The Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development (CORD) was established in 1985 in Himachal Pradesh, India. CORD started its work by providing Rural Primary Health Care to the surrounding under developed villages in the area. However whilst engaging closely with the rural communities CORD soon realized that critical healthcare issues were inextricably intertwined with the harsh reality of rural India’s poverty, illiteracy, and gender discrimination, all of which hinted at the formidable walls of social and economic disparities to be overcome.
The CORD program soon recharged and reshaped its approach to be more holistic and as a result, an integrated rural development model emerged which was successful and could be replicated with local modifications. Our mission at CORD is to facilitate integrated, sustainable social help programs in local communities and in the Indian subcontinent through processes of self-empowerment and enrichment. CORD programs and services have been designed based on dynamic and vibrant interactions with thousands of villagers. CORD’s strength and success has been due to its coalition with villagers, where there is cooperative effort to organize, build, and find relevant solutions to personal, familial, and communal concerns. The services provided by CORD are: Holistic Programs, Services and Course Modules
Local Self Governance
Community-Based Livelihood with access to micro credit through Self Help Groups, User Groups, and Activity Groups Health, Nutrition, Hygiene, and Sanitation
Rehabilitation and Management of Persons with Disabilities Natural Resource Management Social Justice, Legal Assistance, and Gender Sensitization Program Community driven initiatives to change issues like gender discrimination, caste discrimination, female feticide, HIV-AIDS, adult literacy, optimal utilization of services, schemes, and infrastructure provided by the government, Outreach Rural Program to treat alcohol through “Sinclair Method”
CORD has an urgent need for upgraded facilities to meet the increasing demand for trained workers to live and serve in rural India. CORD is seeking a
total of $1.4 million for a New CORD Training Centre located in Sidhbari, Himachal Pradesh, India. The New CORD Training Centre will be an experiential learning institute where people will come to understand how to serve at the grassroots level of rural development and to implement projects in the developing world. Currently, the CORD Training Centre, which is being rented in Sidhbari, is not sufficient to meet CORD’s demand for on-site experiential learning. CORD has purchased 3,744 square meters of land near the existing CORD Training Centre in Sidhbari.
The proposed New CORD Training Centre includes a multi-purpose hall, a presentation & exhibition hall, kitchen & dormitory building and a twin-sharing hostel. The aim is to have the Training Centre ready for use by 2017. Combining the New CORD Training Centre with its 28 years of rural development experiential learning, CORD has the opportunity to share its innovative approach to integrated participatory rural development for practitioners around the world.
The New CORD Training Centre will allow CORD to leverage its role as a leading centre of experiential learning by expanding the number and type of participants and scope of programs offered. It will also enable CORD to develop and deliver a substantially broader and deeper set of rural development trainings to significantly greater numbers of participants than the current training outcomes. Academic training alone does not prepare development workers to face the breadth of challenges that they will encounter in the villages. This training offers advance advantage to trainees due to its emphasis on experiential learning. With the enhanced capabilities of the New CORD Training Centre, CORD will expand its mission of development in rural India as follows: Benefits of the New Training Centre
Provide development practitioners and students with field-based practical tools and approaches to implement new and enhanced rural development projects worldwide. Serve as a technical resource and contribute to the base of knowledge on integrated, participatory approaches of rural development, particularly addressing gender inequality and women’s empowerment. Advocate for continued resources and focus on integrated, rural development issues in India. Provide accommodation and meeting space to meet increasing demand for additional trainings for those interested in rural development. Expand trainings to NGO, university, government, and corporate functionaries interested in rural development within India and the world.
Over the past 28 years, CORD has worked to empower people through development rather than through welfare interventions. CORD has helped over 500,000 poor and marginalized Indians transform their own lives through programs driven by them. Through CORD’s high-impact, sustainable programs, over 1,000 villages in four Indian states are on the path of integrated transformation. CORD has trained over 33,000 functionaries from the government, non-profit, and banking sectors, as well as community leaders, to promote self-help groups and access to micro-credit.
These trainings involved participants from throughout India and were conducted in collaboration with the National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (“NABARD)” and different departments of the Indian government. CORD is led by an inspiring and inspired team of individual and at the helm we have Dr Kshma Metre – National Director for CORD. Dr. Kshma Metre, a pediatrician by profession has dedicated her life to CORD. Her development work began in 1985 in Sidhbari, Himachal Pradesh with mother and child health services. Soon, with input and feedback from the community, forward and backward linkages were built based on their needs.
The participatory development model which emerged as a result, empowered the community to be self respecting and self reliant. Dr. Kshma Metre has won numerous awards and recognitions for her contributions to rural development and women empowerment. CORD believes that empowerment is the key to change and development. Resources donated to the New CORD Training Centre will provide a premier facility for which CORD will be able to advance its mission of facilitating integrated and sustainable development in rural. The total cost of implementation for the training center is $1.4 million. Your investment of $50,000 will build towards the funding to fully implement this path breaking project, and we are excited about the prospect of partnering with you. Through your philanthropic donation you will not only be able to form a connection with and but empower those in need by making them self-reliant. Thank you for your consideration of our request.