Recognizing that the communities we serve are the experts on their own needs, small money, BIG CHANGE is a development program that empowers local communities to be active participants at the center of all local development decisions and solutions. This approach, used in all of our village outreach programs in India, is founded in the understanding that the crux of effective and sustainable development lies in active community involvement in its planning and management.
An integral part of small money, BIG CHANGE is “social mapping”. Social mapping is a participatory way of assessing the water resources and sanitation infrastructure in each community. The process begins by our team walking the land with the villagers and observing, asking, and listening.
The villagers then create a map in which they chart everything they described during the walk and share their opinions, complaints, and hopes regarding the challenges facing their community. Needs are prioritized and development projects are initiated accordingly.
Next, the villagers form project committees and project bank accounts are opened. Two villagers and a village coordinator are placed as the holders of each account. This bestows ownership and a greater sense of responsibility towards the projects.
We are excited about this new approach initiated by Shamsul Akhtar, our Country Director in India and will keep you updated as the projects in the villages progress!