Help at South Asian Village Empowerment in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu

My name is Curtis John Degler.

I am the President of a small US 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation registered in California called South Asian Village Empowerment  (

I have been working in Tamilnadu South India over 12 years to elevate the social and economic status of extremely poor and socially disadvantaged rural communities composed of untouchable and tribal castes.
We build houses, install waster systems in communities, provide after-school coaching programs, scholarships and assist persons denied their right to essential identity and rights documents.

In addition we have a women's livelihood project called Kanimar. (

A non-profit social enterprise.

Primarily working with Irula Tribal caste women, whose traditional occupation is catching cobras,  vipers and kraits as well as field rats, we are well into developing a unique and original hand embroidery project with significant economic prospects.

I am desirous of attracting persons to volunteer with us who have skills in the areas of hand embroidery, or accessory and garment design and fabrication as well as sales ability. Or are anxious to learn.

While the actual work of hand embroidery (each piece is different with the design the work of the embroiderer) is done at home, the project is based out of Mamallapuram (aka Mahabalipuram), a coastal town designated as a world heritage site due to the presence of many 1400 year old rock cut Hindu temples.

There is surfing and diving and an ex-pat scene here with close proximity to Chennai (Intl airport) and Pondicherry, both cities with lots to do.

Mamallapuram has lots of inexpensive accommodations and I can also offer rooms and part of a house with kitchen and cooking facilities gratis. No charge to volunteers.

I don't offer food but out-dining costs daily for a vegetarian might run $2-$3.00.

Cooking for oneself perhaps half that.

I can use 1-3 volunteers maximum. 3-4 days a week, 4-6 hours a day.

As this project expands internationally a paying job is possible or as someone to import the products we make.

English and/or Tamil are the language skills needed.

Internet is available at cafe's, via mobile wireless, or wifi in my office.

Volunteers would help solve problems with the production of embroidery, teach new embroidery techniques, direct product design, fabricate or direct the fabrication of products like bags, cushion covers, ornaments, wall decor, clothing etc.

Assist with sales and purchasing.

Thank you,


South Asian Village Empowerment


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