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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Saath

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: To make human settlements equitable living environments, where all residents and vulnerable people have access to health, education, essential infrastructure services and livelihood options, irrespective of their economic and social status.

Geographic areas served: Gujarat and Rajasthan

Community Stories

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

The work being done by Saath is truly amazing. I had previously been a volunteer two years ago and have continued as a donor. I have just visited some of the new programs at Saath during a trip to India in November 2012 including the Women's Development Center, Yuva Mast, other livelihood programs, and affordable housing. Saath has a comprehensive approach to integrated development, and covers everything from healthcare to education to livelihood training and microfinance. By visiting the programs, you can see the integrated nature of the programs helping with slum development. Many of the staff have changed since my previous visit in 2010, yet the essence has remained the same. I feel very well respected and at home here with the Saath family. I am very proud to be involved with Saath now as a donor and plan to continue in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I worked with SAATH for few days. SAATH has been doing a great job and a great deal of service to the slum dwelling people in and around Ahmedabad. I closely observed the way the staff of SAATH functions with zeal and with an aim to make lives of underpriviled better and help them live a dignified life.

Donor

Rating: 5

The work speaks for itself, truly amazing. I feel blessed to be able to donate to this organisation and it is simple to understand and donate, Perfect!

Kinshuk J.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Working with Saath as a Volunteer was a really memorable experience and helped me to gain knowledge in the Development Sector well. Infact, I am so impressed with the accolades of Saath and the gamut of activities undertaken on the ground level that I am planning to be a part of Saath as an employee leaving the Corporate rat race. I wish Saath all the best for coming endeavours.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 3

I worked as a trainee in SAATH for 3 weeks a little more. During the period, I was really impressed by the concept of this NGO and how they work things out. My team leader is a very nice woman who taught me a lot of things. Her passion for her work, her care about us. As I stayed there for such a short time, I did little things for them. But i wish i could have another chance to stay there longer and do more things.

11

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I had an opprotuity to know about SAATH's work in an experience sharing workshop held at EDI, Ahmedabad. The range of activities is good and it builds upon the model piloted in AP under the DFID funded program but the beauty of it is that it has been done on a voluntary basis with taking the community needs as its priority and then looking for external help.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Saath's work represents a crucial piece of the solution to India's slum problem. Poverty is a systemic problem that requires holistic solutions, and Saath has achieved considerable success in generating societal and economic wealth with its progressive approach to slum development. Speak to slum residents in the areas Saath has worked in, and you are invariably told what a great positive impact Saath has had on their lives. I worked first hand with Saath staff, and I found them to be professional, motivated, and capable in working with the community. The organization has strong second-line leadership in place that will lead the organization well in coming years. The founder, Rajendra Joshi is extremely humble and down-to-earth for a man of his accomplishments. Rajubhai's work with Saath is nothing short of path-breaking, and should be an excellent mentor to up and coming social entrepreneurs. His insight into the policy solutions for slum development should be seriously considered on a national level. Its market-based approach to slum development and the Urban Resource Centers represents the future of Bottom of the Pyramid thinking. Saath has done great work, but there is still so much to be done in terms of slum development, even within Saath's home city of Ahmedabad! Saath needs financial and human capital to build its capacity, and locally-grounded individuals across India to help replicate its model. If you have capital, talent, or resources you want to channel to improving the lives of the less fortunate, Saath is a proven and innovative model to invest in. I strongly urge you to find out more about the organization.

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first came in touch with Saath last year around this time while I was working on a project that was trying to capture the work of organzations which were using a mutli pronged approach to address the issue of urban poverty. Saath to this end was an obvious choice given the holistic nature of its intervention in commumities it engages with. Saath's approach is striking not only in its inclusiveness of the issues that it tries to address but more importantly the investment it has made in setting up robust community owned institutions which serve the foundation for the stupendous work that exists on the ground.

9

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at SAATH through the Asian Foundation for Philanthropy, a UK based charity in 2007. I was impressed by SAATH's innovative approach to help the urban poor. I was in awe of all the people at SAATH of their commitment and drive to better the lives of the urban from from Rajendra Joshi to the slum reisdents who work in partnership to implement the schemes.

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

Prior to my current role with Saath, my academic work involved an in-depth analysis and research of many Saath programs. The sheer commitment of the organization towards equitable development is of a very rare and high standard. It has a clear vision, credible strategies for goal achievement, and tremendous grassroots knowledge of urban living conditions, and workable social mechanisms. Much credit goes to the leadership of Rajendra Joshi, both for a style that is inspiring, and grounded in the real world of the urban working poor. The influence of this leadership is visible in the transformation of the social conditions where the members of Saath work. The achievements therefore are to credit the commitment of all Saath members, and benefit all that they serve selflessly.

7

Former staff

Rating: 4

It was a nice experience working with this organization.I was always interested in teaching and it provided me the platform to teach the needy ones.It really touches your heart when someone considers you as their idol and respect you and share their personal problems. Counselling the participants for their betterment was the best part.

9

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

You constantly read about how India’s poverty lives side-by-side its economic growth, but it was not until I worked at SAATH that I saw a genuine catalyst for change. By coupling development opportunities with actual resources, SAATH has brilliantly used India’s socioeconomic paradox to implement sustainable development. Together, SAATH and the community that it serves have proven to the government and private sector that the urban poor not only wants development but is also willing and capable of paying for it. Inclusion into the mainstream provides much improved health, education and livelihood opportunities to the urban poor, increased revenue for the private sector and a government promoting urban development. A mutually beneficial situation. Now, the organization needs to address the changing and increasingly more competitive landscape of donations and grants.

8

Former staff

Rating: 5

I came to India as a part of Social-Business Ventures program by Artemesia, Aiesec and Ashoka. I spent 6 months with SAATH working with different projects: microinsuarance, UMEED and Raw Material Bank for Rural artisans. The common features in different saath's projects which makes them successful are: full community involvement in every project, innovative approach and focus on sustainable models. Also, the head of organization, Rajendra Joshi, has profound leadership skills and is passionated about urban and rural development in India. The other important feature of SAATH is readiness to accept the change. Thus last few years SAATH is transforming its projects to social business.

8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a Mumbai-based Journalist, and have visited Saath in August 2009. We have featured Saath as one of 50 Social Enterprises who are making a positive contribution to the society. I have covered few of the initiatives through my story ( http://business.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?261369 ).Individually, I feel that the various initiatives of Saath reflected in the confidence of few of the beneficiary members I met and interacted with. The programmes like Umeed-Udaan, Urmila are not just employment generators. But they are also a great help to the society outside the Saath family. Samvaad, is a brilliant embracement of technology and will bring a big change in the time to come. However, the Samvaad team has to be little more market savvy, to become self-sustaining. Overall, I feel Saath is a institution in itself. Not corporate, but truly corporatised.

10

Donor

Rating: 5

I have a microfinance charity and SAATH is our exclusive partner this year because they are very grass roots and enable the recipients to really leverage a wholistic model. The management and the team are exceptional and they really care about the development of the people in the slums and alleviation of poverty.

11

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I visited Saath in August 2009 and spent time visiting their projects -Umeed, the URC and spending time with the very inspiring and motivated Rajendra bhai and his excellent team. Their work was well researched, high impact and highly engaging with the community they work with -most impressive!

8

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I entered SAATH as an intern as walked out as a changed person. Dedication shown by the head Mr. Joshi to everyone who worked in the organizaion was spectacular. Working in the non-profit sector needs a highly selfless attitude. On field, when interacting with people, it comes across very clearly that SAATH has touched their lives and changed it towards a positive direction. During my interaction with the Community Video Unit team, my interaction with them led me to having an experience of a lifetime. By being associated with SAATH, these women of the minority community, coming from the lower income group had become independent confident and positive. Touching lives of people across the state is a big feat achieved by SAATH.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 4

SAATH is an amazing organization and works on the core fields that are very relevant and important for the Indian Society right now. I wish them Best Luck of the incredible work they do.

11

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Saath has shown concern, determination and innovation in working for urban slums. Saath applies management priciples in their work. Saath's model of leveraging Govt funding is worth emulating.