Creating a Path Out of Poverty for
India's Forgotten Families

June 13, 2014

The village of Annathur southeastern India is home to 302 families who are among India's most marginalized people. Eighty percent of the villagers live on less than $2 a day and inequalities based on gender, ethnicity and class are pervasive. IOCC is providing the women of Annathur a path out of poverty with support for efforts to help them become self-sufficient. photo: Adam Jones
Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — The village of Annathur is home to 302 families and one of India's most marginalized communities. Many of the families belong to minority ethnic tribes that have been historically ostracized by Indian society, leaving them deprived of access to healthcare, education and employment opportunities. International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is providing the women of Annathur a path out of poverty for themselves and their families with assistance to help them become self-sufficient.

IOCC, in cooperation with the Church's Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA), the social service arm of 25 Protestant and Orthodox Churches in India, is providing a grant to support the organization's humanitarian work with women, children, farmers, youth, and disabled people from communities in need like Annathur. Members of a local women's group will receive training to strengthen their ability to address the villagers' social service needs and help the women, farmers and disabled people from Annathur pursue sustainable income earning opportunities through better access to education, government and financial institutions.

"IOCC has initiated numerous development projects around the world aimed at helping women and the disadvantaged find their way out of poverty, and we welcome the opportunity to work with CASA and its Executive Director, Dr. Sushant Agrawal, a tireless advocate of helping India's poorest find their path to self-sufficiency," said IOCC Executive Director, Constantine Triantafilou, "Time and time again we have seen that by empowering local community leaders with new skills to serve their society's forgotten ones brings with it the potential to lift an entire community out of hardship."

IOCC's focus on community development has provided women and the disadvantaged with assistance through microcredit business loans, programs to help produce reliable sources of food, access to health care and through educational opportunities for them and their children in places such as Ethiopia, the West Bank and Bosnia.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHARITIES
IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has delivered $488 million in relief and development programs to families and communities in more than 50 countries. IOCC is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 140 churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy, and a member of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.–based secular and faith-based organizations working to improve the lives of the world's most poor and vulnerable populations. To learn more about IOCC, visit www.iocc.org.

Media contact: Rada K. Tierney, IOCC Media Relations, 443-823-3489, rtierney@iocc.org

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