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The Desai Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women and children through community programs and initiatives. Our mission is simple yet powerful: to create lasting change and provide opportunities for growth and development.

We focus on empowering women by providing vocational skills training and support to help them become self-reliant. From vocational skill training to entrepreneurship programs, we aim to foster independence and create a sustainable future.

We believe in action. We believe in making a difference, one step at a time. Through our various projects, we strive to improve access to health, livelihood, and menstrual equity for those who need it most.

But we don’t stop there. Our commitment extends to children as well. We believe that every child deserves a chance to succeed. That’s why we provide educational support which includes real time exposure and foundational building blocks, alongside health support and mentoring programs to help them cultivate dignity and reach their full potential.

We are driven by a sense of purpose and guided by our core values: compassion, integrity, and collaboration. Our dedicated team works tirelessly to create a real, tangible impact in the communities we serve.

Our Impact

In 1997, the Desai Foundation’s story began – ignited by the vision of Samir A. Desai and Nilima Desai. Their mission was simple yet profound: to give back to the communities that had shaped them.

Desai, a tech entrepreneur, focused their efforts in two geographic areas – the place that was home, and the place that is now home. Their efforts focused on the Metro Boston & Harlem, NY areas, as well as the rural communities of Gujarat.

In its first decade, the Desai Foundation built strong partnerships with its partners on the ground and began to build innovative, impactful, and sustainable programming.

After they tested their programs, they converted to a public non-profit to scale and expand their work. In 2014, it became a public, programmatic organization implementing 15 programs in Gujarat. Today, the Desai Foundation operates in 8 States across India, implementing over 30 programs, impacting over 8 million lives.  

We believe that the best solutions for impact come from within the community itself. It’s why our work focuses on cultivating the dignity of the people we serve by strengthening its leadership and building sustainable programming so that everyone can dream beyond their circumstances.

Name: Geetaben Jagdishbhai Patel

Residing in Pardi, Valsad

I’m “Geetaben Jagdishbhai Patel” from “Pardi village, “Valsad” district. At 45, I’ve faced many challenges but always believed in staying strong.

I used to work with a group that helped people, but COVID-19 changed everything, and I lost my job.

Then, I met the Desai Foundation two years ago, and I really liked their vision. I joined them, and now I’m happy, energetic, and inspiring those around me. “My story is about staying strong, finding new ways, and caring for others. It shows that one person’s determination can make life better for many”.

Name: Sohani Jat

Residing in Nohata, Rajasthan

I’m “Sohani Jat”, 20, from “Nohata” village, “Rajasthan”. My family relies on farming, and my parents are illiterate. Due to our economic situation, I had to halt my education after the 12th grade. Until recently, I used cloth during my periods, unaware of proper menstrual hygiene practices.

But a Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) session through the HFH program changed everything. “I learned about menstrual hygiene, the menstrual cycle, and the importance of good hygiene to prevent diseases.

I wholeheartedly appreciate the organization’s efforts and urge them to continue the MHM Awareness program.

Name: Jyoti Yadav

Residing in Tonk, Rajasthan

I’m “Jyoti Yadav” from “Jhilai” village in “Tonk, Rajasthan”. I’m 19 years old, studying in my final year of college. My parents are farmers, and life is tough.

During the pandemic, things got even harder. I didn’t know much about menstrual hygiene, and nobody talked about it in our village. “But thanks to a session by the HFH program, I learned why it’s so important”. Now, I use sanitary pads, and I want to tell other women about it too. I’m grateful for the help and hope they keep doing this.

Name: Payal Pareekh

Residing in Jhilai, Rajasthan

I’m “Payal Pareekh”, a 20-year-old from “Jhilai” village in “Rajasthan”. I completed my 12th standard, but I didn’t know much about managing money or even the importance of having a bank account.

Then, someone from the Desai Foundation Trust came to our village and talked to us about financial literacy. They explained how to save money, the different types of bank accounts, and how to avoid scams.

I was so happy to learn about this. “It made me feel more confident and in control of my finances. Now, I know how to make better decisions with my money”. Thanks to the Desai Foundation Trust for teaching me these important things.

Name: Sowmiya

Residing in Yercaud, Tamil Nadu

I’m “Sowmiya”, 18, from “Yercaud, Tamil Nadu”, studying B.Sc. Maths. My parents can’t read or write, and I have siblings with limited education.

“I faced a scholarship application issue due to the lack of a PAN card, and the deadline was looming”. The Desai Foundation Trust’s Heroes came to my rescue, explaining its importance and helping me apply.

Their support was incredible. I got my PAN card in time, securing the scholarship that aids my education. I’m grateful for their help and even guided my college friends. My family and I extend a big thanks to the Desai Foundation Trust.

Name: Bihar Goyal

Residing in Madhya Pradesh

Meet “Bihar Goyal”, a 30-year-old from “Lonsara Khurd” village, “Madhya Pradesh”, supporting his family through daily-wage farm labor.

The Desai Foundation’s help desk camp in his village provided valuable assistance: PAN cards, Ayushman cards, and e-Shramik cards.

Bihar registered for a labor card, but an accident with a tractor left him with a severe leg injury. His labor card provided instant relief of Rs. 2 Lakhs and enrollment in the Economic Benefit Scheme, offering Rs. 1,000 per month. “He’s grateful for the Desai Foundation’s Heroes for Humanity program, benefiting from the housing scheme associated with the labor card”. Bihar is thankful for the Desai Foundation’s unwavering support.

Name: Preet

studying in Joravasan school

MEET PREET

I am Preet, I am studying in 6th STD in Joravasan school. All the children from my school attended Bal Health Mela at Shantaben Vidhyabhavan. I got my dental check-up, bad habit, good habits workshop, use of a first aid kit, good food-bad food and most important information on primary health care.

Name: Padma

Residing in Marathikoppa

MEET PADMA

Padma, a resilient 61-year-old from Marathikoppa, Sirsi. Her vision challenges didn’t deter her dedication to work. But daily tasks and commuting became difficult due to her blurring vision. Padma attended an eye checkup camp by the Desai Foundation and partners. Thorough examinations revealed cataracts in her right eye.

On May 1, 2023, she had a successful cataract surgery, transforming her life. Now, she confidently navigates even at night, free from vision challenges. With your support, the Desai Foundation empowers individuals like Padma, ensuring equal opportunities for all to thrive.

Name: Renu Naruka

Residing in Bhanwata village, Rajasthan

I’m “Renu Naruka”, a 21-year-old from “Bhanwata” village, “Rajasthan”. After facing challenges, I had to discontinue my education after the 8th grade. But I didn’t give up on my dreams.

Later, I resumed my studies and started a BA degree at a Niwai college. Here’s where the HFH program became a game-changer. I became a Community Facilitator and realized the importance of computer literacy.

“I joined the Computer Skill Training program, which meant a daily 10-kilometer journey.

Before this, I didn’t even know how to start a computer. But after three months of dedication, I gained essential computer skills.

Thanks to this opportunity, I’ve opened up new horizons and feel more confident about my future.

Name: Shital

Residing in Selu block, Parbhani

MEET SHITAL

I’m Shital, a 25-year-old housewife from Selu block, Parbhani district. After facing family responsibilities following my marriage, I couldn’t pursue my dreams. However, with my husband’s support, I joined beautician classes at SKF office in Selu.

I fulfilled my dream of becoming a makeup artist two years after our daughter was born by completing a 3-month beautician training course. My husband encouraged me to start a home-based beauty parlor. For the past 3-4 months, I’ve been earning 2000 to 3000 Rupees monthly while taking care of my child and managing household chores.

Name: Divya

Residing in Korlakatta

MEET DIVYA

I’m Divya, a resident of Korlakatta village in Sirsi. My family faced tough times due to my father’s paralysis and financial struggles.

I always had a passion for sewing, but family circumstances prevented me from pursuing it as a job. Fortunately, the foundation organized a sewing training program in Halagadde Panchayat, which I eagerly attended from February 23 to April 23, 2023.

During the training, I gained valuable sewing skills, allowing me to create various garments like blouses, kurtas, and baby frocks. What’s even better is that I can do this work from the comfort of my home. In just one month, I managed to earn â‚ą15,000 by taking sewing orders from others.

Our History

A timeline: 1997 – Present

1997 – Year of Inception

1997 – Year of Inception

In 1997, Desai Foundation (then The Desai Family Foundation) was born to support health, livelihood and preserve Indian culture. It was designed to support programs both in the United States (specifically Massachusetts & New York), and India (specially Gujarat).The organizations…

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Indian Government Social Initiatives

This comprehensive document outlines our work, impact, objectives, approach, and goals in the current year and moving forward. We hope you take a few moments to learn about our programs in India.

Our Programs

Explore Our Programs 

At the Desai Foundation, our commitment to fostering meaningful impact drives us to design and implement a diverse range of programs that touch the lives of individuals and communities.

Our programming focused on health, livelihood, menstrual equity, and community engagement. We do this by ensuring that our programs cultivate dignity and create an impact for the people we serve. Through collaborative efforts and innovative solutions, we create lasting change that resonates far beyond our projects’ boundaries.

Heroes for Humanity

Heroes for Humanity is a transformative COVID relief and recovery initiative launched in seven states in rural India by the Desai Foundation in partnership with S.P. Hinduja Banque launched in June of 2021. Each of our nearly 500 Heroes have been hired,…

Asani Sanitary Napkin Program

The Asani Sanitary Napkin Program trains women in rural India to manufacture and distribute sanitary products. Due to the inaccessibility of sanitary napkins and health facilities in many rural communities, there remains a lack of information regarding menstrual hygiene-in fact…

Kids Health Camps

Bal Health Mela is a fun-filled health fair for children. We serve 2,000 children at a time through these fairs. Medical services and facilities are inadequate in rural India which increases the rate of health risks amongst children…

Our Team

Leadership Council

Meet our dynamic team, spanning across the United States and India. United by a shared passion to make a genuine impact on communities in rural India, our team is a testament to our commitment and dedication. Get to know the individuals driving our mission and witness our team’s continuous growth.

Our Team
Board of Directors
Leadership Council
Advisors

career opportunities

Explore the current career opportunities the Desai Foundation has to offer. 

Explore the current career opportunities the Desai Foundation has to offer. 

Explore the current career opportunities the Desai Foundation has to offer.