2022 Honoree: Make a Difference


Primary Area of Impact: Education
Geographic Areas: Asia
Year Founded: 2008


MAD Works to mobilize volunteer leaders to provide equitable life outcomes for the abandoned and invisible children of India. MAD works to empower these children through developmental relationships and support, by improving the ecosystem around the child, and by enabling the larger sector, so children are able to live a life free from exploitation and are capable of managing emotional and financial life crises, and ultimately able to live a decent and sustainable middle-class life that promotes them to break the cycle of poverty and abandonment.

Social Challenge

According to UNICEF, India is home to the largest child population in the world, with 400m children that include an estimated 31m orphans, and nearly 176m of these are considered to be in need of care and protection. Children at risk in India, whether orphaned and otherwise, often end up in shelters, which are under resourced and often focused more on basic needs than either childcare or longer-term progression. The result is that both quality of life and adult outcomes for children in this demographic are very poor, leading to cycles of poverty and abandonment. With inadequate educational qualifications, life skills, financial or emotional support to cope outside these institutions; children who have grown up in shelters often take up menial jobs, or get trapped into alcoholism, violence, drug abuse, prostitution or trafficking.

Solutions often struggle with the scale of the problem, and are commonly single dimensional or isolated. This is compounded by the fact that little useful data exists because it has historically been difficult to track what happens to children after they leave shelters. Make A Difference exists to address these challenges on both a local and a systemic scale.


  • Better Society Awards 2018, Partnership with an International Charity
  • Social Enabler Programme 2017, Top 100 Global Social Enabler 
  • Charity Times Awards 2014, Rising CEO Star, PEAS CEO John Rendel
  • The Charity Awards 2013, Overall Winner and Winner of the International Development Category 
  • Wise Awards 2013, Best International Aid and Development Award