All posts tagged: health


D-Rev: A Silicon Valley Design House for the Poor

D-Rev is possibly the only technology incubator in the Silicon Valley which is going after a very different market. Based in Palo Alto, amidst the usual tech startups of the Valley, they are designing solutions for the poorest socio-economic group which also happens to be the largest. 4 billion people make up this market segment and are living on less than $4 per day.


Relief Riders: Combining Adventure Travel with Humanitarian Causes

Relief Riders International is a one-of-its-kind adventure travel company that leads relief missions on horseback. Participants travel for 14 days on horseback riding village to village, through the beautiful desert landscapes of India and Turkey, while delivering aid to remote communities that lack basic medical facilities and opportunities to make a living. Back in 2003, Relief Riders founder Alexander Souri dreamed of combining his passion with giving back to society. From this desire, Relief Riders was born. The first Relief Ride kicked off in 2004 and since then, riders from all over the world have ridden through India, and now Turkey to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need. To date, their efforts have provided relief to over 16,000 villagers. Alexander of course knows a lot about horses, and provides detailed information via the Relief Riders website about the horses chosen for each ride, their history and temperament. Participants can usually choose between 2 to 3 rides that take place every year. Each ride is approximately 14 days long and takes place in a different …


Need a Hair Cut? How about Donating Hair for a Cause.

Locks of Love is a non-profit that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children and young adults suffering from long-term medical hair loss. These are high quality wigs made from hair donations made by individuals. When Locks of Love first began, it was connected with a for-profit wig retailer. In December 1997, the organization obtained its 501(c)(3) certification and separated from the for-profit retailer. Locks of Love now produce the highest quality hair prosthetics that are given to children who have lost their hair as a result of chemotherapy, recuperating from scalp burns or undergoing other medical treatment resulting in hair loss. In addition to the physical challenges of medical treatment, children also need to overcome low self-esteem from hair loss. Wearing a hairpiece is not a cure for children, but it helps restore some of their lost self-esteem and helps them to regain normalcy within their everyday lives. Normally, the retail cost of hair pieces is anywhere between $3,500 and $6,000. The wigs produced by Locks of Love are provided either completely free of charge, …


MumbaiSmiles : A Fresh Approach to Addressing Urban Poverty

Mumbai Smiles is a non-profit organization based out of India, Spain and Mexico, focused on providing quality education, health services and livelihood opportunities for families living in the slums of Mumbai. The non-profit was born in 2005 when Spanish journalist and writer Jaume Sanllorente was on a holiday to Mumbai, India. His experience with the under-privileged inspired him to quit his job as a journalist, go back to university, and kick start Mumbai Smiles, in order to improve the living conditions of slum dwellers in the city of Mumbai. Why Mumbai Smiles are Unique Mumbai Smiles operates out of several of Mumbai’s lesser known slums in the suburb of Andheri. All their current efforts are focused around developing these few communities, so that children, as well as adults are benefited. In all activities, the community always provides input and feedback. This ensures that programs are successful at meeting the needs of the community. For example, the children of slum dwellers attend state of the art pre-schools. The teachers at these pre-schools are from the same …

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Lifespring Hospitals : Quality Maternity Care at Affordable Rates for the Poor

Lifespring Hospitals is a growing chain of private maternity hospitals providing high quality pre and post-natal care at affordable rates to India’s poor. Lifespring’s customers are low-income families (with an income of less than US$ 2-5/day) in urban and semi-urban areas. These families have traditionally had to choose between under-resourced government hospitals or expensive private hospitals – ultimately choosing to give birth at home without skilled assistance. Over 100,000 women die annually due to pregnancy-related complications, giving India the highest number of maternal deaths in the world. The hospital’s goal is to significantly increase hospital-supervised deliveries and reduce maternal and child mortality rates in the communities that it serves. The Lifespring Model The Lifespring model is focussed on building small hospitals (consisting of 20-25 beds) offering normal deliveries attended by private doctors for just $40. Cesarean sections are available for about $140. This is one-fifth the price offered by larger private hospitals. This is made possible by controlling the running costs of the hospital. First, there is no canteen. In addition, Lifespring outsources laboratory tests …