Kerala is well known for its high levels of social indicators of development; however the small, artisanal fishermen continue to form one of the least developed groups in the state in economic, educational, social, and political sense. The fisherman’s struggle for basic rights has been a key issue in Kerala’s political agenda since the 1970’s. Although this campaign brought much-needed attention to the situation of the small fishermen, an important section of the fisher population was still largely ignored - the fisherwomen.
Women’s Initiatives Network (WIN) was conceived out of the need to make the women of the fisheries sector in Kerala more visible, to make their voices heard, and to involve them in interventions aimed at their community.
Since 1991 WIN has worked in participation with local women to form Self Help Groups of women in two coastal districts of Kerala – Ernakulam and Alappuzha. We are now reaching out to 13000 households in the area through our SHGs. Through these groups WIN fosters and encourages community ownership in all development initiatives.
The Women’s Initiatives Network began in 1991 as the brainchild of Sister Alice Lukose and Fr. Dominic George.S.J from Kerala – both of whom had been active campaigners in the fishermen’s struggle for their rights in the 1970’s. They brought together a group of committed Catholic nuns who wanted to dedicate their lives to the service of the poor and marginalized in innovative ways. They formed the WIN Society of Jesus – a Secular Institute of dedicated women recognized by the Church under the Ernakulam Archdiocese in Kerala. This group of dedicated women worked with the support of Fr. Dominic George for the empowerment of women and children through innovative social involvement, and interventions aimed at building their capacity to help themselves.
The WIN sisters now work in different parts of India, including Maharashtra – in a tribal development project; in Karnataka – in a Dalit (“untouchable” caste) development project; in Uttar Pradesh; and in Kerala as the WIN Society, for the empowerment of fisherwomen and children.
The WIN Society– Kerala chapter is the most extensive of all the development initiatives undertaken under the WIN Society of Jesus, and is now an independently registered charitable trust in Kerala, which also serves as the headquarters of the operations of the WIN Society of Jesus. WIN Society has its main office in Eramalloor in Alleppey district of Kerala.More
WIN is actively networking with partners from various sectors at local and international level, a process that is mutually and dynamically enriching. We warmly invite collaboration with likeminded individuals and organizations in professional and volunteer capacities.More