ASHA works for the educational, social, spiritual and economic development of the downtrodden communities in India and aims to bring lasting changes into the communities they support.
One such community is Godipokhari, which is in the Khordha district of Odisha.
This community speaks Odia, a language spoken in eastern India. Their staple food is rice, ragi (a type of millet) and vegetables that grow throughout the different seasons. Most of them do not own any land and work as daily labourers. They leave their homes early in the morning and return in the evening after a hard day's work. Some of them also make mats and brooms from date palm leaves, while others collect kendua leaves and sell them in the market. (Kendua leaves are used by some companies to make bidis, a kind of traditional cigarette.). The community does not have any savings for the future. They live hand to mouth, spending whatever they earn each day. Their children suffer from a lack of education, health and social opportunities, as their parents are illiterate.
After listening to the community about how ASHA could best support them, it became clear that they needed a community space from which vocational training, spiritual activities and social programmes could be held and run from.
ASHA committed to providing this for the community, and on the 14th of September, 2022, the opening ceremony of the Jeanette Wakefield Hall was held.
Several members of the ASHA team were in attendance and encouraged the community to make the hall not only a place of learning and support but that it also be filled with peace and love.
The community expressed their appreciation to ASHA and is thankful for their helping hands towards constructing the beautiful community hall at Godipokhari.
Heartfelt gratitude was expressed to the family of Jeanette Wakefield, whose legacy donation made the community hall possible. A message of thanks was also given to all the other donors and partners of ASHA whose support and contributions make projects like this happen.
The hall is already being well utilised, with local young women coming daily to learn to tailor, using 12 sewing machines that were donated by a local NGO. This increases their skill set and provides them with confidence and a new income stream to support their families.
The community is very thankful to ASHA for helping them construct the beautiful community hall at Godipokhari.