Upaya is proud to announce that it has come together with 3rd Creek Foundation (3CF) to provide a follow-on investment into Maitri Livelihood Services Private Limited (Maitri), a caregivers training and placement company that recruits, trains, and secures employment for women from vulnerable backgrounds in the East and Northeast communities of India.

Through its flagship “Sahayika” (one who helps) initiative, Maitri is currently training and placing Sahayikas through three centers in Guwahati, Assam, and Kolkata, West Bengal. Maitri is launching four new centers across Assam and West Bengal in the coming year. The company is headed by Gitali Thakur, an Assam native and 15-year veteran of livelihood promotion, microfinance, and social sector work.

Maitri joined Upaya’s flagship program, the Life-Changing Interventions for the Ultra Poor (LiftUP) Project, as an early stage venture in May 2015, and received seed equity funding and financial management support from the Upaya team.

“We have been very impressed with the progress made by Gitali and the entire Maitri team in the last few months," said Sreejith Nedumpully, Upaya’s Director of Business Development.

"With any LiftUP partner, our goal is to help the enterprise reach financial stability, scale, and become a significant local employer, and Maitri is on an impressive positive trajectory.”

“Upaya’s partnership has helped Maitri tremendously to start its scale-up phase and expansion into new markets like Kolkata. Their close association with Maitri has helped us identifying and working on our challenges,” said Thakur, Founder and Executive Director of Maitri. “It has helped build credibility for Maitri among its stakeholders. I look forward to continue this exciting journey with them.” 

Upaya’s decision to provide a follow-on investment into Maitri comes on the heels of this successful partnership, and this support is made possible by 3CF.

“What Gitali and her team have achieved in a short time is remarkable, and we hope that our support will help her expand operations significantly and reach many more women living in disadvantaged communities," said Gwen Straley, 3CF’s Executive Director. "After making a site visit to Guwahati last month, meeting the team, and speaking with women who have benefited from these newly-created jobs, we were convinced of the impact and the potential."