The British Asian Trust

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CEO Richard introduces you to The British Asian Trust

The British Asian Trust is the main international organisation linking the South Asian Diaspora to programmes supporting and empowering the poorest communities in South Asia.

We were founded in 2007 by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, together with some of the most influential Asian business leaders and entrepreneurs in the UK. 

Our main programmes are in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and the thematic areas in which we work are anti-trafficking, education, livelihoods and mental health. We partner with local organisations that address these issues in practical and sustainable ways to make a lasting impact on the lives of thousands of people.

This is an incredibly exciting period for the Trust. Having successfully established a strong brand and reputation across key sections of the South Asian Diaspora and supported some tremendous grassroots organisations in South Asia, we are now at a point of transition and major growth. This growth will be driven by the impact we seek to make in South Asia, so our programmes in the region will scale-up substantially.

We will be taking a unique approach. We will be a disruptive player in the international space, finding new ways of working and playing a role in transforming the way organisations “do international development”. In addition to NGOs, we will support entrepreneurs, social enterprise and the private sector. We will develop a range of financial instruments for supporting these partners – social investment, impact investing, bonds, equity as well as grants.

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    Some charity stats

    • We have made a positive impact on the lives of more than 3 million people across South Asia
    • Our education work has supported more than 170,000 girls and trained 5,000 educators
    • We have facilitated access to skills training for more than 56,000 women and aided the creation of more than 18,000 new businesses
    • We have secured £1million matched funding for our anti-trafficking fund and already made a positive impact on 24,000 lives affected by trafficking
    • Through a community-based mental health service, we have provided access to diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for sufferers, whilst lifting the silence on mental health issue therefore touching the lives of more than 50,000 people

    Impact Stories

    • Education

      Ponri, a 13-year-old girl from Maharashtra, ran away from home when her father arranged for her to drop out of school to be married. An officer of our partner organisation found Ponri and visited her family to talk to them about the benefits of education. Eventually Ponri was allowed to go back to school, where she has excelled. She is now supporting girls like herself and her marriage has been delayed.

    • Livelihoods

      Najam contracted polio when he was 7, but his parents could not afford the expensive medicine he needed. Whilst working as a domestic helper and cook, Najam found out about specialist training provided by our partner organisation, from an awareness campaign at a local clinic. He enrolled onto an industrial cooking course and was hired by a local restaurant, later starting his own catering business.

    • Mental Health

      When 25-year-old Muhammad started hearing voices, a faith healer told his family he was ‘possessed’ and he was locked away for the next 25 years without treatment. In 2014, community volunteers supported by The Trust encouraged Muhammad’s family to bring him to a local medical camp where psychiatrists diagnosed him with schizophrenia. Within two months, Muhammad’s illness was under control. He can now communicate with others and is routinely accessing free check-ups and medication.

    • Anti-trafficking

      From the age of 4, Samira was her father’s carer in a leper compound where she grew up doing the chores, but ran away when she overheard men discussing her marriage with a stranger. Unprotected, a nightmare began that found her begging, abused, and held captive. Eventually a trained community volunteer from our partner organisation took Samira to a residential centre for children, where she started the healing process. She enrolled in school and now dreams of becoming a teacher.

    Jobs at The British Asian Trust