Working with Humana People to People India (HPP-India), Planet Aid supports teacher training, youth education, sustainable agriculture, and health promotion programs in India.
Teacher Training Colleges
In August 2009, Humana People to People India (HPPI) launched its teacher training program. The two-year program leads the students through intense coursework and the new teachers are encouraged to interact with, and be a strong educational influence on, the community in which they teach.
As of December 2016, HPPI is training student-teachers at 7 locations in Haryana with approximately 1,500 student-teachers reaching over 15,000 primary school students in their teaching practice.
In Mahya Pradesh, 762 student-teachers are currently being trained by 14 DNS teachers. Over 19,000 primary school students have benefited from the teaching in the program.
Around 83 percent of Indian agricultural producers are small-scale farmers that often face problems with declining soil fertility, water access, weather aberrations, and a host of other issues. To combat these issues, Planet Aid supports a Farmers' Club in Northern India that empower small-scale farmers, improving their overall standard of living. Participants are given training and resources that allow them to increase agricultural activity, bolster food security, and strengthen nutrition on the community level. Farmers' Clubs work with both men and women farmers through a farmer-led research model that measures the results of the new methods and techniques implemented.
In 2016, the Farmers' Club project focused on promoting sustainable farming through Women Livelihood Groups in 50 villages. The project efforts improved food and nutrition security, increased incomes, implemented modern farming practices, and empowered women. By teaching the women farmers new farming and animal husbandry methods, the project successfully trained over 1,500 women in organic farming practices and established 600 kitchen gardens, which are aiding in food security for the participating farmers.
Tara Devi, one of the women farmers participating in the Alwar Farmers' Club, says of the project:
"I have received training on new farming techniques and advanced agricultural practices like organic farming, seed treatment, establishment of kitchen gardens, etc. The staff encouraged us to adopt these practices, as a result of which I have established a small kitchen garden in my backyard which has ensured the supply of fresh vegetables and I am elated to see my family consume fresh and healthy vegetables...I am eternally thankful to the organization to direct me towards a good initiative which has helped me immensely, both financially and health wise. I am fortunate to become a part of HPPI project for farmers which has empowered the women to come out of the house to explore more opportunities for income growth."
Planet Aid supports children in Northern India through the Step-up Centers. These schools provide access to education for underprivileged elementary school children who have been unable to attend formal schooling. The Centers also actively work to mobilize local communities and assist children in enrolling in mainstream education when possible. The Centers operate under the auspices of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan program to make access to education available to all.
There are 11 Step-Up Centers operating in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Delhi. Together they reached nearly 4,000 children in 2016.
Total Control of the Epidemic
The Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE) program was adopted in India to combat HIV/AIDS and diabetes in six areas in Northern India. This multi-faceted, community-based approach aims to mitigate the impact of these diseases by engaging communities to take control of their own risk factors, while also increasing access to prevention, treatment, and support services. Main activities of the project include identifying high-risk and vulnerable groups, one-on-one visits, disease testing, counseling services, condom distribution, and more.
There are currently 3 TCE projects operating in India, one in Narela, one in Lucknow, and one in Jodhpur. In 2016, the Narela TCE project empowered over 1 million people to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS and other STDs. The project tested over 30,000 people for HIV/AIDS and distributed 2 million condoms. In Lucknow, the TCE project reached over 20,000 people with HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns and counseled 63,000 people in one-on-one and group sessions. These sessions highlighted preventive measures for HIV/AIDS and ways to control the spread of the epidemic.
Green Action Neemrana
Established in July of 2009, the Green Action Neemrana project works to protect those natural resources that are crucial to the livelihoods of the poor and marginalized in India. By training farmers in sustainable methods and providing support groups, the project has increased farmers' production and income, leading to better food security and quality of life.
The project is currently being implemented in nearly 70 villages, where it is introducing modern agriculture practices to increase production and promoting renewable and efficient energy to improve health and productivity. In 2016, the Green Action Neemrana project organized 400 meetings for 1,400 farmers. These meetings focused on issues faced by the farmers and taught them about modern farming methods including the use of micro nutrients, vermi-compost, drip irrigation, and rainwater harvesting.
Santosh, one of the farmers who began using biogas as a result of Green Action Neemrana, says of his experience,
"Families here are very happy with the success of biogas plants as it saves time and money. No more spending on LPG cylinders. These days I feel very relaxed, spend time in other house duties and get to take a nap of around 2 hours during the day. My family is very pleased and would like to thanks HPPI, including the staff who constructed biogas plant in my house. "
Satedan, a farmer, used rainwater collection after learning the technique as a result of Green Action Neemrana.
Project staff constructed a rainwater harvesting system on my house’s rooftop. During the rainy season, the tank filled with water and my family benefitted from the stored water. Earlier, the rainwater was wasted as there was no option to store it. However, with this system, my family does not face water issues, and we use it for animals’ consumption, bathing and other household chores.
The HPPI microfinance project is designed to help poor women gain access to credit and become part of the economic development of their communities. The project organizes the women in groups that vouch for each other and provides access to loans of up to $250 to establish a production or a trade. The result is that these women begin to create their own income, gradually grow their assets, develop microenterprises, enjoy an improved quality of life, and expand possibilities for investments in their families and a higher status in the community. In 2014, the program disbursed a total of 81,922 loans across 887 villages. HPPI currently operates 26 micro finance projects.