If you financially support one or more families in India, please read this important message
from our Executive Director – click here

Family Development

The Family Development Program is SAFP’s core program, dating all the way back to 1965. It aims to help families meet basic needs, as well as promoting self-reliance and sustainability.

Your Commitment

By partnering with a family, our donors commit to making contributions of $25 monthly for 6 years.

This money directly supports the family to help them start a small business and to assist them in meeting their basic human needs. Throughout this time, families also attend training to help them live a more healthy life and participate as active members of their communities.

How it Helps Families:

  • Provides access to medical assistance
  • Covers most education costs for their children
  • Improves living conditions by helping repair/build homes
  • Provides a support system within their local Sangham
  • Offers financial support for their small businesses
  • Offers skill development opportunities
  • Reduces burden on a single parent
  • Reduces any accumulated debt
  • Increases access to clean drinking water
More Than
50,000
Families are now self-reliant

Choosing the Families

The communities from each area come together to select the families that are most vulnerable to participate in the program with support from local grass-root non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The families that have been waiting the longest to be partnered are given priority at the SAFP office.

Partner Families located in:

  • Karnataka
  • Kerala
  • Maharashtra
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Telangana

Connecting with Families

When you partner with a new family, you will receive information about the family along with a photo. We encourage you to write directly to your family and even include your own photograph or drawing. If necessary a local assistant will help to translate your letter for the family. You can expect to receive a letter each year and a greeting at Christmas.
Partner with a Family
The family has become self-reliant, graduates from the program, continues with their small businesses and their participation in their local self-help groups. Another family is then selected to begin the program in their place.

Community Development

The goal of SAFP’s Community Development Program is to help entire villages to work together to find solutions to their poverty-related problems and develop into thriving communities.

Growing Communities

Communities are guided in identifying the most significant problems that they face and creating plans to address them.

By working with the local government and other organizations, the villagers learn what resources are available and how to gain access to them. They use these resources, along with support from SAFP donors, to take the actions needed to solve their problems. By regularly reflecting on the actions taken, the communities can evaluate their results and learn from their experiences.

Donations to the program can be made at any time and will help communities make improvements in areas such as:

  • Health & Hygiene
  • Education
  • Economic Development
  • Environmental Protection
  • Food Security
  • Housing
  • Good Governance
  • Human Rights
  • Clean Drinking Water
  • Sanitation
  • Gender Equality
  • Natural Disasters

Our Programs Have Reached Communities In:

  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Chhattisgarh
  • Delhi
  • Goa
  • Gujarat
  • Haryana
  • Karnataka
  • Kerala
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Maharashtra
  • Meghalaya
  • Odisha
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • West Bengal

Frequently Asked Questions

SAFP began in 1965 and was founded by Monsignor Augustine Kandathil. For details about our history, select Our Origins from the drop down menu above.

SAFP’s Canada office is staffed by five full-time employees and one part-time employee. SAFP’s India office employs approximately 40 people, a mix of office staff and field coordinators.

There are 9 voting members on the Board of Directors. To view a list of our Board members’ names, select About at the top of this page.

SAFP’s two core programs are the Family Development & Community Development programs, both of which are implemented throughout various states in India. For more information, scroll to the top of this page.

SAFP has taken all necessary measures to ensure that our programs are operating in accordance to the FCRA requirements implemented in 2020.

All funds are now deposited directly into families’ accounts instead of into joint accounts with our partner NGOs. As a result, the type of CDP programs being offered will be modified. The models of our current CDP projects (Clean Water & Sanitation, Housing, and Natural Disaster Rehabilitation) will not be significantly impacted by these changes.

Family Development Program partner families will receive accumulated funds on an annual basis, upon completion of their annual small business initiative workplan. Special gifts provided by donors for specific purposes are sent to India regularly and can be accessed by partner families as needed.

Now that a maximum of 20% of foreign funds received in India can be spent on administration, the role of Animators has ended and Field Coordinators now complete home visits with partner families once a year, conduct quarterly cluster meetings, and maintain regular contact with the families by phone.

The SAFP Field Coordinators are familiar with the families living within the villages where we work. Families are selected according to the Family Development Program criteria and applications are vetted by SAFP staff to determine which families are in greatest need. The families that have been waiting for support the longest are given first priority.

You will receive a photo along with information about each family member and the health and housing situation of your partner family.

Each year, you can expect to receive one letter and a Christmas greeting from your partner family. We encourage you to write back and even include a photo or drawing. If necessary, your letter will be translated and shared with the family with the assistance of local field staff.

You can confirm the correct mailing address by reviewing the information package you receive when you are partnered with a new family.

SAFP has a secure system in place which ensures that your partner family directly receives funds and has access to all the benefits of the Family Development Program. A network of local staff regularly visit families to review their finances and educate them about money management, life skills, and business techniques, some of which will be shared in the letters you receive from your partner family.

SAFP strictly adheres to the Government of India’s laws and uses audits and a variety of financial controls at all levels as a part of regular program management.

While $25/month is not enough to survive on in North America, in India, this amount is sufficient to entice families who are interested in starting a small business, accessing available resources, and who are invested in learning life-lasting skills. It attracts families who want to participate in self-development and work hard to make change.

The current giving level in the Family Development Program (FDP) was adjusted to $25 (previously $22) monthly, timed to begin with the new fiscal year on April 1, 2024. Click here for more information.

Our Family Development Program (FDP) field coordinators offer specific employment and life skills training while connecting families to available local resources and government schemes. For more details on how our FDP works, scroll to the top of this page.

We discourage sending significant financial gifts to your partner family. SAFP India staff work diligently to teach families how to work within their budget and how to manage their money based on an income relative to their economy. Extra gifts can actually create issues as they interrupt these budgets and the encouragement to save money. Furthermore, when some partner families receive more money than other participants, it creates inequality within the community. For this reason, partner families will not receive any special gifts during the first and last year of involvement in the program.

Rather than sending large gifts, we ask you to consider supporting another family in the program instead.

The month before your next donation is due, you will receive a reminder email or letter. If your donation date has passed, attempts will be made to contact you via phone or mail to confirm that you would like to continue your support. If you would like to cancel your support, we ask that you contact us directly at info@safp.org or call 1-855-333-1115.

Once a family enters the program, SAFP ensures that they are supported until they have completed the full six years to ensure enough time in the program to reach self-sufficiency. If you need to cancel your support during this time, we will make sure to reassign your partner family to a new SAFP donor.

Yes, you can arrange to visit your partner family if they are interested. Please contact our office for more information on the process.

We are unable to send any additional funds or manage the correspondence to your family once they have graduated from the program.

Once your partner family reaches the end of the six-year program, they will no longer receive your financial support, however, they will have the capacity to resume their small business initiative(s) and continue to participate in local self-help groups. You will receive a final progress report outlining this family’s achievements when they complete the program, as well as an introduction letter and photo of a new partner family assigned to receive your support.

You have the option to support the FDP while avoiding an ongoing financial commitment by donating toward our Family Development Program Pool Fund. This fund fills an important need as there are instances when a donor can no longer continue to partner with a family. The FDP Pool Fund helps provide financial support to these families until a new donor becomes available.

In the 2020-2021 fiscal year, SAFP’s administration and marketing costs equalled 8.3% of our annual expenditures.

If you are eligible for a charitable tax receipt, you will receive one at the beginning of the new year, in time to file your taxes. If you would prefer to receive your tax receipts immediately following a donation, please contact our office at info@safp.org or 1-855-333-1115.

You are welcome to donate toward SAFP’s administrative and marketing costs by selecting “Where most needed” on printed or online donation forms, by writing a note in the comment field of your e-transfer, or as a note included with your cheque.

Administrative expenses are a necessary and critical component of SAFP’s goal of helping thousands of families in India break the cycle of poverty.