The Somo Project was started to invest in social entrepreneurs committed to changing their own under-resourced communities by providing the necessary training and tools they need to succeed. In Swahili, “somo” means “to learn lessons.” The organization is called the Somo Project because of the team’s belief that talented and visionary entrepreneurs exist in the poorest settlements around the world — but their contributions are often overlooked in development initiatives. Somo identifies people with intimate knowledge of their communities and the relevant social context to address problems such as sanitation, children’s nutrition, job training, and educational opportunity. At the organization’s core is the belief that local context matters and people know their communities and what they need, but often lack the resources to grow and scale a venture. Somo enables people to find their own solutions rather than dictating what their communities need.
SHRI works alongside communities in rural India to increase access to essential health infrastructure by providing access to toilets that are able to convert waste