Area Resource Centers

When SPARC began working with women from the pavements in Byculla, Mumbai, finding a space to hold meetings was a major problem. There, we constructed the first Area Resource Centre (ARC) – a central point where members could hold meetings, exchange ideas and invite visitors.

Besides being an official space, ARCs give women a place to meet outside of the home to discuss personal and community problems with other women. They are neutral ground where records and savings can be stored, and are accessible 24 hours a day if emergency loans are needed.

As people gather in the centre on a regular basis, they begin to feel a sense of collective ownership, and use the centre as a focal point for interaction both within the community and with other communities, people and organisations.

The first ARCs were established in Mumbai over twenty years ago. Since then, ARCs have become a building block of the Alliance’s strategy and have been constructed across the cities in which we are active.

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