About us


Shivia was founded in 2008 and is a UK registered charity working in India.

We work in rural West Bengal, one of India’s poorest and most populous states.

We give families living in rural villages near Kolkata the tools and training to start an enterprise from home so that they can earn money.

We empower the people in most need, and particularly women, to work their own way out of poverty and provide a brighter future for their children.

We run three programmes based on enterprise and not just aid:

We have our own organisation based on the ground in West Bengal to implement these programmes – Shivia India, known locally as Nirdhan.

The focus for each of our programmes is expert training.  We believe this is key to the success of our programmes and helps deliver the impact we are striving for.



The Artemis Charitable Foundation has been supporting Shivia for over five years. Throughout this time we have been constantly impressed by the sustainable impact of Shivia’s work in some of the poorest communities in India, alleviating poverty by helping people gain the skills and materials and confidence to provide for themselves and their families. Some of their work is truly ground breaking, setting down a blue print that other charities will likely follow. Although a relatively small charity, the standard of governance is of the highest order and the quality of reporting back to the donors exemplary. We have visited Shivia’s operations in India and found the quality of people and their commitment to be commendable. Our view is that Shivia has the organisational structure in place to be a significantly larger charity without compromising on quality or the impact of their work. As with all charities a key factor is the founder, and in Olly Donnelly, the founder and Chief Executive, there is unstinting commitment and effective professionalism and a driving force for maximum positive impact in the communities in which Shivia operates.
Lindsay Whitelaw, Chairman, The Artemis Charitable Foundation

Meet some of our farmers

Kalyani

(PDS FARMER)

Kalyani is 30 and married with two children aged 8 and 10 years. She started her poultry enterprise with Shivia in May 2015 and since then…

Kamala

(PDS FARMER)

Kamala is 36 and has three children, one of whom has a brain tumour. Her husband is a daily-wage labourer and prior to her poultry enterprise…

Akina

(PDS FARMER)

Akina is 50 and is married with seven daughters. She and her husband Hajrat used to work as daily agricultural labourers, earning approximately Rs 100…

Nishikanta

(AMS FARMER)

Nishikanta is 45 and he registered for AMS in June 2014. He has a small plot of land, part of which he leases to another…

  • Shivia was a natural project for TFN to support: a strong social change mission, with a local focus providing a hand up, not a hand out to the women and communities it works with.
    Karen Millen
    UK Operations Manager, The Funding Network
  • We were thrilled to see the impact of the work being done and to meet the team on the ground. It was truly humbling to see the difference being made to so many people by this group of highly motivated and capable people.
    Stewart Brown
    Director Artemis Investment Management LLP
  • We are excited to support such a strategically-minded and professionally run charity that is making a real and sustainable difference. The focus and design of the livelihood programmes are simple and highly effective – and the results speak for themselves.
    Lars-eric Roden
    Director, The T&J Meyer Foundation
  • Farming is my only source of income... I registered with Shivia to learn how to reduce my farming expenses and produce better quality outputs. I am definitely seeing good results compared to previous years and have learned how to make bio-pesticides.
    AMS farmer
    Familia location West Bengal
  • I cannot thank Shivia enough for giving me this opportunity. I am extremely happy that your team held my hand and provided me with excellent training to understand about raising chickens and earning money from them. I now have the confidence to carry on with my poultry enterprise on my own.
    PDS farmer
    Kolaghat location West Bengal

some of our supporters