People in absolute poverty experience alienation from society. Economic deprivation is as telling as social deprivation. The socially deprived experience loss of self-respect and prestige and honor in a society, which holds these values as supreme. Deprivation tends to distort the psyche of the ... Read more
People in absolute poverty experience alienation from society. Economic deprivation is as telling as social deprivation. The socially deprived experience loss of self-respect and prestige and honor in a society, which holds these values as supreme. Deprivation tends to distort the psyche of the deprived. Economically, as well as socially, deprived people emulate the lifestyles and norms of the dominant, resourceful classes and experience in actual life their inability to gain access to resources for "self-ennoblement". Consequently, they become dependent, lethargic and resigned. The poverty alleviation process must take into consideration people's awareness, understanding and acceptance. Projects need to be identified, designed, executed and evaluated, based on their needs and perceptions. As the process evolves, it becomes dependent on the internalization of the group's needs. None of this can be predetermined as required by the conventional project approach, a strong institutional base is required to understand and execute the mechanisms which involve communities in the process of development through mobilization, capacity building and empowerment. It was in the confluence of these trends that Development Action for Mobilization & Emancipation (DAMEN) as a non-profit; non-government organization established in May, 1992 under the societies Registration Act, XXI of 1860 took off as an organization committed to supporting participatory self development initiatives in marginalized communities.
DAMEN started its operations with aim of working for alternative development at grass-root level in Pakistan. It is an alliance of social scientists, philanthropists and professionals from various Fields having significant experience of working with NGOs within Pakistan and outside Pakistan. Since its inception, DAMEN has laid strong emphasis to build up as a strong institution for delivering economic and social services to the people of the marginalized communities. DAMEN has always maintained the stance that economic opportunities along with social sector initiatives are the best solution to poverty eradication. One of the most important aspects of DAMEN’s endeavors is the blending of social and economic initiatives into a new integrated model of poverty alleviation. All DAMEN’s success cases have demonstrated that through the formation of homogenous community groups with similar socio-economic backgrounds, the poor can achieve human development and contribute to growth. Individually, they would not have been able to overcome the obstacles in their struggle for survival, security and self-respect. Poor women, who carry the double burden of being women and poor, have gained positively in this approach. Alone, a poor woman is very vulnerable, but a number of women coming together creates a sense of solidarity. Poor women have taken very effective advantage of the process of social mobilization. They have demonstrated that a great deal of their dormant energy, when released, could lead to a new power to tackle the double burden of gender and poverty. In the process, they also take care of other social deprivations and as a result, the entire family is benefited. The institution is not only extending their financial services to the clients but also taking a proactive role in the provision of education, training/capacity building and health facilities to the people of respective communities through non-formal education, credit and micro enterprises development and primary health care centers as a part of its four pronged strategies to achieve the objectives of the institution. The integrated approach provides a new dimension to DAMEN’s efforts to bring a sustainable change in the social and economic status of the people in the target communities along with a strong emphasis on social and financial sustainability at program as well as institutional level. The synergetic effect of economic and social endeavors has provided a platform for combating poverty in the operational Areas. Hide