The Bindi Project is a sustainable train-the-trainee program that provides women in low-income neighborhoods with the knowledge, skills, and support they need to become leaders and catalysts for change with and in their communities
The project was created by the Design Tinkering club at NYU, as a response to the women’s empowerment challenge posted on OpenIdeo, an open innovation platform that brings the global community together to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. During the prototyping stage, the club connected with WHR (Women for Human Rights), an organization based out of Kathmandu, to test the idea in the field and iterate upon feedback received. The project was selected as one of the winning ideas, and received funding of $50,000 to run a pilot in Kathmandu and implement it with other organizations around the world.
Together, the two organizations set out to connect women in urban slums with trusted sources—we call them community concierges—of reliable information and needed resources. The idea is to empower women through education and access to information on health, administrative tasks, and more. The Bindi Project will create a path for women in low income-neighborhoods to take on new leadership roles within their communities and become point-persons for information sharing.
Some of the programs developed in Nepal include various forms of sexual and reproductive health workshops led by women, a video pen-pal system, and livelihood-generating activities.
I was part of a 4 member team, the work involved doing interviews of women from marginalized communities in Mumbai, synthesizing the information we collected, liasoning with our partner NGO in Nepal and the funding organization, and designing the toolkit using a constant beta approach, that can be used and modified by NGOs around the world.
I also used the Bindi toolkit in a workshop I ran with the Akanksha Foundation in India, you can read more about it here
You can read more about the Bindi project, and download the toolkit here