the women they work with in Gujarat (India) to develop dreams that reach far beyond their rural villages and cultivate skills, sustainable income, and a community-wide sense of dignity leading to long-lasting health and wellness.
The exclusive line of Payal Singhal x Desai Foundation ready-to-wear, children’s wear, menswear accessories, stationery, Indian eveningwear, and bags, supports the Desai Foundation’s vocational training programs for women in rural India and is available just in time for the holiday season. This is a great way to make a global impact while purchasing a beautiful gift. Join the Desai Foundation’s mission by shopping for a cause this season and help to give rise to these women’s voices. The women at DoTopia have already scoped out our purchases, but there are some fun pieces for men in there too! You can shop the collection here and read more about the collaboration in Forbes.
The Desai Foundation by the numbers
Before donating to any organization, many donors question the reach and sustainable impact of nonprofits. The Desai Foundation does not lack in numbers. In fact, just to share a few impressive stats:
- 331,000 people have been impacted by their programs
- 50,000 villagers have received treatments, many of whom had never received medical attention before
- 10,000 people have attended health seminars and camps
- Their Science & Math secondary school is ranked #1 in the region
- 200 women have received vocational training
We are proud to call the Desai Foundation a DoTopia charity partner and are grateful for the work they do to empower our young women and children in both India and the U.S.
Where are you giving on #GivingTuesday this year? DoTopia makes it easy to give to Desai Foundation as well as millions of other charities of your choice on our platform.