INTRODUCTION Our journey began in May 2009, when a few friends from a local youth group visited a home for mentally challenged boys in Bangalore. From a small group of friends, to becoming a movement that hundreds of people would get involved in and to eventually becoming an organisation that would have projects across the city of Bangalore - no one would have guessed that this was how things would eventually turn out. Even today, we're amazed at all that's happened in the last two years & are excited about all that is to come. Since our inception in January 2011, we have focused most of our activities towards the education of underprivileged and special needs children. We have worked ...

G2, Vishwas Prima Rohan,
1/1, Assayee Road
Bangalore, Karnataka 560042

Board of Directors

Satish Manchikanti, Akash Katary, Ajit N Sivaram

Project Leaders

Ajit Sivaram


INTRODUCTION Our journey began in May 2009, when a few friends from a local youth group visited a home for mentally challenged boys in Bangalore. From a small group of friends, to becoming a movement that hundreds of people would get involved in and to eventually becoming an organisation that would have projects across the city of Bangalore - no one would have guessed that this was how things would eventually turn out. Even today, we're amazed at all that's happened in the last two years & are excited about all that is to come. Since our inception in January 2011, we have focused most of our activities towards the education of underprivileged and special needs children. We have worked with the following organisations to assist them in their ongoing projects: 1. Oasis 2. Government Home for Mentally Challenged Boys 3. Karunalaya 4. Rescue Trust 5. Home of Hope 6. Shishu Mandir 7. Childrens Home of Hope, Chennai 8. Government Remand Home for Women We began operations in one of our Trustee's office premises, Synthesys. With one part-time employee, Suchita Isaac, a graduate from Christ College, we began co-ordinating and planning different projects with our NGO partners. We were amazed to see how receptive different charities and NGOs were, to working with us. We created different projects in the education sphere, where college students, corporates could get involved. Most of our projects are in the evening or on weekends, and are for a duration of 1-2 hours. We ensure that both the volunteers and the children they are working with mutually benefit from their time together. We create curriculum that is easy to implement, fun & creative for all of our programs. In May, we hired another part-time employee (who now works full-time), Karishma Christopher, to handle administration, projects & volunteers. We are looking to expand the number of projects, people reached and create systems and processes so that we are more efficient in all that we do. All of our services are provided free of cost. U&I is now a registered charitable trust with 80G certification. We have 10 projects running across the city in partnership with various non-profit organisations like Oasis, Karunalaya, GHMCB, Rescue Trust, Shishu Mandir and many others. Over the past 2 years, volunteers have given more 7000 hours of their time, reaching more than 400 people in need across our city. VISION Our vision is to engage people in social action. Most people that we know want to get involved and make a difference in our society. Many don't know where to begin. We want to provide people with feasible, sustainable ways in which they can volunteer and make a difference in people's lives. To this end, we partner with social work organisations across our city creating opportunities for volunteers to get involved. Our method has been simple. We find out the needs & gaps which exist in various NGO's, orphanages, Government Homes across our city and work on filling that need by connecting the need to the right people, resources or organisations. For example, the Crisis Intervention Centre for Women needed tuitions for five girls to help them pass their Grade 12 exams. After they shared that with us, we approached the Social Action Department of Christ University (which is less than a kilometre from CIC) and asked them if they would be willing to send volunteers on a weekly basis to teach the girls. They have agreed to do so and will be sending students regularly once their exams are over. CONNECTING THE DOTS India has 421 million poor people. That is more poor people than Africa's 26 poorest nations put together. Poverty is at our doorstep. We MUST act. From 2005 to 2025, the population of India will grow by 30%. In the same timeframe, the population of India's middle class will grow by 1000%. This middle class is going to be the engine that drives India in the decades to come. India needs this middle class to be socially aware, responsible and active. Social Capital is India's biggest strength. Our people are our power. We want people to be actively involved in seeking out viable solutions for our nations problems. We provide a platform for those who HAVE much to help those who don't have much. We give them sustainable & feasible ways to give back to society. WHAT WE DO? Creating Awareness & Inspiring Action are the two key themes we will work towards. Co-creating volunteering opportunities with other NGO's and working to get volunteers from colleges, corporates and community groups through our Vote to Volunteer campaign will be our key focuses. Non-profit Partnerships Our main focus is to partner with non-profits and build their capacity. We do this in the following ways: Volunteer HR - This includes - Co-creating projects (both short & long term) that volunteers can get involved in. - Sourcing volunteers for the projects - Handling volunteer logistics which includes - Rostering volunteers - Ensuring clear communication between volunteer & project heads - Keeping volunteers motivated & happy - Creating sustainable systems within the non-profit in regards to volunteering - Resource Investigation - this includes - Finding resources that various non-profits require. - For eg. Karunalaya, an orphanage that we teach English at mentioned the need for a sofa. We sent out a bulk sms out asking various people if they had things they would like to donate. One person replied stating that he had 3 sofas that he wanted to give away. After certifying that the sofa was in good shape, we co-ordinated with Karunalaya to get the sofas picked up. - When a local software company was shutting down, we collected various items that they were not using and re-distributed it to various NGO's. Eg. Stationary items, sporting goods, audio equipment etc. - Connecting non-profits with the right grants/CSR initiatives. - Finding creative solutions and helping non-profits think out of the box. Eg. Last year, when Oasis (one of our NGO partners) approached us to help them host an event to raise social awareness among young people, we offered them a unique solution. Instead of organising a run of the mill seminar, we suggested an idea out of the box - a movie premiere. We had a couple of film-makers volunteer their service and help us make a short film about a boy from a neighbouring slum and his dream of becoming a software engineer. We raised Rs. 1,00,000/- through the sale of tickets for Oasis' education projects. 100% of the money raised was given to Oasis for their education projects. Steve Chalke, the founder of Oasis also delivered a stirring message on the day, inspiring people to get involved. - Skill Sharing Sourcing volunteers with the right skills to fill the people gaps within a non-profit organisation. Eg. Web Designers to make websites Eg. Entrepreneurs to help with business plan/business development - VOTE TO VOLUNTEER - is a workshops that we run in colleges, corporates and community organisations aimed at inspiring people to get involved in social change - Each workshop will focus on one social issue & contain the following - Creative presentations of various social issues - Different NGOs get to present their work - Brain storming Workshop - NGO Visit/Story of someone affected by the issue - Students get an opportunity to get involved in 7 Days of Change


Our key programs are as follows: 1. 7 Days of Change 2. Project Management at the Government Home for Mentally Challenged Boys 3. Vote to Volunteer Here are the details: 7 DAYS OF CHANGE: '7 DAYS OF CHANGE' is a volunteer-driven educational project run in partnership with numerous non-profits across Bangalore. Every day of the week, a different project is run in collaboration with our NGO partners, giving volunteers a chance to be involved on whichever day of the week they are free. We provide non-formal education eg: English classes, Computer classes, Soft skills training, arts & craft classes, photography classes, special education classes to the less privileged. Our volunteers follow a creatively designed curriculum and are regularly trained by specialists to help maximise their potential. Classes covered: Monday - Computers & Vocational Training A select group of young men and women from the Doddigunta community are trained in basic computer skills - Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel. We currently have 3 volunteers teaching 11 boys and girls (that Oasis works with) at the U&I office. Apart from this, we would also soon be conducting vocational training sessions at the women's shelter home on Monday evenings. Tuesday - Spoken English Course 2 classes: At a community in Doddanna Nagar there are 30 students who come from various backgrounds (office boys, tailors, housewives, school children) who are keen to improve their spoken English. In the long run, we are looking at including a Computer class for some of the students who become proficient in English. At the Remand Home for Women, a team of U&I volunteers from Christ University are taking tuitions for some of the girls who are preparing for their exams. The home has gathered around 50-60 women from different backgrounds, some are rescued from beggary, domestic violence, sexual abuse and trafficking. Wednesday - Spoken English Course 2 classes: At Karunalaya is where there are 20 boys and girls, under the age of 15 who are from different towns & villages in Karnataka & Andhra Pradesh. U&I volunteers help them improve their spoken & written English through a creative syllabus specially designed for non-English speaking children. The girls from the Doddigunta community attend English classes held at the Oasis Youth Centre every Wednesday. Thursday - Vocational Training - Shelter for Abused Women A team of women spend two hours with girls from a Shelter for Abused Women training them in various vocational skills as well as spoken English. Friday - Spoken English Course English classes are conducted at the U&I office for boys from the Doddigunta community that Oasis works with closely. We have 4 batches running side by side. Saturday - English Coaching We have recently partnered with Shishu Mandir - the school, we will begin classes on the 17th of September for around 80 boys and girls. Sunday - Special education classes at the home for the mentally challenged The Government Home for Mentally Challenged Boys (GHMCB) is a state-run residential facility for mentally challenged boys near Dairy Circle. The home shelters 72 abandoned boys here. Volunteers go on a weekly basis and conduct activities that help improve their motor skills. PROJECT MANAGEMENT AT THE GOVERNMENT HOME FOR MENTALLY CHALLENGED BOYS: The Government Home for Mentally Challenged Boys (GHMCB) is a state-run residential facility for mentally challenged boys near Dairy Circle. All the boys here have been abandoned by their families and will live 'in the system' for the rest of their life. With 72 boys under the age of 21 residing there, the facility is over populated and understaffed. They have an average of 2-4 carers looking after the boys which is carer to child ratio of 1:25. Apart from being understaffed, none of the staff are trained to work with mentally challenged children. The main issues at the home are: - Lack of Hygiene - Lack of Care/Carers - Lack of Infrastructure OUR WORK SO FAR: Over the last two years, we've worked within the system in the following ways: Weekly Visits - A team of dedicated volunteers has visited the kids every week since May 2009. Each week has a different theme - music, movies, motor & sensory activities, which helps the boys improve in various ways. This was also instrumental in building a strong relationship with the staff at the Home and gaining their trust. They now know that we are in it for the long run and are very open to any suggestions that we have to make. Events Big Birthday Bash - Every year, we celebrate all the boys birthday on one day with rides, clowns, magicians and a lot more. A short video of the event: https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150720489650384&oid=145964295464860&comments Makeover - We dusted, cleaned & painted the Home and washed all the boys, de-liced them & treated their basic wounds over two days. Christmas Party - Every year, we celebrate Christmas with the boys - fireworks, Santa, carols & yum snacks made it a day to remember. Olympics - A team of physiotherapists and fitness experts spent two months training the boys for a mini-Olympics at the Home Zoo Trip - We took 35 boys from the Home to the Zoo for a fun day. It was the first time many of them got to leave the Home after many years. Trip to Decathlon - Decathlon (a sporting goods store) which has a basketball & football ground in front, in partnership with Corazon Latina (a group of wonderful Spanish speaking expats) sponsored a trip for the boys to Decathlon. It was a fun morning of basketball, football, running races and jumping on the trampoline for the boys. Medical Care Nurses - We have hired 5 nurses to work full time within the Home. We pay their salaries and are responsible for their schedule and the work that they do. Each nurse has been assigned a group of boys and are responsible for the boys: Hygiene & Cleanliness - Bathing/Grooming Wound Care General Health Physiotherapy Training for Nurses/Staff - Florence Koederink, founder of Orphanage projects, spent 7 weeks training our nurses in occupational therapy, physiotherapy, basic first aid care and working with mentally challenged children. Florence also conducted a half day training for the staff of the Home. - Dental Care - We have tied up with RV Dental College to provide dental care for the boys. A team of dentists from RV College visits the Home regularly to care for the dental needs of the boys. - Physiotherapy - We have partnered with Provision Asia, a non-profit that works with the physically challenged. A team of physiotherapists come in once a week to engage the boys in exercises. This team also trains our nurses, giving specific exercises for the boys who have severe physical deformities. - We are looking at hiring a team of Special Needs teachers who will be able to help the boys with toilet training and occupational therapy. VOTE TO VOLUNTEER - A U&I WORKSHOP 'Vote to Volunteer',a series of workshops conducted by U&I,a volunteer-driven and charitable organisation based in Bangalore.The first workshop was at St.Joseph's College of Arts and Science on the 17th of September,2011 between 11am and 4pm. We have also conducted workshops in Jyoti Nivas College and Mount Carmel College. We are looking forward to conducting more workshops in IIMB & Christ College in the months to come. The primary motive behind Vote to Volunteer, lies in driving students into becoming agents of social change by making them more socially aware and better equipped to become the change they want to see. This workshop seeks to create a platform where social workers and students are provided with a platform to interact with one and other. By doing this, students will be exposed to a realistic picture of the need in our city and practical ways in which they can get involved and make a difference. The concept of vote to volunteer is that a true democracy goes beyond just voting. It involves every citizen doing their part by volunteering and getting involved in the process of social change in whatever capacity you can. This is what we want to students to understand and engage in. The workshop feature prominent people from Bangalore who are involved in social change in different capacities. Speakers include RJ Saggy, the well-renowned Auto Raja, Ms.Anita, the director of Oasis ,and many other change makers. 'When we volunteer, we vote for change', is the motto behind these workshops, and motivating students into volunteering will certainly be the first step to encourage them to be an active part in solving the problems our country faces today. The topics of discussion range from Education,Human Trafficking and Abuse to Social entrepreneurship and Social Media.

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