Self Help Groups and Leadership Development: An Analysis by Andrew DeFeo Introduction This project is the culmination of the 10 weeks I spent in central India with my host organization Samaj Pragati Sahayog. Based in Madhya Pradesh, Samaj Pragati Sahayog (SPS) works to support the livelihoods of rural communities and facilitates access to government assistance […]

Taking a cue from another CASI intern, as I deal with what is hopefully acute effects of jet-lag, I look back on the nearly 3 months spent in central India. The food: The people: The place:

I am not sure what people picture when they are asked to conjure up an image of a leper colony. I think in the West people need to first be reminded that leprosy still exists, and that it’s not just a disease found in Bible stories. Maybe some have seen the film Motorcycle Diaries, where […]

    India is a country where you learn to wait. The people living in the hamlets wait for the rain. After the first showers, they prepare and plough the fields. Then they wait for the monsoons, the unrelenting rain. When the air turns cool and the people anticipate the change in season, they sow […]

Over the past two weeks I’ve begun the earnest work of my summer internship project. The goal of the project aims to assess leadership development among women-run microlending groups facilitated by my hosting agency Samaj Pragati Sahayog (SPS). Microlending and Self Help Groups (SHGs) have had their day in the sun in India. In some […]

  Navigating the roads by automobile in India is no easy task. First, consider the roads. As we are driven through the surrounding towns and villages of our internship sight, we mostly encounter a narrow strip of pavement. Comfortably, a large truck or van could move down the center of this road with a buffer […]

More than 20 years ago, 10 friends were performing street theater in Delhi and trading radical ideas as university students. Following a natural disaster the group went to help with relief and met Babe Amte, a lawyer turned activist working closely with people suffering from leprosy. Inspired by his work and mission – one that […]

Hi! I am Andrew and I am originally from Philadelphia, PA. I am a student in the Penn School of Social Policy and Practice working towards a Masters in Social Work degree. This summer I will be spending 10 weeks with Samaj Pragati Sahayog (SPS). Prior to this trip I have been feeling an immense […]