Aditi P. Kaur

Mountain Children's Foundation

Meet and greet Aditi P. Kaur founder of Mountain Children's Foundation, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

For more than 15 years, Aditi has been transforming the rural development model from the usual “top-down, outside-in” approach to one that is directed and driven by the community and led by its youth.

She co-founded and leads the Mountain Children's Foundation (MCF), an NGO based in the Indian mountain state of Uttarakhand, which mobilizes young people to transform their communities from within. MCF helps the children form children's groups, or "bal sangathans," through which kids develop leadership and communication skills and learn about a variety of topics -- such as health, sanitation and nutrition -- that are relevant to their lives and communities. They also create a safe space where children from different communities can work together as equals, building confidence and a sense of shared purpose. Thus equipped, the children are able to identify the most urgent concerns for their community and tap the power or collective action to address them.

Aditi's work to empower young people and their communities has spanned child rights and participation, health, education, environment, disaster mitigation, governance and rescuing endangered children in rural communities as well as urban slums. In the process, Aditi has become a leading voice for children’s and women’s issues in the Indian mountain state of Uttarakhand, and for the uniquely powerful model of child-centered development that MCF has pioneered. For more information on MCF, see