It was a pleasure to work with ASHA Trust as it successfuly expanded its fundraising into the UK, and a thousand times more exciting to see the fruits of the project in the form of a major expansion of their work.
ASHA Trust works with women in deprived communities who care for children and helps them turn their informal home daycare into creche facilities that meet young children’s emotional, intellectual and physical needs. Early Years care is of course vital: in deprived communities it is the most effective safety net to protect children from the dangers of poverty. According to the World Bank, money spent on Early Years care is “the smartest investment a country can make … If a child gets the healthcare, nutrition, affection, stimulation, and education that she needs – the gains she makes in those early years are hers for life.”
ASHA Trust has a particularly effective model, where women are given the tools to develop creches as sustainable small businesses with an enormous social impact. Carers recieve training on child development and nutrition, funding to make their premises safe and happy, support in business development and help accessing government funding. The children benefit from a safe and stimulating childcare setting, with hot meals, toys and books. The creche owners build a small business, and parents are able to claim a grant for fees. In turn the creches can charge a little more, and pay their trained staff, cooks and other helpers a good wage. It’s a remarkably powerful model that provides children with a safe start to life, helps women build their lives, and changes a communtiy for good.
ASHA Trust now has the funding to expand its work into the Western Cape area, where its excellent trainers will work with a whole new cohort of ‘house mothers’ who will build their businesses, change their communities, and develop children’s life chances. The economic impact on communities will be immense: the value to children immeasurable. We wish them all the best with their wonderful work.