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A space to facilitate the future of the girls and women of Chennai

In partnership with KKSS, the Empowerment Centre will become a:

  • training centre for up to 40 women

  • meditation hall

  • safe study space for the girls at school

  • a workshop to facilitate a small social enterprise, generating income

  • landscaped gardens for the elderly to sit in and the girls to learn about gardening

  • a green roof to cool the entire building from the hot season



1. Training centre for women


While our restaurant can work with a few women at a time, the empowerment centre will be work with 20x that number, in the refuge as well as in the local community. With a space to facilitate functional literacy as well as confidence workshops, we’ll be partnering with local design and sustainability agency India Wasted to develop handicraft products using local waste streams. This will earn an income for all the women involved, clean up the local community and educate Chennai on the waste problem. We will also be making some beautiful items using techniques taught by local designers.


2. Study space for the girls


Education is the most important thing for the girls at KKSS. They work hard and many of them receive state awards and recognition for their efforts, like Adita, age 13, who gets up at 4am every morning just to study before school. She is constantly finishing first in her year. As they receive top quality education, the facility to study at KKSS needs work. It’s crowded and with no light, and they are hunched over their books on the floor. With the new centre we are buliding, from 5pm onwards the space will be solely as a quiet space for study, homework and tutoring.


3. Green space!


For the elderly at KKSS, there’s not much stimulation during the daytime. All year long it’s hot and so being outside is the only way to beat the hear, however the only outside space currently is a carpark, facing the road. With this new space, we will landscape a large area with beautiful green space and seating area for each elder to sit with nature. As well as this, we’ll be creating a green roof on top of the whole building to mitigate the trapped heat in the 3 story building.


So where are we at?

The top floor of KKSS has been been an abandoned construction site for the past 3-4 years. There are concrete foundations, but nothing else. We will build using these foundations. We need:

  • local architects to draw up the plans ✔️

  • local business partner to co-design training programs and facilitation ✔️

  • green roof specialists to design and provide green roof ❌ (still looking!)

  • funding for the project ❌ (still looking!)

Foundations of Sathyam Empowerment Centre

Right. This is going to cost some money! We have been lucky to work with Chennai-based architecture firm Raw Architecture to design the initial plans and cost it out. We need to raise £30,000, which includes construction and finishing of the whole centre, landscaping the gardens, fitting out small living area and a lift to help all of our elders up to the top floor, to a beautiful view of the sunset and away from the noise of the street.

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Are you keen to help us out? We are a registered non-profit association with no overheads: this means all the money we receive goes to the project. Neat huh? Please send Saskia an email directly and we can hop on the phone: