About Us








Who We Are  

Our administrative work is done by volunteers, chiefly the Board

Who We Help  

We support strong local organizations

How We Choose  

We foster self-help and self-reliance

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Who We Help

Canada India Village Aid Association’s guiding principle is to foster self-help and self-reliance. We believe we can best do this by supporting local initiatives which are supported, nurtured, developed and implemented by strong local organizations.

Based on local solutions to local needs, our projects are as diverse as their locations.

We collaborate with non-profit agencies and organizations working in rural India in various fields of development, education, health care, and environmental concern.

We have learned from two decades of experience that regardless of the initial project focus—health, environment, or human resource development—long-term sustainability can best be achieved through an integrated development process, one implemented cooperatively by all participants.

We encourage maximum community involvement, and emphasize the crucial roles played by women in development and change.

More reading about Who We Help:

 The People We Help, by George Woodcock
"We must love one another or die," said the poet W H. Auden in the early days of the last World War. What we have learnt since then is that we must help one another or die.

 Our First Decade, by George Woodcock
Ten years after the foundation of CIVA [Spring 1991], we can look back over a steadily changing and expanding area of interest and involvement. When we began we were highly conscious of the fact that in India three quarters of the population lived in the country, whereas three quarters of the medical facilities were in the city, and our original aim was to concern ourselves entirely with curative and preventive medical work in the rural areas.

 Founding CIVA 
It was friendship that aroused and has since in many ways supported Inge and I in what has been the main cause, outside literature, of our recent years, the small organization, unpolitical and unliterary, known as Canada India Village Aid. It all began in the early summer of 1981 when Patwant Singh emerged from our past.

 CIVA's Constitution 

                          "There has been a shortage of modest heroes...
                          Heroes need to be intermediaries, who open the world
                          up to one another. To be an intermediary who does
                          not cheat is within everyone's grasp."
                          -- Theodore Zeldin, An Intimate History of Humanity (1994)