Values & Guiding Principles


  • To recognize and value the potential of local resource and traditional wisdom of people.
  • To focus on the receiver’s dignity instead of the donor’s pride.
  • To promote circular economy by ensuring maximum use of each material.
  • To collaborate with partner organizations to increase effectiveness and scale.
  • To view every entity as equal stakeholder in the process of development rather than observing hierarchical relationships.
  • In the race of development we all are too focused on machines i.e. the big, known issues, ignoring the needles- the most important basic needs.

At GOONJ our focus is on the needles.. i.e the small neglected needs while the world focuses on the big machines.  With a large scale civic participation, it is becoming a big people’s movement for development.

Goonj is creating a parallel economy which is not CASH based but TRASH based, where every work doesn’t have to wait for money; instead huge quantities of old re-usable material is turning into a valuable resource. Over the last two decades, a parallel economy is emerging

Our Design and Strategy Principles

  • Building and maintaining a connection of empathy, dignity and valuing between the issues of the poor and the rich..
  • Leveraging and empowering already available resources, wisdom, time, skills and efforts of people.
  • Approaching complex and interwoven challenge of poverty and discard in a human-centered and community driven way.
  • Equipping end users in cities and villages to thrive and evolve sustainably.
  • Listening deeply to our rural communitieswith humility, treating people with dignity and respect.
  • Working alongside. We facilitate, nudge and empower our partners and communities environmentally and socially to infuse new life and vitality into their communities.
  • Being responsive. We are constantly learning, incorporating and addressing from the reality of changing communities, contexts and deepening relationships
  • Evolving solutions with, not for the communities we work with.
  • Rooting Ideas in Community. Our on ground strategies are built from the context, cultures, knowledge, wisdom, resources, needs, and aspirations of the rural communities we work with.
  • Principles Driven. Our reflection, decision-making and action, in the face of complexity and uncertainty is driven by our guiding principles.

Our Values

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