At the heart of all RF BIJ efforts lies the desire to build strong and vibrant community-owned and managed institutions. Today, the programme supports more than 68,500 families across India through more than 550 vibrant village associations (VAs). RF BIJ mobilises and organises communities into these associations to promote collective ownership, decision making and common welfare. The VA members work together to meet collective aspirational goals.
Village associations (VAs) undertake a large number of collective initiatives as part of their well-defined village development plans. While many initiatives are funded by the Foundation, a few are funded from their own village development funds (VDFs) – funds created by pooling in contributions from members. VAs are also able to leverage various government schemes for further investment in their villages. A large cumulative sum of money collected as corpus for the VDFs points to the ownership and self-reliance that is the hallmark of these village-level institutions.