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  • With about 17% of the population living below the poverty line (nationwide the average is 27.5%), economically Gujarat fares well in comparison to other states across India.
  • However socially Gujarat is still lagging behind and this raises a number of issues.

Despite Gujarat’s economic boom, she still has many pertinent issues that need addressing. Domestic violence has been a big issue, as has involving slum communities into mainstream systems. Also, after the Bhuj earthquake, many children were left orphaned which has added to the strain on local government resources. AFP has been working on easing all these pressures.

Our volunteers have supported training to develop the skills of slum youth to make them more employable, developed fundraising and business plans and produced a documentary on domestic violence, and have developed the systems of schools.

Slum communities and AFP

Focus areas: Education, Livelihoods
One of the major challenges of the economic development has been the rapid growth of low income urban settlements (slum communities) faster than what the Government can provide for. In Ahmedabad almost one in four people live in such settlements. Access to basic information and services is limited and the heavily populated areas have suffered from religious conflicts, many of which have escalated to have long term effects.

Working with one of our partner organisations Saath, AFP volunteers are contributing to the establishment of innovative Urban Resources Centres. These centres provide slum communities with information on service providers, how to access essential services that they are entitled to as well as empower them to address health, livelihood and education issues that affect them. In addition, programmes of language training and skills development are supported to enhance employment opportunities within the communities.

Women Empowerment and AFP

Focus areas: Education, Livelihoods, Participation and Governance
Gujarat figures prominently in reported cases of unnatural causes of death of women. Of particular concern is the reducing sex ratio across the state (920 females to 1000 males).

AFP has been working with our partner organisation in raising awareness of legal rights, addressing health education issues and providing sustainable income generation opportunities for vulnerable women, especially those affected by domestic violence. AFP volunteers provide strategic and capacity building support to AWAG to continue its pioneering work on eradicating violence against women.

Children empowerment and AFP

Focus areas: Education, Livelihoods
The devastating earthquake of 2001, left extensive damage to life and infrastructure. 20,000 reported dead and over 16,000 casualties. Bhuj, a town in the Kutch area situated only 20 kilometers from the epicentre suffered tremendously, with a large proportion of buildings completely destroyed including schools and homes.

AFP supports our partner organisation Hope School in Bhuj in rebuilding the lives of those children traumatised and often orphaned by the earthquake. AFP volunteers have helped these children improve english language skills and have brought in greater motivation in art, craft and sporting activities. AFP volunteers have also worked with teachers in improving their training skills. Read about our volunteer stories here.