Development partnership in South India

Through education, healthcare and job creation, we break the cycle of poverty and inequality of opportunities.

Current developments on site

In India, over 250 million people live on less than $1.90 a day. Nowhere else in the world do so many people live below the poverty line. Lack of perspective and hopelessness also leads to social ills such as alcoholism and violence in families. In cooperation with our Indian partner organization Shanthimalai Trust, we support projects to help the suffering population.

For over 30 years, we have been doing pioneering work in the areas of health care, education, women's empowerment, old-age care and handicrafts. Some projects have already been released into independence and now continue to run successfully. More than 30 villages around the city of Tiruvannamalai in the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India benefit from our support. Tiruvannamalai is located at the foot of Mount Arunachala, which inspired our foundation name. This rural region is characterized by subsistence farming, a lack of job opportunities for young people and accompanying poverty. There is a lack of industrial companies and SMEs as employers in the region, which is why most people in the villages live from farming or from a low income as day laborers.

It takes experience, vision and a long-term commitment to help people break the cycle of poverty and lack of education, so that new income opportunities arise for the rural population. This is the mission of the Aruna Foundation and its partner organization Shanthimalai in South India since 1986.

With the support of numerous donors and volunteers from Germany, Switzerland and the USA, it has been possible to shape social change effectively and sustainably.

Why India

A new era of economic success has begun in India in recent years. However, not everyone benefits. Hardly anyone notices the losers. This is especially true for the rural population in Tamil Nadu, one of India's most populous states. Life for the people here is hard. If the monsoon fails or a family member loses his or her job, the consequences are severe. Illness or death of a member can mean great misfortune for an entire family. Many who live from agriculture have been trapped in a vicious circle of poverty and lack of education for generations. The reasons for this are complex. For one thing, the pieces of land available for cultivation are becoming smaller and smaller as they are divided up step by step over generations through inheritance. On the other hand, modern cultivation methods and machines are lacking and often much is still done by hand or with the help of oxen. Water is the basis of life for the villagers to earn a living. Often there is no rainfall for several months, agriculture and construction cannot be carried out and there are no opportunities to earn money in these areas. Poor families, whose members often work as day laborers, suffer particularly, and inflation further eats away at meager incomes. It often takes years to recover economically from a long drought or monsoon-induced flood.