Maximising Impact, Empowering Communities

Over the course of 10 years, Deki has helped to change the lives of 50,000 people who live in hard to reach and rural communities. In our second decade, Deki is thinking big. Our ambition is to change the lives of 500,000 people!

The world around us is constantly changing, and for Deki to be successful in its endeavours, we need to evolve with it.

We at Deki have been working on updating our operational model, to become more efficient and sustainable – making a bigger impact for those who need it most.  So, what changed? I hear you say.

Here are some of the positive steps we have made to be the evolutionary charity we need to be, to succeed in today’s ever-changing environment:

• Raising funds from donations (sponsors), rather than loans from our supporters.
• Sponsorships are considered donations, meaning we can claim Gift Aid on eligible donations, supporting our operating costs. In the original model we had to spend a lot of time and resources to fundraise, taking our focus away from the people and communities we work with.
• Loan capital no longer returns to the UK, instead it stays in the country where the loan was originally given. Avoiding the inefficient journey back to us, before eventually being relent. The new model gives full opportunity for the donated money to be constantly re-used as soon as it’s repaid – maximising its potential for communities to benefit from the generous donations.
• Our supporters are now sponsors of community groups instead of individual entrepreneurs directly. A more streamlined approach to how the process works in the field – this helps us align with how our Field Partners operate – working with existing village saving associations. We will continue to raise funds from trusts and foundations towards programmes with our Field Partners, for example providing healthcare insurance and developing a disability network.
• We have developed a Tiered Field Partner Management process which allows us to manage partnerships with clarity and transparency throughout.

How did the change come about?  The original model created 10 years ago supported a small number of loans, and as the charity grew, it was clear we needed to adapt to maintain sustainability.  In 2018 we carried out an audit on Field Partners and lenders, highlighting issues with its processes – alas, a new plan was born – we streamlined our business model to become more efficient for our donors, entrepreneurs, field partners and operational management. It also means the cost of IT, administration, fundraising and cost per loan are reduced, enabling Deki to move forward sustainably.

Many charities have been forced to close their doors because funding has been sparse for UK based charities supporting overseas development in the last couple of years.  A positive step to ensure doors are left wide open for us is to acknowledge change. We have evolved into supporting communities rather than just individuals, and we aim to empower whole communities to work their way out of poverty, sharing their empowerment with other villages.

Vashti Seth, Deki’s Founder and Strategic Director in Nepal in 2010 with Deki’s first Field Partne, Mahila Prayash.

In Togo only 15% of children go to school, 50% of women are literate, and 69% of rural households live below the poverty line. These communities are the people we want to continue to empower. By evolving with the ever-changing environment of the international development sector, we will be able to transform lives, and help communities thrive for a long time to come. 

Vashti Seth

Founder and Strategic Director

Deki entrepreneurs need opportinity and empowerment, not charity. Help us continue to empower others.

You can make all the difference

Help give these communities the opportunity to work their way out of poverty; so they develop sustainable livelihoods and become finically resilient.