10 highlights from 2020-2021

We have just published our detailed, illustrated Annual Review for the year 2020-2021 which you can view here:

If you are short on time, here’s a quick look at our top ten highlights:

  • Our response to Covid: We responded quickly to Covid during the first lockdown by educating our beneficiaries in Bengal about the pandemic, promoting hygiene and social distancing practices and supplying essential goods to the communities including 22,428 face masks​, 1,000 food packages​, 1,000 sanitary napkins​, 900 hand sanitisers and 4,000 bars of soap. Throughout the year the Nirdhan team worked extremely hard to help our beneficiaries rebuild their livelihoods.   In Gujarat and Rajasthan, through SAATH, we supplied essential food ration kits, Covid tests and health insurance to 33 of the Beauticians and Cooks we support who had to isolate.
  • Poultry Development Services:  We distributed 11,606 poultry toolkits to 1,342 existing farmers bringing the total farmers we have helped to 14,807.  We formed 17 groups comprising 428 members and now 945 of our farmers operate successful poultry enterprises completely independently of us.  This has been our greatest achievement to date as it proves the true sustainability of our approach that we – and others in the sector – strive to achieve.  During the year many of the women chose to spend their additional income on data for their mobile phones so that their children could access online learning; without this it is likely they would have dropped out of formal education altogether.
  • Agri-Management Services: We registered 1,778 new farmers resulting in a portfolio of 5,699 farmers organised into 348 Farmer Interest Groups.  We made 1,706 links to Government of India farming initiatives or compensation schemes.  This was particularly beneficial to our farmers whose crops and livelihoods were damaged by the devastating Cyclone Amphan that struck Bengal in May 2020.
  • Goat Farming: Due to the uncertain funding landscape, we decided to phase out our Goat Farming Programme but to ensure all existing 341 families on the programme had a sustainable goat farming enterprise by the end of the year.  We have captured all our knowledge since 2016 in our Goat Farming manual so we can reintroduce the programme in West Bengal and to NGOs in other parts of India in future. 
  • New programmes:   Covid has resulted in a time of reflection and evaluation.  One of our major risks is being reliant on one implementing partner, Nirdhan, in one State, West Bengal.  ​ As a result, we partnered with the NGO SAATH who we have a long-standing relationship with and expanded our footprint beyond West Bengal to the States of Rajasthan and Gujarat where SAATH has presence.  In October 2020, we agreed to support SAATH’s Beautypreneur Programme as well as help design and pilot the Cooks Training Programme, both of which are strongly aligned to our mission of creating livelihoods with dignity.   ​
  • Fundraising: Despite the concerning fundraising landscape, we raised £459,921 to support our annual plan and budget including £143,033 of invaluable pro-bono support. 
  • Shivia Livelihoods Foundation: We incorporated Shivia Livelihoods Foundation (SLF) in Mumbai in October 2020 to raise funds in India and to help identify livelihood focused NGOs which can replicate our tried and tested programmes in West Bengal elsewhere in India. 
  • Key appointments: Joe Rao transferred from General Manager of our partner Nirdhan to Shivia’s Lead Consultant in India to oversee all our work.  Joe has spent much of the year researching and visiting livelihood focused NGOs to see whether they can replicate our Poultry, Agri-management Services and Goat farming Programmes.  Khursheed Khurody and Ursula Thakkar became the Founding Directors of Shivia Livelihoods Foundation.   
  • New ways of working:  Many of our fundraising events and planned field trips were – and continue to be – postponed or cancelled.  However, we adapted quickly to the unravelling situation and adopted new ways of working, primarily by embracing technology. ​ We held online zoom calls to provide updates on Covid in India, we ran our Artemis family field visit online as well as a much larger virtual field trip which was undoubtedly the highlight of the year enabling friends to engage with our field staff and farmers 5,000 miles away through simple smart phones.  We collaborated with the Tata Group through the Tata Management Training Centre where we ran a two-day online event for their emerging leaders to hear the Shivia story and focus on “unconventional learnings”. 
  • Our values: As we adapted to the ever-changing landscape it became clear to us that we should also review our core values – those that underpin our key decisions.  We sought input from a few beneficiaries, partner NGOs, Supporters, our Trustees and staff and these four stood out for us all: Beneficiaries First, Fostering Independence, Integrity and Determination.  We live and breathe these core values.
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  • It has been a pleasure to help shine a light on the inspirational work that Shivia does. The team’s passion and determination to make a lasting difference to families living in poverty – and doing so respectfully – is clear in every interaction. By contributing support for their marketing communications and brand identity evolution, we hope that they will be able to empower even more people in the future.
    Rebecca Lovelock
    Founder at Bretom
  • Shivia’s work is very impressive - how it is carried out and who the people are working in the locations.  It is a very healthy and together team which is being very effective.
    Jane Meyer
    Trustee of T&J Meyer Family Foundation
  • "The work Shivia does is simple and yet so life-changing, we’re thrilled to have been part of the charity’s growth story and hope to partner with them for many years to come.”
    Marisa Charosky
    Coordinator - Artemis Charitable Foundation
  • Agri-management Services has the capacity to deliver lasting change for our farmers. I have always felt that the farmers feed our nation while they can hardly afford to feed themselves. What an irony. So if my team and I are able to help farmers earn a sustainable income through agriculture, there’s nothing better than this.

    Joe Rao
    Lead Consultant for Shivia
  • I have witnessed first-hand how Shivia has not just changed but transformed people's lives with its livelihood programmes.
    Yasmine Hilton
    Chairman - Shivia
  • Alquity supports Shivia because they transform lives by giving people the opportunity to do things themselves and they do it with dignity.
    Suresh Mistry
    Director - Alquity