Women on Wings business partner since April 2013

Avani began its work in 1997 in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. It works with villages situated in one of the highest mountain ranges of the world that face isolation and consequent problems. Avani developed solar energy usage in this Central Himalayan region. Since, Avani supports the development of sustainable livelihoods with a fair mix of technology and traditional craft for empowerment of rural communities.

Avani focuses on conservation rather than distribution; more on self-reliance than outside dependence. Its endeavor has been to make technology and livelihoods contiguous within the household, an integral part of living, being and celebrating life in these beautiful mountain ranges.

In order to realize this dream, Avani initiated work on developing and disseminating appropriate technologies for meeting the energy and water requirements of the local villages, promoting craft-based (development of handmade naturally dyed textiles) and farm based livelihood opportunities. To date Avani projects include the dissemination of solar technology, water resource management, natural textiles and paints, and the social and economic development of rural communities with projects such as healthcare and micro-finance.

Avani is also a founding member of the World Mountain Peoples’ Association, which strives to develop solutions to development problems, influence policies in favor of the mountain communities, and bring them together on a common platform.

“Fantastic experts, board members, employees and other stakeholders support us in our work and share the same ambition: to take rural families out of poverty by creating employment for women.”

Maria van der Heijden
Co-founder at Women on Wings