Thare Machi Education was begun by Helen Taylor Thompson after she grew alarmed at the increasing numbers of women who became HIV positive when poverty drove them into prostitution. Helen’s work with AIDS patients in Uganda and Kenya in the 1990s showed her the scale of the problem, and she realised that what was needed was a simple cost effective technology to deliver preventative education.
As a result, Thare Machi Education was registered as a charity and limited company in 2000. The name means “starfish” in the Marathi language of India, inspired by the story of a boy rescuing stranded starfish on a beach. We may not be able to make a difference to every person but we can each make a small difference to someone.
In 2002 we began work with our first local partners in India showing our lessons about HIV and AIDS. We now have 32 different lesson scripts, each of which is available in up to 60 languages. Our lessons have been seen by millions of people in countries throughout Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and South America. In 2008 we developed a lesson to help educate people about the threat from human trafficking in response to the growing numbers of people being forced into modern day slavery, and in 2014 our lesson “Avoiding Ebola” was introduced.
All our lessons are available to anyone who can use them; we ask partners to contribute to the costs, but if that’s not possible the DVDs can be free where needed.