The Movement for Alternatives and Youth Action (MAYA) is a non-governmental organisation operating out of Bangalore, working to create 'an empowered and fair society.'

Who they support

This is social enterprise at its best, providing education and livelihood opportunities to people living in some of the poorest areas across the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. 

How they do it

What this translates to in practice is:
Involving communities to improve the quality of education in local Government schools - Prajayatna project
This is a project run across the states of Karnataka and Andre Pradesh working with 24,000 elementary schools. They run community meetings - over 2,500 to date - to influence and improve the quality of the education for children in Government schools, by empowering children, parents, teachers and school committees.  They provide early childhood care and pre-schools for children in the slums
Over 150 community schools based in slum areas are now giving access to early childhood care and pre-school education.
MAYA will identify how many children are left alone during the day and whether pre-school is an option.  Parents are asked to pay a nominal sum -around 50p a month - to rent a small room and MAYA provides the teachers.
This enables parents to earn a living and improves the life chances of small children.
Help local artisans produce goods through MAYA Organic
MAYA Organic addresses livelihood issues of the working poor through organising the informal sector workforce into worker-owned enterprises. 

For example,  there is an artisan collective which makes beautifully crafted lacware wooden toys.  Artisans are fully trained by MAYA on how to prepare the wood and how to make the toys. Quality control and health & safety issues are important and artisans will often work in better conditions than many and have a decent wage.  All goods are then sold back to MAYA who distribute them and plough the profits back into the project.
Other collectives make furniture.

This can best be described as a type of employment agency for construction, domestic and other casual workers.
For example, construction work is informal employment in India and workers are paid cash for the work they do each day.  Work is irregular, workers live hand to mouth and when there is work they will camp close to where the work is and move on again when work finishes. Workers aren't able to open bank accounts and don't have benefits or any employment rights.
LabourNet addresses these issues by providing the workforce with a network which provides access to a bank account, insurance cover and source of work LabourNet routes workers to jobs, encourages skill development, influences policy and facilitates access to social security schemes for the construction workforce. LabourNet seeks to offer a legitimate framework for skill development and fair practices.

Relationship with Zurich Community Trust

  • Partners since 2008
  • Three assignees:
    - Needs Analysis for new partner - June 2007 - Margaret Fowler
    - Developing a fundraising strategy - June 2008 - Karen Bigwood
    - Vision and strategy for LabourNet - October 2010 - Tracey Noble

To find out more about MAYA’s work please visit their website.