Village Community Development Society
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Women sorting peanuts

The VCDS co-operates with like-minded organisations through several networks. Networking aims at

  • Mutual learning
  • Common problem solving
  • Giving confidence to the target group
  • Getting the attention of the national and international public
  • Informing authorities and politicians of people's issues
  • Achieving policy changes

Dalit rights and human rights

Social Action Movement brings together hundreds of non-governmental organisations that work for various issues, such as child labour, women's issues, environmental issues and Dalits. The VCDS represents Villupuram district on behalf 50 groups. At the district level, it co-operates with Social Action Groups Network (SAG).

The VCDS is also a member of Dalit Christian Liberation Movement (DCLM) that aims to abolish the caste system in the Church. In practice, this means elimination of caste-based discrimination and domination and equal education and job opportunities in educational institutions, banks and development agencies supported by international Christian funding agencies. The DCLM also wants to increase the number of Dalit priests and bishops since Dalits form 80% of the Church.

The VCDS also collaborates with Human Rights Watch Tamil Nadu in legal aid, legal education and monitoring of atrocities against Dalits, indigenous people and women. Other Dalit networks include International Federation of Settlement, National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), and Campaign Against Child Labour (CACL).

Read more on the Internet:

Dalit Christian Liberation Movement (DCLM)
National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR)

Women's networks

The VCDS is a member of Tamil Nadu Women's Movement (TNWM) and National Women's Movement. TNWM consists of small women's groups in northern Tamil Nadu working mainly with rural women and Dalits. National Women's Movement represents women in India and deals with women's issues at national and international level.

Workers' movements

The VCDS belongs to Agricultural Labour Workers Movement, Stone Quarry Workers' Movement and Salt Workers' Movement.

Environment and agriculture

The VCDS is a member of LEISA Network in Tamil Nadu (Low External Input and Sustainable Agriculture) and a district-level leader of ten non-governmental organisations. The district-level network was formed in 1996 to encourage resource poor farmers and landless labour to use methods of traditional agriculture.

At the district level the activities of LEISA include the following:

  • Participatory technology developments for increased soil fertility, higher yield and no chemical input (150 farmers involved)
  • 38 self-help groups and 1 co-operative society for micro-credit
  • Value additional programs (50 farmers) to employ landless labour
  • Biodiversity programs: seed bank, cattle breeding, nursery raising, tree plantations and herbal cultivation
  • Campaigning to change the agricultural policy and to reduce pollution: cultural programme, lobbying, publications and agitation
  • Gender activities to empower women in agriculture

The local farmers have formed Bio-farmers' Association LEISA to share knowledge about farming, environmental issues and government policies. The activities include collective action and research and documentation of traditional agriculture.

The VCDS also belongs to Tamil Nadu Environment Council (TNEC), which works to reduce soil, air, water and noise pollution through campaigning and lobbying. The council is led by Peace Trust and CIDA Trust.

Read more on the Internet:

Centre for Information on Low External Input and Sustainable Agriculture

Emmaus

The Village Community Development Society is a member of Emmaus International, which aims to give a voice to the homeless, immigrants, Dalits and indigenous people to gain a decent life standard by self-help income generation activities. The movement fights the causes of poverty instead of treating the symptoms through charity.

The VCDS represents currently South-East Asia at Emmaus International. It collaborates with non-governmental organisations in Bangladesh and Indonesia.

In India, the VCDS works with Emmaus Friends in India, which consists of 20 social action groups fighting for children's rights, education opportunities, income generation activities and food security through sustainable agriculture.

Read more on the Internet:

Emmaus International

Volunteers and visiting students

The VCDS receives volunteers and visiting students from the following organisations:

  • Stockholm Insitute of Education
  • Folk High School in Finland and Sweden
  • Workers' Academy in Finland
  • Wogeningen Agriculture University
  • Tilburg Catholic University on Development Education
  • Finnish Volunteer Programme ETVO
  • Mansion Family Rural
  • Swallows in Sweden, Finland, Denmark
  • International Federation of Settlement
  • Non-governmental organisations in Bangladesh and Indonesia

Students and visiting students from these organisations are given a priority over other applicants.

Other networks

Other networks include Voters' Rights Movement, Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF) and Federation of Consumer Organisations - Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry (FEDCOT).

See also:

Funding


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