Save a Family

Save a Family Plan – A Family Development Program

Man behind the Concept

SAVE A FAMILY PLAN (SAFP) was founded by Msgr. Augustine Kandathil in 1965. It was a response to Pope Paul VI’s call at the time of the Ecucharistic Congress in Mumbai, December 1964. The Pope appealed to those with material prosperity to join with him in the peaceful battle against the nonviolent eradication of poverty in countries like India.

The Pope’s words touched the minds and hearts of some professors at St. Thomas University, Frederiction, New Brunswick, Canada. Amoung them was Fr. Augustine Kandathil, a priest of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam. SAFP, their brainchild, was born in a humble way with five benefactors, each helping one poor family in India. Many other families receive one time help, which enables them to aim to move towards self-reliance in their fight against poverty. SAFP started as a charity. It now has moved energetically to a systematic development program for sustainable development of families and communities.

Who are Authorities

The Save A Family Plan program has two bodies such as SAFP Canada and SAFP India. The Save A Family Plan India office (SAFPI) in Aiswarygram at Ernakulam District, Kerala are responsible for the implementation of this program at the national level. The SAFP India stands to execute the program on a field level where the SAFP Canada performs the role of a funding agency. The SAFPI registered as a Trust under Indian trust act 1992, where they act as a mediator in between the SAFP Canada and the NGO’s of India. The SAFPI select NGO’s of the various diocese to execute the program for deserving the poor, where the SAFP Canada finds out donors from Canada and the USA for providing the financial aid to the needy. Currently, the SAFPI allotted the Save A Family Plan program to around 35 NGOs of various Christian dioceses from five states of India such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Maharashtra. They also have rights to recall the program from the NGOs who are working defectively.

Role of Sahrudaya in Save A Family Plan

The Sahrudaya (WSE) played a crucial role for the implementation of Save A Family Plan program under the areas of Ernakulam –Angamaly diocese. Besides, the SAFPI first launched their Save A Family Plan program on a state level at Sahrudaya. The Sahrudaya changed the lives of more than 25,000 families from the last 50 years of service. Through this program, each of the poor family is selected by a donor of Canada for a period of 6 year. Then the family is able to get a monthly financial aid from the donor with the help of Sahrudaya. Each of the family receives 1,000 Indian rupees monthly although the donor may send extra amount as per the need of the family. Currently, the Sahrudaya is providing monthly financial aid to 300 families through the Save A Family Plan program. The latest 9 targeted areas of Sahrudaya for the selection of poor families are divided into three regions such as Paravoor, Ernakulam, and Cherthala. The Paravoor region consists of 3 Panchayath; Alangad, Ezhikkara, and Karumallor. The Ernakulam region consists of 2 Municipality and 1 Panchayath; Aluva, Angamaly Municipality and Neeleeswaram Panchayath. The Cherthala region consists of 3 Panchayath; Pallippuram, Thanneermukkam, and Ezhupunna Panchayath (Except ward 13).

How it works

The Save A Family Plan program works under each of the NGOs where a team of four staffs are responsible for this. The staffs consist of a Coordinator and three Animators which are selected by the respective NGO for the running of this program. The coordinator gives directions to the Animators for selecting the appropriate families from the field as per the approval from the director of NGO. Besides, he must update the current status of work as per the rules and regulations from SAFPI. The coordinator updates the details of families in software named as DDMS which is developed by Canada office, where the officials of Canada, the benefactors and the SAFPI can analyze each of the partner family’s signs of progress through this system. The Animators are field level staffs where they support and empower the partner families for a better future. They visit the families periodically to access their growth also conduct meetings and provide instructions to achieve various goals. The SAFPI allots specific areas for each of the NGOs to avoid duplication while selecting families. As a result, each of the NGO has 9 Panchayath/Municipality/Corporation at a time. If the NGO cannot find out enough families in the prescribed areas, the NGO can request new work areas to SAFPI. Each of the animators is responsible for 3 Panchayath/Municipality/Corporation for the selection of deserving families. Each of the Animator is deals with a maximum of 100 families from the allotted areas. In this way, the NGO have 300 families under three Animators from 9 work areas at a time. When each of the family achieved 6 years of financial assistance in SAFP, the family lefts from the program and opens a vacant seat for another deserving one.

How a family enters into the program

There are certain criteria must meet the family to enter into the Save A Family Plan - Family Development Program which are mentioned below.

Eligibility Criteria – 3 sections

Below mentioned 2 criteria should be fulfilled.

  • One child in the family under the age of 13 years.
  • At least one family member wiling and capable for doing a Small Business Initiative.

At least 1 from the below mentioned 3 criteria should be fulfilled.

  • Women Headed family (Widow/Abandoned/Single mother).
  • Family member with Cancer/HIV/AIDS/Tuberculosis/Leprosy.
  • Differently abled family member (at least 40% disability).

At least 3 from the below mentioned 4 criteria should be fulfilled.

  • Family belongs to Below Poverty Line (BPL).
  • No Sanitary Latrine or a defective one.
  • No access to safe drinking water (more than 500 meters from its place of use).
  • Inadequate shelter/homeless/poor quality roofing.

Benefits from Save A Family Plan

  • Provide financial aid to the partner family for 6-years (72 months).
  • Each month a Family Facilitation Team (FFT) meeting conducts in the NGO with the officials of SAFP to analyze and evaluate the status of each of the family. This helps to address the special needs of the partner family also identify the weaker areas of the program.
  • Conduct periodical Monitoring visit by the Animator and the Coordinator to access the progress of the partner family.
  • Provide Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP) training to the partner family to attain a better livelihood.
  • Formation of a Family Action Team (FAT) in each of the premises of agency where the group consists of Community leaders, Religious persons, PRI (Panchayath Raj Institution) members etc. They assist and work for the betterment of the family through a periodical group work process.
  • Conduct Regional Level Meetings (RLM) and provide orientation classes to the partner family regarding various social matters, government policies and programs to make a progressive growth in their lives.
  • Ensure health care facilities through health insurance schemes and similar kinds of initiatives.
  • Ensure participation in self-help groups and other social empowerment groups to improve the societal involvements of the partner family.
  • Promote the importance of the vegetable garden to stay in an eco-friendly environment.
  • To teach and assist the partner family for mobilizing the nearby resources.