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The JOYYA Collective is the social arm of JOYYA. Along with JOYYA Goods (the business arm), and JOYYA Neighbors (the relational arm), it makes up the three delivery arms of JOYYA.
The Joyya Collective is a collection of engaged neighbors, local NGO’s, value-aligned businesses and people of good will that partner together to spark good in our communities. What binds us is a passion to see people and places able to realize the changes they want for themselves, their families and neighbors.
We work and live in four jostling, vibrant, communities in Kolkata and West Bengal, India. Our neighbors are an extraordinary group of strong and resilient people, but for many of them extreme poverty and modern slavery has stolen opportunities and choices.
Extreme poverty and modern slavery cannot be reduced to only economic issues. Therefore, neither can the solutions. Every neighborhood is part of a complex social system that can either help or hinder a community achieving their dreams of a better life. Over the last 20 years, we have learnt that people are far more likely to achieve the change they are wanting to see in their lives if they have access to social support in six service areas.
Unexpected health issues can unpaid time away from work large medical bills. This can leave people with few options other than to borrow money at large interest rates which continue the cycle of poverty.
JOYYA Health helps alleviate this by providing early interventions such as clean water projects, drop-in health clinics, and medical screening. Interest-free medical loans are available in emergency situations.
Education is the single best way out of poverty. But when you are already impacted by poverty, getting a quality education can be difficult. Getting the funds for the fees and required materials can be hard enough, but also children often begin work from a young age to contribute to the family income. Time to go to school and study can be very limited.
JOYYA Education helps alleviate this by providing funds for schools fees, uniforms & books. We also provide classes outside of school hours for children to ‘catch up’ on school work and focus on areas in which they are struggling. In some cases, we provide hostel accommodation if the family has safety concerns for the children.
Without access to legal and financial resources, people impacted by poverty can be at the mercy of corruption and injustice. Threats of undue legal actions, limited access to legal representation when required, low understanding of basic rights and entitlements, or simply not having a required document can have devastating results. People can part with money they do not need to, not get money they are entitled to, or unjustly end up in the legal or prison system.
JOYYA Legal/Finance helps alleviate this through it’s free community legal centre. It provides education on rights, entitlements, and advocacy in the legal system. Interest free loans are also provided for situations where funds are required to get over the ‘bumps’ in life.
A lack in housing means a lack of security, emotional health, family life, and the ability to build towards a better future. Everyone needs a home. Our communities are dominated by cramped housing, brothels, and temporary homes built with tarpaulins and plastic sheeting, or simply a space on the street.
JOYYA Housing currently helps alleviate this through providing emergency housing and interest free loans for renovations and house upgrades. There is far more required in this area and we are currently looking into better solutions for the future.
Getting good secure employment is never easy, especially in a rapidly changing job market. This is even more difficult if you haven’t had the best education or the opportunity to learn skills that are relevant towards your employment environment.
JOYYA Vocational Training helps alleviate this through providing relevant targeted vocational training, job readiness, and assistance with documentation to prepare people for the actual job market within their communities.
Being outdoors, physical exercise, relating to others in positive ways are all linked to just about every indicator of person wellbeing that exists! In the daily grind of life, we all need to get out and have some fun every now and then. This is especially true in communities impacted by extreme poverty and modern slavery. We can always remove the struggles, but we can make sure there are some moments of joy and relaxation in our lives.
JOYYA Social & Recreation helps alleviate this providing events, outings, exercise classes, parties, and social groups.
Every community has its own unique beauty and struggles; therefore, each neighborhood decides what support will most benefit their community. We come together to listen, learn and support the identified social needs. Starting with the passions and dream of each community, we bring together some great development practice to create meaningful and lasting change.
Once the services are agreed upon with each neighborhood, The JOYYA Collective measures five outcomes across the six service areas to ensure that the social services increase the people and place’s ability to see the transformation that want to see.
New skills, abilities, and competencies are added to the neighborhood through access to community assets.
Increased confidence allows people to better use their new, and existing, skills towards their life goals. This confidence increases the pride in the neighborhood, sparking a new shared identities and hopes.
A connected community is a safer, more empowered community. We bring people together and form connections that cross usual social barriers.
Participation means contribution. The neighborhood contributes to the design, delivery, and assessment of programs. These are our community, so they must be our solutions.
Life in our neighborhoods can be harsh. We strive to not allow our problems to be greater than our joy. We make sure we take the time to celebrate, laugh, and enjoy being together.
Here is a bit of a sample:
We know that none of us are the total answer to the struggles our communities face. But we can all be part of the solution. We invite you to be part of the solution by joining us as we spark good in these communities.
You can do this by donating, advocating for justice, and purchasing products. Those that are keen to have their lives disrupted a little more than this are also very welcome to come visit and see for yourselves the positive changes people are making, in their own lives, and in the lives of their neighborhoods.
The programs we deliver are always changing to meet the requirements of our neighborhoods. Currently, JOYYA Collective delivers the following programs;
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