Friends of Asha (Ireland)

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Registered address
3 Altona Manor,
Holywood,Co Down
BT18 9BX

02890 427201

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Transforming lives in the slums of Delhi


Asha has been transforming lives in the slums of Delhi since 1988.


Asha was founded by Dr Kiran Martin, a paediatrician, who observed first-hand, the devastating conditions in which the urban poor live while responding to a cholera outbreak in one of Delhi’s slums.  Currently, Asha works in over 90 slums across Delhi, serving over 900,000 slum dwellers.


Asha has developed a strong track record in improving the lives of the urban poor and as a result, has won the respect and support of government ministers in India and around the world.


Asha believes that the key to tackling the poverty cycles lies in educated, healthy, empowered individuals who are able to transcend their personal circumstances and transform their own lives, and those of their families and ultimately their communities. 


Asha achieves this by enabling people to transform their healthcare, education, environment and finances of their own community. 




To address the health crisis in slums, Asha has developed a unique healthcare model.  We partner with the local community to deliver comprehensive health series and call upon experts as needed.




Asha works alongside schools, parents, children and young people to challenge and change negative attitudes toward education particularly in relation to girls.  We also seek to supplement learning, close resource gaps and provide opportunities that increase access to higher education and professional employment.




Asha’s Community Empowerment Programme aims to enable women and children to come together and take charge of their lives.  Women and children from within the slum community are identified and trained to form networks that bring about a change in residents’ attitudes and the sum environment.





Asha has addressed the financial invisibility of people living in the slums by collaborating with branches of national banks to provide first-ever finance schemes for slum dwellers.




The living conditions in the Asha slum communities across Delhi have improved significantly since Asha began their work.  Asha encourages women and children to take ownership of their slum’s cleanliness and ensuring good hygiene and sanitation practices.  Women and children campaign for better toilets, more water points and concrete pathways to replace sewage-filled earth pathways.

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