Why am I fundraising?
What's the BIG idea?!
This March 2015, I will begin a pilot initiative - KeySkill - that focusses on a key area of human development - the ability to think and make choices. Particularly among urban youth aged 14-20 years, who dropout of schools and perhaps even some school graduates and are often underskilled and unprepared for life’s challenges with respect to making employment, career and life choices. This problem is compounded by several factors including economic constraints, supply of adequate support systems, demand dynamics in labour markets, social and cultural mindset as well as psychological issues or learning deficiencies.
The inability to make adequate decisions regarding these choices pushes the individual into a vicious cycle of employment and income insecurity, exposing her to repressive or morally degrading work opportunities and reducing her standard of life in general. This has an adverse impact not only on her as a young person – but has long term effects on her family and subsequent generations – hence the cyclical nature of the problem.
It is my belief and understanding through on-going investigation, that there is a need to provide not only skill training and subsequent opportunities, but also provide this individual with the access and resources that will allow her to develop skills organically and of her own choosing. In short this is a support framework.Microsoft Word - KeySkill Pilot Proposal.docx
Proposed Intervention and Social Value Creation
Provide low-cost, high-quality life and career skill guidance and training to urban school dropouts and high school graduates from low-income backgrounds to improve their life preparedness and job-readiness. In the long run this can serve to empower youth (from low income groups) with the capacity and tools to acquire skills and information that will help define their career paths and life decisions – to ensure employment and income security for their generation and those to follow.
How can this be achieved? An Approach -
5-Step 1:1 Intensive Need-Based Skill and Support Network
The first three phases of the above program are facilitated by making available a host of mentors, counselors and volunteers - who would ordinarily never connect with this segment - to provide advice, coaching and assistance that will subsequently provide context and meaning to the skill based training and opportunity matching. All 5 steps of the program are to be achieved with me as the primary driver.
What do I plan to do with the funds?
In dealing with needs and aspirations of this segment of youth, it is important to consider their ability to afford any skill programs as a critical barrier. This pilot will sponsor the 5-Step Program for 30 individuals from start to finish.
Target amount to raise: Rs. 25,000
Intended use (for 60 days)
Sponsor program for 30 youth: Rs.500/youth for 2 month program = Rs.15,000
Curriculum and training content: Rs.5,000 (includes media, worksheets, educational field trips, special sessions with experts, take home materials, stationery)
Physical space and equipment: Rs. 3,000 (includes physical space for 4 hour sessions 5 days a week, basic furniture, projector, fans, board)
Mentorship and Counselors: Rs. 2,000 (1 counselor, 8-9 mentor fees/charges)
Why should someone join this program?
Because it creates a support network that an average person is used to (parents, friends, role models, alumni) and facilitates need based training for a self-chosen career path.
Will a low-income 'problem' child see the value in this program?
Rome wasn't built in a day, neither is behaviour or mindset reversible overnight. But it is workable and with the right blend of empathy, compassion and direction even the most problematic youth, can realize her potential.
How will you find mentors and volunteers interested in supporting your program?
Many of the steps in preparation for this pilot have been long underway. I am confident that I have the network strength (professionally and personally) to make this happen!
How will you sustain this program financially going forward?
My objective is to sponsor the first 5 batches to ensure I prove value to any one involved (youth, employers, families and more). After that it is a question of identifying the lowest price point that is both affordable and value creating. It is also my goal to make aspects of this program as stand-alone solutions available on web, mobile or in person for other NGOs, schools and youth focussed agencies and monetize this aspect. I plan to sustain this program in this way in the long-run.
About Me:Microsoft Word - KeySkill Pilot Proposal.docx
Shruti Bharath – Postgraduate student of M.A. Social Entrepreneurship at Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai 2014-16; IDEX Global Fellow 2013-14 – Monterey School of International Studies (USA); Postgraduate Certification in Entrepreneurship Management at XLRI Jamshedpur, 2012-13, (Gold Medalist); B.E. Biotechnology (Gold Medalist) 2004-08; With 4 years corporate experience in product management, research and development and marketing; 2 years professional experience across social sectororganizations as project consultant and research associate; Active volunteer and online magazine founder (2012). Based in Mumbai, India.