Pickles and Fish – Fundraising for Women in India

In her fall newsletter, Sheila Needham, the Canadian Area President of the Associate Country Women of the World (ACWW) sent along details of two fundraising efforts that might be of interest to your WI. The following two projects are the top two choices of the members at the Canada Area Conference that was held in Camrose, Alberta, in June this year. Both are designed to provide financial support to women’s groups in India.

The Grace Trust Project No. 0960. ACWW Grant £3,337

Grace Trust has formed 50 women’s Self Help Groups among disadvantaged rural Dalit women in Sedapatti block, Madurai district, Tamil Nadu. Their plan with this project is to provide a revolving fund to 50 women, so that they can carry out income generating activities, having first participated in skill training. The women will be trained in making pickles, papadums or candles, as well as in quality control, micro credit and savings, and record keeping.

Most of the products will be sold in local villages, as it is known that there is a high demand for these items locally. The women will repay part of the loan each month with 1% interest, and in this way loans will be made to further women Self Help Group members.

The beneficiaries will use the income to buy food for their families and to pay for their children’s schooling, and any other family necessities.


The Organization for Community Development (O.C.D) Project No. 0961 ACWW Grant £4,702.

The aim of this project is to train 60 women in fish processing (drying and packaging). These women are among the most marginalized of the fisher folk community, being either widows or having husbands who are invalid or alcoholic. Because they lack resources, they have been forced to borrow money at exorbitant rates of interest from moneylenders in order to purchase fish to sell, and they are then often not able to make a profit owing to fluctuating prices and the perishable nature of fresh fish. They would sell processed fish alongside fresh fish and this would mean that they do not have to sell at a loss, and would have something to sell during the ‘off-season’ (fish breeding season), and when the catch is small owing to stormy weather.

The Federation of Women Head Load Fish Vendors will assist with beneficiary selection, training, micro credit disbursement and monitoring repayments. The training will consist of: processing fish of different varieties according to season and availability (equipment for storing and transporting unsold fish will be provided for the trainees); EDP (Entrepreneurship Development Training); leadership development; micro credit; maintaining accounts.

The Canadian Area has pledged $7,500.00 CAD or £4,123 pounds to be split between the two projects – £1,337 for project (0960 Pickles) and £2,786 (0961 Fish)

For a .pdf copy of this information and details on how to submit and direct your donations, please click here.

Margaret Christensen's ideas

Margaret suggests that the details of the projects be printed on card stock and put up near a collection jar or a fish bowl at any luncheon table that is at a W.I. meeting or other event.

#TheGraceTrust #ACWW #TheOrganizationforCommunityDevelopment #FederatedWomensInstitutesofCanada #FWIC #WI #fundraising #WomenInspired

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