Although India has 27 cities with more than a million people, nearly 70% of the country’s population lives in rural areas.  Life in these communities mainly revolves around agriculture, but increased health and education services are needed to support the growing population.

Episcopal Relief & Development’s primary partner in India is CASA, The Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action, which engages marginalized groups in sustainable development activities, overcoming poverty while fostering social justice and self-sufficiency throughout the country. We are working with CASA to empower farmers with training to increase crop yields and income while increasing their climate resilience. Agriculture and business development activities promote low-cost, sustainable practices to improve land and water management, and participants learn how to create and market agricultural products to earn income and build personal savings. The program also includes disaster risk reduction training in adapting land to be resilient to extreme weather and environmental changes.

Episcopal Relief & Development is also partnering with the Samadi Community Development Program of the Diocese of Durgapur, part of the Church of North India. The integrated program focuses on community strengthening through education, economic development and health. Volunteers provide health education and monitoring at the household level, encouraging good health and hygiene behaviors and referring people to village clinics when needed. Young people are engaged in preserving the local tribal language and receive technical education to start small businesses and diversify the local economy. Women form self-help groups to encourage one another in saving and growing their small enterprises. The program also works with farmers to improve animal husbandry and water harvesting techniques to increase local food supply.

Alleviating Hunger and Improving the Food Supply

  • Exploring climate-smart strategies to improve crop production and diversity
  • Improving the land through reforestation and conservation
  • Increasing access to nutritious food through small-scale farming
  • Supporting farmer cooperatives to improve agricultural practices and access to markets
  • Creating sustainable food and income through improved animal husbandry practices

Creating Economic Opportunities and Strengthening Communities

  • Empowering entrepreneurs through micro-finance services, financial literacy and business training
  • Supporting income-generating activities to strengthen communities and improve the local economy
  • Emphasizing gender awareness and equitable access and participation for successful development

 Promoting Health and Fighting Disease

  • Empowering women to improve health for themselves and their children
  • Reducing preventable diseases to increase child survival
  • Increasing access and use of clean water, sanitary latrines and hygiene practices

Water is essential for life.  But the quality of the world’s fresh water resources is threatened by improper sanitation, agricultural runoff and lack of treatment facilities, as well as disasters and environmental changes.  Every 15 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease. Read more about Clean Water.

Read more about Clean Water
Donation to the Clean Water fund

Almost one billion people are affected by chronic hunger and poverty worldwide.  Malnutrition or lack of access to food can jeopardize overall productivity, health and well-being. Read more about Agriculture.

Read more about Agriculture

Worldwide, an estimated 2.6 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation. Proper sanitation and hygiene education can prevent the spread of disease ― saving lives and protecting communities. Read more about Sanitation & Hygiene.

Read more about Sanitation & Hygiene

Planning ahead for disasters can go far in minimizing their potential impact – especially for people already facing poverty, who may lose their few assets or safety nets. To this end, Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Episcopal/Anglican Church to better prepare for and respond to disasters. Read more about Disaster Risk Reduction.

Read more about Disaster Risk Reduction

Our micro-finance programs emphasize involving both women and men, which can be very effective in promoting gender awareness and empowering women. When women become breadwinners, they increase their role in household decision-making, which often enhances the whole family’s well-being. Read more about Micro-finance.

Read more about Micro-finance

Gender equality, women’s empowerment and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response are cross-cutting themes that shape and inform all of Episcopal Relief & Development’s integrated programs worldwide. In order to sustainably and equitably address hunger, poverty, disease and post-disaster relief and recovery, local attitudes and customs around gender, power and gender-based violence must also be taken into account.

Read more about Gender Equality & GBV