Hello Steem community, Welcome to Asia Initiatives! This article outlines our entry into the Steem ecosystem, our nonprofit work and long term ambitions within the cryptocurrency landscape. Give our team a follow @asiainitiatives as we get started!
Who Are We?
Asia Initiatives (AI) is a nonprofit organization that works primarily to support underserved communities, in particularly women and their families, by helping them realize their full potentials. Our mission is to leverage the power of social capital to promote healthcare, education and sustainable development.
Our story began in 1999, when a group of friends in Tokyo began to meet at the home of Geeta and Krishen Mehta to strategize ways in which they could help the severely underprivileged people in South Asia, and particularly India. Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, the world renowned agricultural scientist and humanist, suggested ways that a group of people living abroad can engage with issues back home. Several members of the group then went to India to visit the transformative work that M.S. Swaminathan Foundation (MSSRF) was doing in villages of Tamil Nadu, and Friends of MSSRF was born. AI soon grew to help other small or emerging NGOs by connecting them to MSSRF methodologies. In 2009, Asia Initiatives Headquarters was moved to New York and received its 501(c)(3) status one year later.
SoCCS: A New Form of Currency Accessible to All
Our founder, Geeta Mehta, invented Social Capital Credits (SoCCs) to leverage the power of social capital for more effective development efforts. SoCCs are a community currency for social good. It’s simple; people do social good, earn SoCCs for their work, then use these points for tangible goods or services that help their communities and families. SoCCs give back the power of choice to communities, helping them become the main stakeholders in their success. This innovative model of economic and social development tackles poverty issues while promoting sustainable development of communities.
The aim of SoCCs is to revolutionize the global economy by shifting our focus from financial capital to social capital. Earning SoCCs empowers individuals and enables them to make decisions that will impact not only themselves but also their families and communities. It helps strengthen their confidence to become active and engaged community members.
AI has now implemented SoCCs in eighteen projects in India, Ghana, Kenya and the United States. We work with thousands of families, engaging in SoCCratic dialogues and strategizing together for projects in microcredit, education, livelihood, water-harvesting, digital literacy and more. Learn about a few of our projects below!
KADAM Resource Center: Building Leadership Among Girls
AI works with the Center for Development in Ahmedabad, India, to implement sustainable changes in the areas of safe institutional births, involvement of community leaders, healthcare workshops, and peer mentoring. The Kadam Resource Center for Girls (KRCG) was established to provide a safe environment for young girls to learn about socially taboo topics, such as menstruation.
MAHARASHTRA: Water Conservation for Better Yields
After five consecutive rain deficiencies and worsening food and water crisis during the monsoon seasons, Asia Initiatives has partnered with Save Indian Farmers to support water conservation activities in six villages in the Beed district of Marathwada, Maharashtra, India. We provide villages with diesel and machines to run their activities. Villagers have been digging trenches, dams, nurseries and constructing water harvesting structures to prevent soil erosion and to conserve water. From their hard work, water was found seventeen feet below the ground in the peak of summer, while it was as deep as 300 feet before the watershed was built!
AMARAVATI: SoCCS to Crowdsource Governance
At the Happy Cities Summit, Asia Initiatives participated in the Competition for ‘City-preneurs’ to pitch innovations that can help 21st Century cities become more liveable. Based on a rigorous evaluation of applications, we were selected among six winners to implement our SoCCS methods to develop Amaravati, the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh, India. Through SoCCs, citizen participation can be activated at each step of the urban planning and management process: design, implementation, management, reporting and improvements.
Joining the Blockchain World
As a nonprofit organization that works to promote development efforts in marginalized communities, the blockchain world is a new valuable methodology to help support our projects and vocalize our work. We want to expand our scope and reach a larger community locally and internationally.
The blockchain world would allow us to exchange our content, while receiving feedback at a faster and more responsive rate. As the importance of technology increases and becomes integrated to our daily usage, the concept of blockchain becomes increasingly significant. The number of users using blockchain is on the rise, which makes it even more appealing for us to join the community. We would like to multiply our impact to solve the difficulties of underserved communities.
AI and the Steem Community
Asia Initiatives would like to offer the Steem community meaningful and inspiring content from our various projects, ranging from health, education, technology to livelihood initiatives for children and adults. By following our blog posts, you can follow the progress of our projects from the very beginning and see how they are impacting the local communities.
We want you to relive the same stories through our narratives each month. We are all about crowdsourcing goodness. We believe that positive change will be more effective through community engagement and collaboration. By working with you, we will improve the quality of life for people who have limited opportunities, resources, and funds, enabling them to reach their full potential.
Over the next few months, we would like to share and highlight our stories through Sndbox with people around the globe. Stay tuned for fun and eye-opening narratives from the field as our team travels around the world!
Make sure to check out our next post to learn more about our SoCCs programs!
Empower artists, writers, musicians, non-profits and community initiatives – delegate Steem Power to @sndbox (using the links below) or follow our curation trail. Learn more about Sndbox – watch our introduction, here.