Hand in Hand and the Primark Better Lives Foundation eliminate child labor in 99 communities

Hand in Hand and the Primark Better Lives Foundation have teamed up to eliminate child labor in 99 of India’s poorest communities.

Completed in September, the five-year program opened 170 schools and learning centers, providing more than 7,600 school places, and helped more than 9,200 women launch family-based enterprises, benefitting some 46,000 family members.

“The Primark Better Lives Foundation has been working with Hand in Hand for more than four years now, funding a program to fight poverty in the state of Tamil Nadu, India,” said foundation trustee Paul Lister. “What we most appreciate about Hand in Hand is their businesslike, entrepreneurial approach to tackling social challenges.”

Stamping out child labor has long motivated Hand in Hand’s work. In fact, our job creation model was developed as a direct response to child labor in India.

“Hand in Hand started as a small NGO struggling to eradicate child labor in Kancheepuram,” explained Hand in Hand Co-Founder Dr Kalpana Sankar. “We followed a child-centric approach, but quickly realized that broader social sensitization was the key. In October 2004, the organization shifted its focus to the community.” Put simply, when mothers work, children don’t have to.

Ten years later Hand in Hand has helped create 1.92 million jobs in 10 countries, improving the lives of 9.62 million family members – most of them children. The need for jobs is particularly acute in India, where only 29 percent of women older than 15 have paid work, even while more than 10 percent of children aged 5 to 14 are forced to work at least 14 hours a week.

“Our goal is to create 10 million jobs for some of the world’s poorest residents, helping to fight child labor in the process,” said Hand in Hand International CEO Josefine Lindänge. “Thanks to the Primark Better Lives Foundation’s generous donation, we’re one step closer to getting there.”