Ashadesh (literally meaning ‘hope-country’ in Bengali) was started by Steve and Jane Wilson. By profession, Steve is an engineer and Jane is a nurse.
However in 2010, motivated by a desire to serve amongst those disadvantaged and marginalised in the slums of India, we left Australia and moved with our children to an urban poor community in Kolkata.
Having spent time learning the local language and building relationships in the community, we came to see ways in which we as foreigners could come alongside the community to help address some of the issues relevant to our neighbours. From this emerged the idea for a clean burning stove project.
The project has now been operating for several years, and there are many families and communities – both in urban slums and rural villages, who have benefited. The project has been bringing significant improvement to people’s health, as well as several other benefits for the community.
Ashadesh is a social enterprise that exists to directly support projects in Kolkata. It aims to use business as a tool to help to bring about social and environmental benefits in both India and abroad, including ways for you to be involved.