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BHUMI (Lakshya) and DISHA Leadership Program

Recently, Bhumi partnered with DISHA, an initiative of the MaFoi foundation, to enhance the leadership skills of Class 11 children, through its Lakshya Program. The first leadership workshop, focused on enhancing communication and negotiation skills, was conducted on 17th Aug, 2014, where close to 45 students participated. It was a Junk Activity (Market Based), where they negotiated to buy junk from the market and designed a product using their creativity.

IMG-20140829-WA0022Success of the workshop

The first workshop was conducted efficiently, wherein the process, right from planning to execution exceeded expectations. The reason for this success was due to the inclusion of market concept in a clear and precise fashion, and the immaculate execution of the same. Though the activity was the same as in the previous years, small tweaks enhanced it to the next level. First was the addition of a stable market, with a seller who negotiates his items (junk) based on demand. Second was the adoption of the round robin format, which helped fulfill their requirement with virtual money and also gave them an equal chance to get what they want.

Enthused participation

Since the participants were in eleventh grade, they were able to understand the concept quite easily and were very open to learn and talk with the volunteers, which made the activity even better. The negotiation part of the activity between the children and the volunteer who acted as the seller was neatly done. Children were highly enthusiastic and creative in designing the concept, while being shrewd and efficient in the negotiation part as well.

IMG-20140829-WA0034The general verdict

On the positive side, ideas such as explaining the activity stage by stage and showing the children a video on negotiation at the end of the activity were well received and it made the process smoother. And, volunteers from DISHA were helpful and efficient in handling the children as well.

On the other hand, it would have been even better if there was a way to promote negotiation between teams during execution. The only downside was the time crunch, which was due to extra time taken to implement the activity.

Way forward

We have planned three more leadership workshops in the months of October 2014, January 2015 and February 2015, to cover various other leadership skills. We believe this partnership will help Bhumi’s Lakshya in strengthening its content in conducting programs for higher grade children.

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About DISHA

DISHA provides an opportunity for children from disadvantaged communities to believe in their strengths and rise beyond all odds, to become grounded, educated and sensitive individuals of the society. Apart from providing scholarships, it also equips children in leadership skills, through its Disha Leadership Program. The program, provides children an environment to learn, act, and lead so that they can hone their skills, be productive and grow as concerned leaders. Disha Scholars from 8th standard undergo this program until their graduation

Letzchange – matching grant for donations to Bhumi

 Donations to Bhumi through LetzChange are matched 100% up to Rs.5,000

Letzchange

  • 0% fee /​ No ​Deductions: There are no fees (Bank / Card processing fee, disbursement fee), LetzChange assures all of the donated amount reaches Bhumi for maximum impact.
  • Extension of Match-Grant Scheme: Envisioned with “inculcating the habit of online giving” in India, LetzChange has extended the “​Match Grant Campaign” under which every donation made through the LetzChange website to Bhumi would be matched up to a cap of Rs. 5,000
  • E-Receipts: 80G receipts will be issued for all donations
  • Introduction of Live Donation Board for NGOs: Tracking real time donations for NGOs will become a lot easier using “Live Donation Board”

Make a double impact donation now

Hiring

Careers: Regional Manager, Projects

Job Description: Regional Manager, Projects

Location: Pune / Mumbai / Chennai

The Regional Manager, Projects requires hands-on leadership for a geographic cluster of Bhumi chapters. Team spirit and the ability to build a good rapport with colleagues, coordinators and volunteers are key in being successful in this role. Experience in the education sector is desirable for this role. Main responsibility is to ensure smooth day-to-day running of all projects across the region.

Primary responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Lead the implementation of all the educational projects across the region
  • Facilitating other projects like promoting volunteerism, entrepreneurship, wish fulfillment, events etc.
  • Ensure project activities are in compliance  with the planned objectives
  • Train and/or identify suitable trainers, and provide a continuous support system for the volunteers and project coordinators
  • Periodic centre visits across the region
  • Monitor project progress on weekly basis
  • Facilitate project assessments
  • Collect consistent feedback from volunteers and center management to facilitate continuous improvements
  • Analyse data, identify trends, prepare and share reports
  • Provide continuous guidance and mentorship to project coordinators
  • Facilitate team-building and volunteer morale activities at regular intervals
  • Troubleshoot project related problems, and identify and implement creative solutions

Other responsibilities include:

  • Identifying learning centres – tie up with orphanages, shelter homes, community centres, government or other low cost schools where children can benefit from Bhumi’s programmes
  • Recruit volunteers – Proactive volunteer recruitment campaigns in colleges, workplaces to bring in more volunteers
  • Identify opportunities and represent Bhumi – at events, companies, other organisations for partnerships etc.
  • Engage interns and campus ambassadors
  • Facilitate, groom and enable volunteers to take leadership roles
  • Document best practices, learning and share across stakeholders
  • Share knowledge with other Regional managers and identify best practices and create repository

Preferred Education Qualification/ Experience:

  • 2-4 years of relevant work experience, preferably in NGO sector is desirable
  • Graduate/Post Graduate degree in any discipline
  • Prior experience in training / leading a team is desirable
  • Prior experience of teaching children is desirable

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Fluency in English essential. Fluency in Hindi, Marathi (desirable-Mumbai), Tamil (desirable-Chennai)
  • Good Computer skills
  • Adept at working with a range of people and good relationship management skills
  • Excellent Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Excellent organizational, collaboration and project management skills
  • Creativity and problem solving
  • Resourceful, responsible and self-starting
  • A proactive learner with a positive attitude
  • Ability to travel extensively – locally, regionally and nationally

Other Information:

  • Reporting to: COO / Projects Director, Chennai
  • Expected Age: Below 30
  • Scope: Full time, willing to work flexible hours. Wednesday Holidays
  • Remuneration: based on the candidate’s profile
  • Salary Range: Rs. 25,000 – 40,000
  • Expected Start  Date: Oct-Dec 2014

We are looking for dynamic leaders who are self-motivated and committed to increasing their skills, knowledge and ability, and are committed to the Bhumi team for at least two years. This is not an employment opportunity but a calling to facilitate change! If you qualify and are interested to take up the role please email your resume with two references and cover letter to careers.rm@bhumi.org.in

About Bhumi:

Bhumi, one of India’s largest independent youth volunteer non-profit organisations, is the recipient of the ‘Leader in Volunteer Engagement Award’ conferred by iVolunteer. Bhumi as a platform will enable over 5,000 volunteers in more than 10 cities across India volunteer for causes like education, environment, animals, community welfare etc. in 2014. Bhumi volunteers primarily work amongst over 15,000 underprivileged children in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telengana, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Delhi NCR  with the aim of providing children with quality supplementary education to enable them become responsible and productive citizens of the future. Further details on http://bhumi.org.in/

Volunteering to ignite the young minds through Education – UN Volunteers

Vaishnavi Srinivasan is a volunteer with Bhumi — a youth volunteer non-profit organization providing supplementary education to underprivileged children across India. Growing up in a lower middle class family, a large part of her education was funded through scholarships. This brought the realization in her to give back to the society by donating her time and skills to educate the underprivileged. She believes,
“volunteering is the change that begins within and empowers to bring about a change we want to see”.

It is with this understanding and willingness Vaishnavi registered to volunteer with Bhumi at the Chennai center to spend a couple of hours on the weekends educating children, while pursuing her post-graduation in Financial Economics in 2009. Volunteering in different roles and working with children and volunteers at Bhumi over the last three years, has groomed her and added much value to her life. For her, nothing beats the sense of accomplishment than hearing from her students, “I want to teach children in my area just like you are teaching us”, who are becoming responsible and willing to uplift their communities. It brings immense satisfaction to her to know that in addition to learning various subjects in school, these children are also learning to give back to the society.

UNDP

As a volunteer, Vaishnavi has thoroughly enjoyed her experience – engaging the children in activities, innovating new ways to explain established concepts, evaluating their understanding without intimidating them and becoming one among them. She had the chance to introduce new teaching aids and organize inter-center competitions to expose the talents of these. She also contributed to making the volunteering structure more robust – by providing opportunities to the volunteers at Bhumi to explore other classes and to learn best practices across Bhumi’s other learning centers, Programmes and track progress within centers to ensure quality is maintained.

Addiction to children’s smiles got her started on a new chapter for Bhumi in Bangalore along with a few other volunteers, within just a few months of her relocation from Chennai. In addition to teaching regularly, she has started working on the administrative aspects of volunteer coordination, resource gathering & management, etc. Bhumi, being an entirely youth volunteer based organization, has given her immense freedom to innovate, lead and grow as a person beyond the two hours of volunteering that she signed up for. She has met so many like-minded friends and inspiring people through Bhumi who have changed her life in a positive way.

Though she aspired to join the armed forces in her childhood, she realized over the years that to serve the nation, one does not need the uniform. After joining Bhumi, this idea has grown stronger within her. She had the honour of being awarded the ‘Youth Volunteer of the Year’ Award 2011 at the AIVA, which has further motivated her to contribute with much more vigour and commitment. What was once her leisure time activity has now become a part of her identity.

Case study published in Volunteering in India: Contexts, Perspectives and Discourses by UN Volunteers

Download a Copy | Read Online | Publication page on UN Volunteers

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Intern – Web development

We are currently seeking an experienced Web Developer. This new, internship will help create/improve the online presence for Bhumi. As part of the nascent team, the Web Developer will build, develop and maintain the websites and blog.

A successful candidate will have excellent project management skills, the ability to meet tight deadlines and the communication skills to convey technical information to non-technical staff.

This position will work 10-12 hours weekly between September 15th – December/January 15th.

Locations: Online

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Develop, integrate and maintain website and blog structure, pages, online forms and calendars
  • Advise on design and development of new website
  • Research, track and understand new online technologies to provide technical leadership
  • Format content and optimize images
  • Integrate online sites with social media platforms
  • Set-up and track analytics for website, blog, etc.
  • Set-up and evaluate SEO for website, blog, etc.

Qualifications:

  • Minimum two years web development and online marketing
  • A background in computer science or equivalent web development experience
  • Experience in not-for-profit preferred
  • Skills in HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript
  • Experience with WordPress
  • Experience working with web security applications
  • Familiarity with Photoshop

If you are interested email us at Aparna AT bhumi.org.in

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iCubed 2014 Winning Idea: Green Labs

Uma Shunmuganathan, Varsha Ramachandran and Suvasini Ragavan – Spaces

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Objective: The idea envisions a greener tomorrow by tapping the grassroots of the education system and sensitizing the kids about nature, environment and neighbourhood thereby providing a foundation for ecological balance. This includes greenscaping school premises and developing an activity & fun based curriculum to imbibe in children a desire and sense of responsibility to stay in sync with nature and maintain the natural balance of our environment and in a way encourage the future generations to pursue green careers.

Need: Lack of ‘Don’t just think, ACT’ attitude among people to carry out earth-friendly activities and co-exist with nature not only pollutes the present environment but also endangers future generation. The alarming lack of awareness among people about how much each of them as an individual is contributing in polluting environment is something that needs to be under check. The percentage of green cover in Chennai is just 5-10% as compared to the required value of 33%. There is also an absence of a full-fledged garden system that provides a living context to study the principles of interdependence, diversity, cycles, scale and limits, energy and resources, succession and sustainability. Also lacking is a student-centred environment along with a strong emphasis on highly motivated instructors to carry out garden related activities. We have the responsibility to prepare the child for the world of tomorrow. Although we can’t see that world, we can help students ask relevant questions; develop processes for thinking and searching for answers; and communicate, work, and live cooperatively

Implementation: The implementation plan comprises of four phases.

1. Green Define- This is an orientation to kids from class 4-8 educating them about the prospects of a greener future. In here we troubleshoot and ideate the current problems associated with our environment by associating them with specific teams or student groups.

2. Green Design – Identification of the right space in the school, designing the botanical aspects and design work activities against each landscape related tasks. A garden journal will have to be created by each of the teams addressing any of the existent problems. This should include analysis, overview and solutions of the given problem statements along with records, data etc.

3. Green Live – Landscape gets created and students are live on the project (Lab) working as per schedule. A hands-on model garden will have every member explore and learn as much possible in growing a plant along with being imparted with knowledge of best gardening practices. Green Live will have various spaces like a Model Garden space (ornamental, aquatic, kitchen or herbal etc), A Hands-on Garden Space and a Meeting Centre to brainstorm ideas.

4. Green Sustain – This is the end of project phase and the students and the school continues to maintain the mature landscape after the schedule ends. This creates a greener environment in school premises and communities in the nearby neighbourhood.

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iCubed 2014 Idea 4: Hybrid Solar Collector

Yohan Simon, Ashish Yadav, Grennwell Peeris – Sathyabama University

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Objective: The hybrid solar collector is an innovative system which helps to harness solar energy in a much efficient manner as compared to the traditional systems. The system is automatically controlled by a stepper motor with the help of a programmed microcontroller for collecting and concentrating the solar radiation to one focal point through a set of solar panels positioned in a manner so as to consume solar rays directly from the sun as well as consume the refracted beams. This system is unique as it gives dual output in the form of electricity as well as heated water for domestic and thermal usage. Due to the unique arrangement of the solar panels, collector and transparent tube, the consumption of the solar energy is maximized resulting in high cost savings.

Need: In an era where the fuels are depleting at an alarming rate, there is an urgent need to develop cost competitive alternate energy sources. Solar energy is available in abundance and is a suitable alternate source of energy. However conventional solar systems are less efficient and too expensive. Thus there is need to harness solar energy in a more efficient and economic manner.

Systems are already available for the generation of electrical power or thermal power by the concentration of solar energy using suitable reflectors. Suitable tracking systems have also been developed in an attempt to improve the functioning of these reflectors by keeping them pointed towards the sun.

Implementation: The implementation involves building the application in the following process.

  1. Theoretical study of journals
  2. Procurement of material equipment, devices for test load
  3. Design of the experimental setup and Theoretical & CFD analysis
  4. Fabrication
  5. Experimentation and observation
  6. Result Analysis
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iCubed 2014 Idea 3: Around Us

Sriram D S, NMIMS Mumbai & Upasana Samaddar, XIM Bhubaneshwar

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Objective: There  is  a  growing  need  to  increase  awareness  on  issues  relating  to  sustainability  of  our ecosystem  and  generate  commitment  in  contributing  to  a  sustainable  ecosystem.  This is the problem which AroundUS tries to solve. The idea is built based on the belief that small  steps  in  the form  of  pro  environmental  activities  taken  by  everyone  around  us  can  help  in  saving  the environment and people will be willing to contribute if they know how and also get incentivized for their contribution. The idea involves partnering with schools, colleges, corporate business houses and societies which would result in sensitizing the people towards the environment.

Need: On an average, about 13 trees are cut every day in India. Burning fuels such as oil, gasoline etc., increases carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leading to global warming. Every year about 1 lakh people die in India owing to water-borne diseases. Air pollution kills around 6 lakh people in India every year. It is reported that there are less than 1706 tigers (as of March 2011) in the land of tigers. Many species of butterflies are becoming extinct resulting in reduced pollination. 36.5 Million MT of solid waste and 100,000 MT of e-waste is generated in India annually. Most people live their lives oblivious to the fact that if this trend continues, there would be no future for our future generations. Even though some of us recognize and accept the need to take pro environmental initiatives, we don’t know how to go about it. There is a growing need to increase awareness  on  issues  relating  to  sustainability  of  our  ecosystem  and  generate  commitment  in contributing to a sustainable ecosystem. This is the problem which our firm, AroundUS tries to solve.

Implementation: The implementation of the idea is planned in three phases.

Phase 1 - Creating buzz: This phase would involve creation of the website and creating buzz in the community through social media and word of mouth. It also includes talking to a few schools / colleges / environmental organizations and pitching the plan to them.  The major objective of this phase is to use it as a branding exercise.

Phase 2 - Establishing partners: Once there are enough people to endorse the idea, partnering with schools / colleges / corporate / communities will help in driving the initiatives. This partnership would include regular pro-environment sessions/activities etc. in their locations and also generating revenue in the form of ads to make the model sustainable. Partnerships will also be entered into with organisations to provide the incentives.

Phase 3 - Scaling up:  Initial plan is to restrict the idea to one city (Mumbai or Chennai) and manage partners and the people who visit the website. The major aim would be to make partners and everyone who visits the website believes that their contribution is making an impact on the environment and also incentivizing them. This would help in getting more people to believe in the idea which in turn would improve the environment around us. Subsequently the idea will be scaled up to other cities and try to create a movement which is pro-environment.

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iCubed 2014 Idea 2: Solid waste management through 5S

Lokesh Agarwal & Libin Joshua – Mahindra Research Valley

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Objective: The idea proposes a system which attempts to solve the problems in solid waste management by incorporating the well proven 5S process (Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize &Sustain). The objective of the idea is to implement 5S for solid waste management in the residential sections of the community by creating awareness about the solid waste generated, its segregation and disposal.

Need: In today’s fast moving world, people are very much interested in what they are buying/using but rarely interested in what they are wasting / throwing. This idea throws light on this well experienced yet not dealt problem of ‘solid waste’. Everyday  4700  MT  of  waste  is  produced  in  Chennai  but  not  effectively recycled and used in land filling. If analysed, nearly 80-85% of the waste can be recycled and which is not happening. The main root cause is awareness and system in place for the solid waste management. Hence, a system/process is the urgent need of the time.

Implementation: The implementation of this idea is essentially to carry out the steps in 5S process. As an example, the steps followed during the pilot phase are laid out below.

Sort: The  students  in  the  orphanage  were  gathered  in  one  place  and  were  explained  about  the importance of the waste segregation in RED, BLUE and GREEN bins according to the nature of waste.

Set in Order: The  bins  were  arranged  according  to  the  places  where  it  is  mostly  used,  like  the  GREEN  bin which should contain the organic matter is placed in the kitchen. The RED and BLUE are placed in the common area where children take there snacks and study.

Shine: The bins are provided with plastic bags so that they don’t get dirty and also interesting pictures are kept on the bin for the attraction and information about the waste to be thrown in the bin.

Standardize: The  segregated  waste  is  recycled  and  this  system  of  segregation  and  then  disposing  them accordingly would be implemented in other residential area where this is not happening.

Sustain: Continuous disposal, troubleshooting the problems encountered and watch on the people is done to sustain the system. To develop technology for monitoring the bins and also to locate them.

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iCubed 2014 Idea 1: Lend

LEND – Lakshmi & Jude Rohit – Loyola College of Engineering 

DSC_0122Objective: ‘Lend’ is a rural lifestyle improvement project that aims at implementing green technology to make a self-sustainable community by bringing simple changes in the lives of people towards a greener and a more aware tomorrow. It aims at not only catering to the energy needs of the community but also creates a source of alternate livelihood. It also takes up community building activities, thus ensuring an aware and educated society.

Need: There is an immediate need to bridge the gap between the rural and urban India. The government plans for rural development fail majorly because of lack of unified effort. The talents in rural India go suppressed due to lack of awareness and education. Students today lack social responsibility. They need to be aligned with community development projects to introduce the concept of giving. Many innovative energy ideas and solutions do not find a platform for implementation. Corporate sector tries investing a lot on CSR but due to dearth of innovative projects they often end up not doing enough. Though technology is seen as a major cause for the falling environmental standards, we believe that the “right use of the right technology in the right way” can be the solution to all ecological problems

Implementation: The implementation of the idea is planned in five steps.

Step 1 - Identification of the problem areas: To understand the needs of the community to give us a better insight on the issues around. Also, activities such as street plays and awareness drives and community building games will help the people open up to us and will in turn improve our understanding.

Step 2 – Panel discussion involving the young minds and experts: The output of stage 1 will be put forth in front of talented youngsters and they will be given time to come with an idea. Experts from the field of energy will head the discussion and then the students in groups will be allowed to present their ideas. The best will be chosen.

Step 3 - Innovating projects to improve the community socially, economically, culturally, environmentally etc.: This is the stage where the chosen ideas from the students are drafted into plans. Cost estimation is done and a proper timeline for implementation is brought out.

Step 4 - Seeking support from corporate paving way for CSR: With the budget estimate and the project prognosis in place, we seek help from the corporate for financing our project.

Step 5 – Involving the local community, students and corporate to implement the project successfully