My name is Sinead Fox from County Cavan, Ireland. In October 2001 I decided to go to India to do some development work. When I visited the Sundarbans Region I heard of the problem of Tiger and Crocodile Attacks on the local people. I carried out a survey of some 66 widows and it was apparent that there was nobody dedicated to helping them. They were very poor, destitute women.
In 2002 I registered the Tiger Widows Organisation as a group with charitable status in Ireland and we set out to raise money for the setting up of self-help-groups. Founding members were friends Sile, Brid and Oliver. Sile is a full-time lifeguard, Brid, Oliver and I are full-time environmentalists working for local authorities in Ireland.
By October 2003 we had raised €10,000 with the help of friends and family in Ireland. Our fund-raising events are Bungee Jumps at country shows, flag days in various cities in Ireland, quizzes and music nights, sponsored swims and motorbike runs and selling logo T-shirts at community field days.
Then I made a second visit to India. Advised by the Irish Embassy, GOAL India and the Hope Foundation in Calcutta I sought-out partners who are Sundarbans-based groups with Self-Help-Groups initiatives already in place. I researched the Self-Help-Group idea and became convinced that it is the way forward for the women of India and indeed for communities in poverty all over the world. I quickly learned that 'charity' does not help people in the same way.
Over the decade we have funded three partner organisations in Sundarbans who run Self-Help-Group Programs and we are now linked in with Digambarpur Angikar. They are an excellent organisation who have a pure heart for their community and especially in the area of womens rights, empowerment and creating a future for the children.
Sustainable eco-development is a good approach in Sundarbans. It gives communities an alternative to life-threatening toil and it gives tigers a chance to co-exist on our planet.
I wish to thank the following for their help and support in India and Ireland.
Thank You to...
Most of all I thank Jesus for direction, courage and support, for sustaining me in India especially. I thank those of His church who pray for me.
Families in Sundarbans who participate do not have to risk their lives by going into the forest. This is how we are...
Serving the People to Save the Tiger