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The Swallows of Finland

Founded in 1964, the Swallows of Finland is one of the oldest Finnish development cooperation organisations. Our work is based on long-term partnership with Indian and Peruvian NGOs. We also carry out information campaigns in Finland in order to increase awareness of global development issues.

We are a member of the politically and religiously independent Emmaus Movement, and are supported and staffed mainly through volunteer efforts, donations and grants. We want to work towards a more just and sustainable world.


Our goals:

Solidary world
Underlying poverty are structural inequalities, which leave a vast number of people without welfare and the ability to influence their own lives. Our partners in Peru and India do grassroots work to fulfil the rights and requirements of the most vulnerable people in society, including women, children, and indigenous people.

Secured livelihood
Projects supported by the Swallows aim at improving people’s livelihood by strengthening their know-how. With increased know-how and livelihood comes increased self-esteem and possibilities of making one’s own decisions. Our projects have benefited smallholder farmers, community enterprises, and self-employed women.

Sustainable development
Ecological sustainability has always been an important value for the Swallows. To name a few examples, we have supported the operation of organic farms in rural India and Peru, as well as a recycling centre in the Peruvian capital of Lima. We want to secure a good future, and not just for our generation, but also for our descendants.


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Development cooperation in India

Our ongoing projects:



Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), founded in Ahmedabad in 1972, works to enhance the rights and livelihoods of self-employed women in India, where the unorganised sector covers 94 percent of the female labour force. These women are left outside the regulation of labour laws and welfare benefits of the organised sector, and their work and contribution in the society remains invisible.

SEWA is a confluence of the labour movement, the cooperative movement and the women’s movement. The 1.9 million members of the organization are provided with information on the rights and roles of women, trainings to develop their livelihoods and facilitated access to government programs. Members of SEWA have started their own cooperatives, savings groups and microenterprises.

The cooperation project between SEWA and the Swallows of Finland began in 2010 in two districts of Gujarat and Rajasthan. During the first phase of the project (2010–2014), livelihoods of Adivasi and Dalit women – people who make their living mainly from farming and cattle-raising – were strengthened through professional networking, agricultural guidance, and the establishment of microenterprises and day care centers. In addition, farmers’ access to markets was enhanced.



Our three-year follow-up project, launched in February 2015, aims to empower especially the younger generation of Indian Dalit and Adivasi women and to better their livelihood in the fields of smallholder farming and livestock-rearing. Various trainings relating to agriculture and animal husbandry are held during the project. The objective of the trainings is to increase both the productivity of livelihoods and the ecological sustainability of the communities involved, as well as to tackle the challenges (droughts!) caused by climate change. During the follow-up we will also open a tools & equipment library, wherefrom smallholders can pick up farming utensils for a nominal fee in order to reduce their workload. Moreover, women participating in the project will be offered leadership training as well as training in alternative forms of livelihood, including sewing and agroprocessing. We will also deliver workshops directed to young women, in which we will try to map out the youth’s livelihood-related wishes, guide them towards modern farming techniques and technologies, and provide information about SEWA’s trainings. Finally, the follow-up project will continue to support the child care centers we have established in Dungarpur, so that mothers would have better chances of improving their family’s livelihood and that children would be better equipped to start school.


The project provides:

• Workshops for young women to find out about their hopes and expectations
on livelihoods.
• Agriculture and animal husbandry trainings focusing on efficient and sustainable
• A library for better agricultural tools and equipment.
• Trainings in alternative livelihoods, such as sewing, making of small food products
as well as processing and marketing of agricultural products.
• Introductory trainings in administration and leadership skills to enhance the
capacity of women.


You can support our SEWA-project by donating (IBAN: FI06 5780 0720 2384 06, reference: 35033) or by purchasing hand crafted products made by female artisans of SEWA at our new online shop.





In India, market-driven agriculture has led to a decrease in cultivation of traditional food crops over the last decades. At the same time, increased use of chemical fertilizers has caused soil degradation. In many rural areas, this development has had a negative impact on food security of small farmers and their families.

Founded in 1989, Prayatna Samiti works to enhance the rights and livelihoods of local and indigenous communities in Udaipur district in southern Rajasthan, India.

The Swallows of Finland and Prayatna Samiti have started a three year project in 2017. Supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the project aims to improve food security and livelihoods of small farmers in ten villages by promoting ecologically sustainable agriculture and cultivation of nutritious food crops that have traditionally been cultivated in the area. The project also supports participation of local communities, especially women, in natural resource management.



 The project provides:

• Support for cultivation of local millets, fruits and vegetables for improved food security and livelihoods of small farmers
• Nurseries, home gardens and seed banks
• Training on ecologically sustainable agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry and good governance
• Awareness raising on health benefits and importance of traditional crops in maintaining biodiversity
• Support for local Biodiversity Management Committees and their cooperation with local government
• Training for women’s self help groups and support for women to participate in Biodiversity Management Committees


Support our project by donating (OP FI06 5780 0720 2384 06, reference number: 31613) or by shopping online




Contact us:

Heli Janhunen, executive director

Address: Mäkelänkatu 54, 00510 Helsinki | phone: (+358) 45 138 9062 | email: |facebook:


Fundraising permit: 1.1.2018–31.12.2019, RA/2017/798