Women IndiaBUILDs (WIB) is a Habitat for Humanity initiative – part of the IndiaBUILDS – World of Hope campaign. It allows women with means to help women in need. The WIB committee comprises of women from influential and successful backgrounds, who come together to match the savings of self-help groups made up of women and individual women from some of the less fortunate families in the country.
Women IndiaBUILDs (WIB) extends the Habitat for Humanity concept of housing microfinance programs in a new direction, connecting women donors with women in need of affordable housing. The goal of WIB is to provide support to enable women from poor families acquire simple, decent and affordable homes by mobilizing resources and volunteers.
The Women IndiaBUILDs team is led by its Brand Ambassador, Mrs.Avanti Birla and Chaired by Mrs. Sheila Kripalani and having eminent women as its members such as Mrs.Arti Sanghi, Mrs.Kanan Koticha, Mrs. Madhu Nair, Mrs. Deepa Navani, Mrs. Kim Panjwani, Mrs. Bindu Kapoor and Mrs. Neeta Joshi . The Committee is committed to sourcing funds for housing projects, opening doors with potential partners and donors and helping raise awareness of Habitat for Humanity’s work through their networks and the media both nationally and internationally.
WIB through the past years have conducted various activities and events to raise awareness on the issue of poverty housing and to raise funds for building of homes. Events such as Coffee Mornings, Lunch Events, High Tea, Oberoi Melting Pot, Consul General’s Build, Women’s Build, Vogue – Fashion Night Out, etc have gone a long way to bring this issue to the forefront with the ultimate aim “ to provide a better and dignified life to all women in India”.
Since its inception the WIB has helped sponsor the construction of 100 houses at Karjat in the state of Maharashtra through its relentless efforts. The group has raised over Rs. 1 crore and opened doors which have helped Habitat in building houses for an additional 154 families.
• Cartier the renowned jeweler chose Habitat for Humanity’s Women IndiaBUILDS program for their CSR initiative in the year 2009 known as the LOVECharity, wherein the revenues from the sales of all specially designed bracelets would be donated to Habitat for Humanity.
• Vogue’s global Fashion Night Out initiative held at the DLF Emporio Mall in New Delhi attracted 6000 plus shoppers with Vogue donating proceeds generated from the sale of the lucky draw tickets, FNO t-shirts, the Vogue pop-up store and charity bags sale to the cause of Habitat’s Women IndiaBUILDS. This is the third year of support to the WIB.
• The WIB has also been able to obtain the support of several corporates, publications and the media towards the cause.
The mandate of the Women IndiaBUILDS Committee is:
• Strategic Leadership: In areas such as mobilizing supporters, partners, funds, volunteers and overall direction to ensure success and promotion of Habitat for Humanity.
• Raise Resources and Profile: Make introductions and arrange meetings with potential supporters and donors; and, where possible, attend those meetings with potential supporters and donors; non-resident Indians and networks in India and overseas.
• Global Reach: Develop a global strategy to promote Habitat for Humanity and engage with non-resident Indians and Indian networks overseas.
The Committee has been awarded the Nehemiah Awards 2009, an award which recognizes the selfless giving of individuals and groups to the work for Habitat for Humanity globally.
“My passion is women and children. I was so taken in when I was approached with the concept. The idea of providing a home for the woman instantly appealed to me. Women are ill-treated in the rural areas and taken advantage of. So I thought providing her a home would just empower her with strength and ownership and give her a sense of belonging. She would have something to call her own, something to fall back on. A home is a security. It gives me a sense of achievement.”
— Mrs. Avanti Birla, Brand Ambassador Women IndiaBUILDS, Habitat for Humanity India
Mrs. SHEILA KRIPALANI
“ Women IndiaBUILDs is grateful to Vogue for standing by the women of our country who suffer silently and are forced to suppress their emotions. The ‘Fashion Night Out’ proceeds have helped women with means give these women in need by helping Habitat for Humanity build them homes. India has the second largest percentage of adult women reporting physical assault. Records show there is a crime committed against women every 3 minutes; cases of cruelty by husbands and relatives every 9 minutes. One third of India’s rural housing unites have no latrines, no drinking water and electricity. One third of the world’s poor live in India out of which 75 percent from rural India. It is for such women that your support helps restore to them their dignity. Thank you Vogue”
— Mrs. Sheila Kirpalani , Trustee and Chair Women IndiaBUILDS, Habitat for Humanity India
To create awareness in society on the issue of poverty housing with its impact on women in addition to raising resources to enable members of these self-help savings groups , acquire safe, decent and affordable homes.
Helping Habitat for Humanity Empower less fortunate Women
Kantabai is one of many women in India who earn as little as Rs 50 a day that’s just over US $ 1; and she strives to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty.
“I do not want my children to suffer the way I did,” she says. “I will do what it takes. I will save and give what I can, just to help them have a better start in life. This is not only my cry, but also that of many women in the community. We share the same passion, to have a decent shelter for our children.”
“Mera Ek Hai Sapna. Ek Ghar Ho Apna”.
How does she do it?
Kantabai saves a part of her meager income on a regular basis. She and others like her have come together and formed self-help saving groups, through which they collectively save small amounts on a monthly basis. This kitty serves as a corpus from which the group loans money to members of their group. Today Kantabai and her group have savings that can be extended to members of their group for building their own homes.