ASSCOD initiated its microfinance activities in the year 2002. However, those activities were conducted and that gave the team an ill experience in collecting the money back in time from the beneficiaries. We also did not follow any proper system in operating the micro finance efficiently in the past years. When we had the opportunity to work with Development Promotion Group (DPG) through implementing a result oriented project called “Capacitation of Women for Sustainable Development”, we learnt systematic and efficient implementation of DPG assisted micro credit program through Apex Bodies.
The NGO works on diversified activities as listed below.
Women empowerment activities:
ASSCOD has been implementing this project with the financial support of Development Promotion Group (DPG), Chennai. Started in October 2003, with the objectives of enabling below poverty line families to come out of the poverty and reached about 73% of the women members to come out of poverty.
Tsunami Relief Rehabilitation project:
It is initiated after the Tsunami struck on the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu. ASSCOD provided all the immediate relief materials such as domestic articles, rice, clothes, temporary shelter, etc., to about 2500 families of 12 villages in the coastal areas of Kancheepuram and Villupuram districts. As a part of long term rehabilitation, about 10 new boats and 756 kgs of fishing nets were provided. Further, 153 damaged boats and 26 outboard engines were repaired enabling the families to restore their normal life.
ASSCOD has enabled about 1686 women to receive micro credit at lower transaction costs, thereby enabling them to involve in business development activities.
Women employment generation project:
The project of “Setting up a spices powder making unit to generate women employment” has enabled about 56 women to learn about the entrepreneurial skills in business development and self employment.
ASSCOD has conducted 26 health camps and eye screening camps to benefit all roots of the community. About 3000 families attended and availed the necessary medical advice and medicines free of cost. This also enabled 16 cardiac patients to undergo open heart surgery at free of cost. About 2864 aged cataract patients also undergone cataract surgeries at free of cost.
Entrepreneurship development program:
ASSCOD has conducted about 13 rural women entrepreneurship development programs and facilitated 520+ women to learn entrepreneurial and special skills to involve in profitable business activities. The NGO has also trained 63 women in tailoring to enable them in getting employment in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
Raising education awareness
ASSCOD aims to make the villagers understand the importance of education. Several experimental programs are running in some villages, such as providing extra coaching for the weakest children to prevent drop-out from schools, or facilitating parent-teacher associations.
Our aim is to help women to read and write, or at least to make them able to sign their names. Through women's Self Help Groups and field officers we collect the list of illiterate women (people who are unable to read and sign), and through some basic trainings we teach these women to be able to read and sign their names. According to our latest survey, 92 % of the women in our women's Self Help Groups can read and sign their names.
Millennium Development Goals by planning locally relevant key activities: