To give disadvantaged women in India's desert a chance to access education and training.
By doing so, we are helping to combat gender inequality in this highly patriarchal rural environment.

CHF 4’967

137% of CHF 3’600

137 %
This is how it worksä

The «all or nothing» principle applies: The project only receives the funds if the funding target is reached or exceeded.

64 backers

Successfully concluded on 8/2/2024

The key: education

Freeing women from the limits imposed on them today means building for tomorrow.

Mahilao’s action focuses primarily on 2 goals:

-> 1st goal: 3600 CHF

To raise awareness of the importance of education and literacy for all, so that families also send their daughters to school. This will have a community-wide impact for generations to come.

-> 2nd goal: +4400 CHF

Help women who have not been to school to realise their potential and express it, by providing them with vocational training opportunities.


  1. By setting an example: Providing financial support to one of the few women in the community, from a poor family background, who has taken the initiative to pursue university studies despite insufficient financial means.
In the course of our travels, we have witnessed a number of situations where the success of a single woman has brought about drastic changes in the beliefs and life of her community, and in the destiny of the girls and women in the community.

  2. Training local trainers: Train 15 women from different villages in sewing, entrepreneurship and education. These women will then become trainers for 15 to 20 other women in their respective villages, so that they in turn can acquire professional skills that will enable them to earn a living. The impact will therefore be multiplied.

Initiating change

1) By setting an example

You discovered Paavni’s story in the video above. Through her studies, Paavni has become a local initiator of change in her community’s beliefs and in rural Indian society.

Taking action for her today means paving the way for other women in her community by showing that they have the capacity, through education and training, to go beyond the limits imposed on them.

By enabling Paavni to complete her studies, you are also having a direct and tangible impact not only on her family but on her entire community:

  • Keeping the family out of debt. Enabling the family to avoid falling into a spiral of debt with their neighbours, sometimes at exorbitant interest rates. (Rates of 50 to 100% for illiterate people without bank accounts).

  • By providing the prospect of a more stable future for the whole family. Her studies will secure a job and a regular income to bring lasting change in the lives of the whole family.

  • By initiating a virtuous circle by setting up a revolving microcredit scheme. When Paavni graduates, she commits, after 1 year of work, to repay a reasonable proportion of the aid she has received. This money will be reinvested by the Mahilao association for the benefit of other women.

  • By helping to change the image of Indian women within their community. Showing that when given the opportunity to study, women can express all their abilities and participate in the socio-economic life of their family and community and at the same time restore their self-esteem in the process.

  • Thanks to her newly acquired skills, Paavni will be able to join the Mahilao team in India to take part in the literacy workshops planned in her community. Working locally with people from the same community makes it easier for projects to succeed.

2) Training local trainers

To fund a 9-day course to train trainers/entrepreneurs in the field of sewing. At the end of the course, these new trainers will open sewing workshops for the women in their villages.

More details on the training and workshops in the slideshow below.

For english version, please download here.

  • Formation initiale
    Formation initiale
  • Pour qui?
    Pour qui?
  • Contenu et durée
    Contenu et durée
  • Matériel de formation inclus
    Matériel de formation inclus
  • Coût de la formation
    Coût de la formation
  • Ateliers de couture
    Ateliers de couture
  • Fonctionnement et durée des ateliers
    Fonctionnement et durée des ateliers
  • Impact de la formation initiale et des ateliers de couture
    Impact de la formation initiale et des ateliers de couture
  • Impact des études de paavni
    Impact des études de paavni
  • Influence sur la famille et le réseau
    Influence sur la famille et le réseau

Who are we?


Chantal and Geetha, coordinators of the projects in India:

  • Chantal: founder of Mahilao France, an ever-optimistic soul who fell in love with India through the women’s stories she read as a child, and through her encounters with rural families during her first solidarity visits to Rajasthan 10 years ago. She is more convinced than ever that, as in the ««fable of the hummingbird»», the drops of water contributed by each individual can initiate concrete and lasting changes to improve the daily lives of Indian girls and women.

  • Geetha: founder of Mahilao Suisse, a French-Swiss woman born in India who has returned to her roots many times and joined Chantal in the adventure. Through her encounters with the women of Rajasthan, she realised that sometimes it doesn’t take much to change the destiny of women and an entire community, which convinced her to take action.

  • But also Christophe, Joël, Laurent, Léa ♥️, Véro & François, Séverine & Daniel, Sabrina, Tiziana and Marilou: our friends who were expert advisers, translators and proofreaders for the campaign, we’re very grateful to them!


Mahilao is run entirely on a voluntary basis by its members. All of the funds raised through this crowdfunding campaign will go directly towards making the project a reality. In order to ensure that your donations are used specifically for these projects, the Mahilao team will pay expenses on presentation of invoices and directly to the service providers or institutions concerned. As a contributor, you will receive updates on the progress of the project.


We need your support for our projects, whether through donations, membership or voluntary work. In addition to this campaign, we are planning complementary actions as part of a holistic approach and as a continuation of the initial empowerment actions. (Literacy centres, microfinancing, self-help groups, agro-ecology/permaculture, etc.).

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More information on our website:

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  • Catalogue des contreparties
    Catalogue des contreparties
  • Thé épicé
    Thé épicé
  • Porte-clef éléphant
    Porte-clef éléphant
  • Porte-monnaie
  • Sélection d'épices
    Sélection d'épices
  • Savon au lait de chamelle
    Savon au lait de chamelle
  • Tote bag indien
    Tote bag indien
  • Recette plat indien
    Recette plat indien
  • Sac Origami réversible
    Sac Origami réversible
  • Impression photo Forex - moyen
    Impression photo Forex - moyen
  • Impression photo Forex - grand
    Impression photo Forex - grand
  • Tirage photo sur papier Fine Art
    Tirage photo sur papier Fine Art
  • Repas indien et projection photos
    Repas indien et projection photos
  • Cours de cuisine, repas indien et projection photos
    Cours de cuisine, repas indien et projection photos
  • Séjour chez l'habitant
    Séjour chez l'habitant