June 16, 2016

Social Impact in South Asia with GOONJ

On 14 June 2016, Singapore’s Distinguished Universities Alumni League (DUAL) in conjunction with CAA Singapore and Bridgeable hosted a talk by Mr. Anshu Gupta, the founder of innovative waste-to-wealth organization, GOONJ (goonj.org). GOONJ works with villagers throughout rural South Asia to organize projects that improve village life. Villagers contribute their labor and GOONJ pays them with clothing that was discarded or donated in India’s cities, thereby turning urban waste into useful goods for villagers. Rather than pursuing a donor-benefactor model that is typical of many aid agencies, GOONJ focuses on the dignity of villagers, bringing them together to take ownership in initiatives that improve their health, economic opportunities and well-being. 

GOONJ has organized thousands of local projects to dig wells, clean and maintain village ponds, rebuild local roads, and address women’s health issues. Mr. Gupta is keen on documenting GOONJ’s successful social enterprise model, so that it may be more widely replicated and adopted in rural villages throughout the world. Mr. Gupta received the Magsaysay Award in 2015, which recognizes integrity in governance, courageous service to the people, and pragmatic idealism within a democratic society. In addition, Mr. Gupta is an Ashoka fellow, a Schwab fellow, and has been recognized as a CNN-IBN Real Hero. Thirty-five members of the DUAL community attended the event, which was held at Singapore’s National Library. 

Mr. Gupta is keen to collaborate with someone who could create a replication kit based on documentation of GOONJ’s successful social enterprise model, so that it may be more widely adopted in rural villages throughout the world. If you/your organisation may be able to assist on this please visit their website (goonj.org) or Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/goonj.org). 

goonj_1.jpg goonj_event.jpg

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