GiveWell's staff lived in Mumbai, India from mid-August to the end of November 2010. During that time, we had the opportunity to visit a number of organizations in Mumbai and other cities in India.
We summarized our notes from our travels, as well as how we selected an organization to award $10,000 to, in a series of blog posts:
Full notes and pictures from our site visits to Indian organizations are below. Notes from two organizations are excluded at the requests of these organizations.
- Arpan (http://www.arpan.org.in) works with teachers, parents and children to prevent child abuse in India. We met with Pooja Taparia, founder and CEO of Arpan. Arpan was founded in 2006 and currently has 11 staff members.
- Apnalaya (http://www.apnalaya.org/) was founded in the early 1970s by Australian expatriots working near a slum in South Mumbai. Apanalya now primarily focuses on informing community members about their rights (e.g., they shouldn't be charged for food when they are in the hospital; individuals can receive certain basic supplies from the government). Apnalya also provides basic, direct services including an all day child care program for working mothers.
- Sahaara Charitable Society (http://www.sahaarasociety.org/) runs a variety of programs in Mumbai. Sahaara has a pre-primary education program; a program for children (who live with their mothers) in prisons; a home for male ex-prisoners; a home for boys who don't have proper guardians; programs in government-run juvenile centers, and programs aiming to help sex workers change professions. Sahaara has total expenses of approximately $250,000.
- Seva Mandir (http://www.sevamandir.org/) works in the state of Rajasthan and runs a wide variety of focusing on programs including economic empowerment, health, and education. We spent two full days visiting Seva Mandir's programs in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
- Helping Hands in Service runs programs in the Geeta Nagar slum at the southern tip of Mumbai. It provides day care services (which we observed) and computer classes (we visted the computer room) as well as other programs for residents. The organization has an annual budget of approximately $27,000 and primarily consists of President Dr. Kavita Kapoor's support of teachers and programs in Geeta Nagar through the oversight of a teacher.
- Pratham (http://www.pratham.org/) runs a variety of education programs across India. We visited Pratham's Mumbai programs twice.
- Room to Read (http://www.roomtoread.org) supports education in the developing world. We visited a Room to Read library in Delhi and met with Room to Read India Director Sunisha Ahuja as well as other staff members.
- PSI (http://psi.org/): We visited two of PSI's programs in the Dharavi slum in Mumbai. We saw a program focused on increasing awareness for safe sexual activity and a program focused on clean water.
- Stop Tuberculosis Partnership (http://www.stoptb.org/) provides drugs and other assistance to government-run TB control programs. We did not visit Stop TB, specifically, but we did visit several parts of Mumbai's TB control program including the City of Mumbai's Chief TB Officer, a TB clinic (where patients are diagnosed and receive treatment), and a TB-dedicated hospital (with a focus on MDR-TB). We were guided by a WHO TB consultant based in Mumbai.
- Amcha Ghar (http://www.amchaghar.org/) runs an orphanage and school in Mumbai. We visited Amcha Ghar twice.
- Tender Hands (http://www.tenderhands.org) is an orphanage for approximately 30 children (15 boys, 15 girls); most are aged 3-8. It was started in 2007 by Bennet and Bernie David, a married couple. Mr. David is from Mumbai and used to work in the private sector. On the side, he spent time working with street children at Mumbai's main train station (CST). Ms. David used to work at JPMorgan and, after a mission trip to India, decided to stay. Mr. and Mrs. David run Tender Hands together.
- Vision in Social Arena aka VISA (http://www.visa.org.in/) is an orphanage for approximately 40 children aged 6-18. It was started in 2000 and is currently run by John Abraham. Mr. Abraham previously worked at another organization helping street children.
- The Hunger Project (http://www.thp.org/) supports recently-elected women representatives to India's panchayati raj (India's political system in rural areas) through workshops focused on their rights and responsibilities as elected representatives and other basic assistance. Note that The Hunger Project's program in India is quite different than its programs in other parts of the developing world.
- Apne Aap Women's Collective provides services to sex workers and their daughters aiming to prevent the daughters from entering the sex trade. Apne Aap provides a safe place where young girls can come throughout the day; Apne Aap also provides assistance for school fees, healthcare, and job placement.
- Prerana provides services to children of sex workers aiming to prevent the children from entering the sex trade. Their services include a night shelter where children can come during the hours their mothers are working, education support (paying school fees, providing materials), and placing children in full-time residential institutions away from the red-light district. Prerana also engages in political advocacy. Prerana was founded in 1986 by Ms. Priti Patkar as a college-related field project focusing on child protection and education.
- Saathi (http://www.saathi.org/) provides services primarily to older (16-24) adolescents/younger adults living on the streets. Saathi provides a diverse set of services including a day center and a group home; Saathi also provides vocational training. In addition to direct services, Saathi participates in advocacy and raising awareness. Saathi was founded in 1997, and had a budget of 18,500,000 INR (approximately $400,000) at the time of our visit.
- Salaam Baalak Trust (http://www.salaamstreetkids.org/) provides services -- such as a drop-in center and a night-shelter -- for street children in several locations in Mumbai. We visited Salaam Baalak twice, seeing two of their centers.