Bhumi’s Nakshatra 2014 in Chennai

Nakshatra, Bhumi’s annual inter-children’s home talent festival was conducted by Bhumi on Sunday, 13 July 2014 at MCC Higher Secondary School, Chetpet. The sixth edition of the national talent fest is expected to be bigger and better this year with 6,000 children participating in six cities across India.

The guests of honour at the inaugural at the Chennai event were Mr. Shravan (first runner up at Airtel Super Singer) and Mr. Selva Ganapathy (recipient of the Volunteer Hero Award at the iVolunteer awards 2013). Mr. Aadhavan from Aaditya TV was also present to host his show “Konjam Nadinga Boss” with some of the kids. Mr. Subramaniam, President of the Tamil Nadu Astronomical Association introduced the children to the world of ‘Infinite Space’ and showed stars and planets using a telescope.

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The whole event was planned and executed by Bhumi’s young volunteers. Dr.Prahalathan, the co-founder of Bhumi, said “it is definitely a lot of work and there is a framework to be followed, but all this would not be possible without our volunteers”. With more than two months of planning and 200 volunteers, the event steered a crowd of 878 children from 39 shelter homes for 19 different art, literary and cultural competitions like face painting, clay modelling, skit, elocution, story writing etc.

CHE NAK 140713-0174“Being a coordinator has its own blues because of all the last minute changes, but the ecstatic feeling one gets seeing the children happy and witnessing the hard work taking form has no boundaries”, said Aravind Lakshmanan.

While there was lot of excitement rushing throughout the venue, Sonia, a volunteer said “the energy here is coming back like a Frisbee – from the kids to us”, while Ranjani, a volunteer at the help desk said “although I missed the kids performing, all I expect at the end of the day is a smile on their face and a sense of accomplishment within volunteers”.

CHE NAK 140713-2201Who does not like cheering along with the crowd! Boys from Ramakrishna Mission were seen cheering for their team with a drum and trumpet while other kids just danced and supported their teams. Rajkumar, one of the coordinators said “I feel very nostalgic being here, I miss those school days were I experienced that same kind of enthusiasm”.

CHE NAK 140713-1412Nakshatra’s slogan , Dream. Discover. Dazzle. was a motivation for the children while particpating. They were awarded based on performances – while Sevalaya from Thiruninravur was awarded with the Overall Championship Trophy, four other homes including Leo Correya, Siragu, Avvai Home and Indian Council for Child Welfare were awarded trophies for Best Participating home.

 

The event was sponsored by NTT Data, Plintron and LetzChange.

CHE NAK 140713-0837Bhumi is one of India’s largest independent youth volunteer non-profit organisations. Our volunteers work amongst orphaned and underprivileged children in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, New Delhi, Telangana, West Bengal and several other parts of the country. The efforts of our volunteer force consisting of over 1,000 students and young professionals under the age of 30 benefit over 15,000 children every year. To volunteer register on www.bhumi.org.in

Benefits of Volunteering – Increases chance of getting a job

If you are job hunting, or just looking around for new opportunities, you have probably spent a lot of time recently tending to your LinkedIn profile. Updating your experience. Joining new groups. Building your network. But what if I told you there is something else that you probably aren’t doing which could dramatically increase your odds of getting a job? It’s not about getting a graduate degree, and it’s not even about learning a new skill.

According to the research, the smartest and most often overlooked thing you can do to get ahead in the competitive job market is to start giving back. That’s right. If you want to improve your odds of getting your dream job, it is time to start volunteering.

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Here are the facts.

This summer, researchers at the Corporation for National and Community Service, released new findings that tracked the relationship between volunteering and employment for a group of 70,535 respondents over a ten year period.

According to Dr. Chris Spera, CNCS’s Director of Research & Evaluation and one of the authors of the report Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment, active volunteers were 27% more likely to get a job than non-volunteers. And the relationship held stable across gender, race, ethnicity, age, location, and unemployment rate. That’s a big difference.

Underlying the findings, Spera and his team believe there is a strong relationship between volunteering and the development of social and human capital — key attributes in today’s most desirable candidates.

Linked In 01The findings echo a recent LinkedIn survey of 2,000 professionals which found that 41% of respondents consider volunteer experience to be as important as work experience for job candidates. The survey also found that 20% of hiring managers have offered jobs based on a candidate’s volunteer experience.

So what are you waiting for? If you need some help getting started come visit us at www.bhumi.org.in. And once you’ve found a great place to volunteer add it to your LinkedIn profile and let the job hunting begin.

(Cross posted: Original article by Greg Baldwin,VolunteerMatch on LinkedIn)

Careers: Regional Manager, Projects

Job Description: Regional Manager, Projects

Location: Chennai

This requirement is now closed

The Regional Projects Manager is a position of hands-on leadership for a geographic cluster of Bhumi chapters. Experience in the education sector is essential for this role. Team spirit and the ability to build a good rapport with colleagues, coordinators and volunteers are very important. Main responsibilities would include establishing learning centres, setting up volunteering teams and ensuring smooth day-to-day running of projects across the region – Teaching English, vernacular languages, Computers, Mathematics, Science, Mentorship and Talent development of under-privileged children.

Primary responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Lead and help in the implementation of all the projects across the region
  • Train or identify suitable trainers and provide a continuous support system for the volunteers
  • Ensure project activities comply with the planned objectives
  • Periodic centre visits across the region
  • Monitor project progress on weekly basis
  • Troubleshoot project related problems. Identify and implement creative solutions
  • Conduct project assessments
  • Analyse data, identify trends, prepare and share reports

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 – Make presentations in colleges, work places to bring in more volunteers
  • Represent Bhumi – at events, companies, other organisations for partnerships etc.
  • Engage interns and campus ambassadors
  • Facilitating other projects like promoting volunteerism, entrepreneurship, wish fulfillment, events etc.
  • Facilitate and enable volunteers take up leadership roles

Preferred Education Qualification/ Experience:

  • 1-3 years of relevant work experience in the education sector essential
  • Graduate/Post Graduate degree in any discipline
  • Prior experience of working in a NGO setup desirable (preferably in Education)
  • Prior experience of leading a team
  • Prior experience of training others
  • Prior experience of teaching children is desirable

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Fluency in English, Tamil (desirable)
  • Computer skills
  • Excellent Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills
  • Creativity and problem solving skills
  • Resourceful, responsible and self-starting
  • Efficient planning and multi tasking skills
  • A proactive learner with a positive attitude
  • Ability to travel extensively – locally, regionally and nationally

Other Information:

  • Reporting to: Projects Director, Chennai
  • Expected Age: Below 35
  • Scope: Full time, willing to work flexible hours six days a week including most weekends
  • Remuneration: based on the candidate’s profile
  • Expected Joining Date: Jun-July 2014

We are looking for a leader who is committed to increasing his/her skills, knowledge and ability, and is committed to the Bhumi team for at least two years. This is not an employment opportunity but a calling to facilitate change!

This requirement is now closed

About Bhumi:

Bhumi is one of India’s largest independent youth volunteer non-profit organisations. We believe that the status quo can be changed by creating youth leaders, improving the education of the next generation Our volunteers work amongst orphaned and underprivileged children in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, New Delhi and other parts of the country with the aim of providing children with quality supplementary education and enable them to become responsible and productive citizens of the future. The efforts of our volunteer force consisting of over 1,000 students and young professionals under the age of 30 will benefit over 12,000 children every year. Details on http://bhumi.org.in/

A little perspective about our programme:
Present  structure:

  • Number of Years: 3-5/subject
  • Target group: Classes 1-9
  • Number of classes per week: 2 classes of two hours each during weekends
  • Number of hours per year: 100-120
  • Number of children per class: 5-10
  • Number of volunteer teachers per class: 1-2
  • Duration of programmes: 9 months
  • Total contact hours per volunteer: 50-60 hours

Expectation from Bhumi volunteers:

  • 1 class of 2 hours each every week
  • 1 hour for class preparation/week
  • 1 hour to travel to and fro to orphanage/community centre
  • 1-3 days of training per year
  • Actively participate in the discussions.

Volunteer Den – Krishna Prasad

Image 012 years back I joined Bhumi as a volunteer. The 6 months I spent as part of Bhumi helped me realise what I wanted to be in life. It inspired me to resign my job in Bangalore and pursue civil services. A few days back my results were announced and by God’s grace, I made it into list with a rank of 352. I will always be grateful to Bhumi, the wonderful friends I made here and the emotional bond i had with our kids..” ~ Krishna Prasad

Do you want to know what sparked the change? Read on…

  1. A little about yourself (origin, education, past work experiences)

I am from Yeroor, a village in Kollam district of Kerala. My father works with the central government and my mother is a lecturer. I have a younger brother who is pursuing medicine. After completing graduation from College of Engineering Trivandrum in Computer Science, I joined Philips, Bangalore as a software engineer. I also worked in Philips, Brugge for a few months. Later I had a brief stint with SBI as a probationary officer. I believe I had a dream to try for civil services right from college days. But the huge competition in the process and the inherent laziness always made me a bit (should say byte) timid to start preparing for civil service.

  1. How did volunteering with Bhumi happen (including beginning, which project you volunteered for)?  

I was looking for a volunteering opportunity in Bangalore and I accidentally stumbled upon Bhumi’s website. The idea of being a changemaker encouraged me to register on the website. At our induction program, I met some amazing people. I volunteered for the Little Einsteins program at Marthahalli and had a wonderful time teaching, learning and playing with the kids.

  1. What change did these experiences bring in your life?

The most important change that Bhumi brought in was helping me realign my perspective on life and happiness. When I visited the shelter home for the first time, I assumed that the children would be very sad and dull. But, the kind of happiness and vibrancy they radiated was something I never expected. Once I bonded with them, I felt more responsible. Perhaps, it was the first time someone was looking up to me for something.

In short, I realised that I didn’t want to spend my next 30 years trying to increase the profit of x company from y to z percentage. I wanted to do something more satisfying. And more importantly, the whole process of being a part of Bhumi, meeting diverse people with a passion to pursue their dreams, encouraged me with the requisite courage to resign a well paid job and take that leap of faith to prepare for civil services. Mr. Manivannan (IAS), whom I had met at Nakshatra, helped me a lot during the interview preparation phase later on.

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  1. What next?

I have a rank of 352 (in the first attempt) which mostly will enable me to be a part of IRS or IPS. I know they are wonderful career options but IAS is what I had aspired for. So, I am planning to give one more attempt and secure a rank below 100.  Also, I would like to make myself useful in some way to other aspirants and at least help them avoid the pitfalls I had during my preparation.

  1. A message to every volunteer at Bhumi

You as a volunteer of Bhumi already have a wonderful platform with you to give back to the society and enrich yourself professionally and personally. What I am giving is not a message, but something I realized during the 1 year preparation phase of mine. If you have a dream and you are pursuing it, the kind of happiness you get from the whole process is inexplicable. I know many of us did not want to be in the professions we are now.

What we are now is something we cannot undo. But we can always aspire to be better; we can follow the path to our dream. Despite of the heavy odds on the way, despite of whether we reach our dream or not, walking that path will give you more satisfaction in life.

 

Volunteer Den – Sowmyasree

Why Bhumi?

SowmyasreeI was looking for volunteering opportunities in Chennai and decided to register with Bhumi.

I can’t quite place when and how I came to know about Bhumi. As this organization is really a household name. The company  I work in participated in Bhumi’s Joy to the world Program, a couple of my friends have volunteered with Bhumi in the past, all this gave me a better understanding of the good work Bhumi has been continually doing over the years. Need I say more?

What inspired you to be a part of Hi5? How do you feel having been chosen as the Project Coordinator?

What inspired me to be a part of Hi5? Hmm. The idea of planning a weeklong event across the country, getting a huge volunteer base, planning the nitty-gritties of the event, sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

Besides, some people may not find the time to volunteer on a regular basis. Providing a volunteering platform to such people seems like a good idea. It also gives a better perspective to people who are unsure of what volunteering cause appeals to them the most.

“With great power, comes great responsibility”

That’s how I feel, being chosen as the Project Co-coordinator.  This would be my first big leadership role and I’m both excited and anxious!!

Tell us about your life before Bhumi. (Specially, other volunteering experiences, if any)

As I had mentioned earlier, I was looking for volunteering opportunities in Chennai and I signed up with Bhumi. I had a good six months before I was called for the orientation and I tried my hand at volunteering for a number of small causes during this time.

These experiences have made one thing apparent to me; Bhumi is really structured and organized and working with Bhumi is absolute fun. The volunteer engagement activities and events are definitely a highlight.

Life after Bhumi has sure been busy, but in a very fun way :D

How has Bhumi altered you, personally?

Confidence is something I have gained after my time with Bhumi.

Also, multi-tasking, I have become very good at that :P

Tell us about one Bhumian, who you think is a very good inspiration for you.

That’s a tough one. I really can’t pick just one person. Every Bhumian has been and will continue to be an inspiration to me. One thing I HAVE to mention is the amount of energy and enthusiasm every Bhumian has. Simply amazing!

A note about your personal front (education, job, hobbies, passion etc)

School – St.Joesph’s Girls Higher Sec. School, Trichy

College – CEG (Yes, I’m an engineer, a materials science engineer)

Working at Latentview Analytics.  A TV show addict. I have spent 82 days and 30 min of my life watching tv serials and sitcoms. (There is a website to actually calculate this =P) I like swimming, origami and I really really like to travel.

One most memorable incident in your life as a Bhumian.

Before Hi5, I was part of LE Math. This one time, I had to handle a bunch of kids on my own and frankly, I was overwhelmed. But this one kid stepped up and helped me out with the younger kids. The ease with which he took lead and handled the situation is something which I will never forget. We truly can learn a lot from kids.

That would be the most memorable incident in my life as a Bhumian

A special message to your fellow volunteers.

Thank you all, for your constant support and help! :D

Volunteer Den – Robin

1401 RobinWhen did you join Bhumi and why?

I was initially an NSS volunteer as a project leader. Though was a part of the NATIONAL SOCIAL SCHEME, was not that much satisfied. One fine day, there came a group that brought in enthusiasm into me. They invited me for the orientation in our college and finally, when we visited, I found a platform, for real, NATIONAL service scheme to complete the circle.

Tell us about your project and the center you volunteer

In my first year, I was mapped to HOPE Home as a Little Einstein volunteer. As an NSS volunteer, I used to meet many people, but here, got an opportunity to meet the same set of kids again and again. I saw a personality in them which I really admired – A Gandhi, A Subash Chandrabose etc. And finally, started to see An Einstein in them. I was able to perform magic with that kit! I was seen as a magician by those kids, as I was given that opportunity to get that typical tough Maths into the kids life as simple as that of a game. Later, having enjoyed such an experience, I was nominated as the City Coordinator for Little Einstein. Now, my family of Little Einsteins is even bigger – from 1 to 3 centres and now, it is 5

What are initial challenges you faced as a volunteer and how did you overcome them?
Studies on holidays was the first challenge I faced. Initially as a volunteer, I thought of giving them that education which no other child could have got. But, it was only later I understood that giving them knowledge was more important! Moreover my friends, were always a part of my team, so I never had volunteer crisis

Life before and after Bhumi

Satisfaction and importance of live. Before Bhumi I always felt far from the earth, and only now, I understand, the importance of life, only now, I have made my life worth to live… … now, I can proudly declare, I am living and not merely existin

Any specific, special moment with the kids you would like to share?

Every moment with these kids are special. However, I would like to share one such outstanding moment. After a long tiresome day at a centre, while the session was going on, a small kid ran up to me and asked “Ungala naa anna nu kupidalama ???” (Can I address you ‘brother?’) I replied,”Enna venumnalum kupidu da.. ” (Address me anything you like) And he said, “Ennaku anna illa,… ungala paatha, anna nu kupidanum pola thonuthu” (I do not have a brother and I feel like calling you a brother) Two tear drops rolled down my cheeks with no control! He then hugged me tight! :-)

What do you do apart from Bhumi?

I am a final year English student besides being an active NSS volunteer in college. And whenever I get free time from volunteering, I’d love to play.

Message to fellow volunteers

Knowledge is the only result of Love. I would like to convey to my fellow volunteers that – LOVE always can make anything happen. LOVE the Children, because, they are the Children of God.

Volunteer Den – Asha Jhabakh

1401 AshaWhat prompted you to be a part of Bhumi? Why Nakshatra Reach Out?
I always wanted to contribute to the society, be a part of social movement. When I was in my second year of college, I came across Bhumi’s website, registered myself online and attended the orientation. I neither googled how successful the organization was nor found out if there were any friends of mine were a part of this or willing to join along with me. I just knew, they teach children and that’s all it mattered. Because I love children. This prompted me to join Bhumi and now I am here for  3 years now.

With 3 years and still counting, how were your initial days different from now?
I think every day at Bhumi or taking class is very exciting and fun. Right from the beginning till now. But ya, the co-volunteers have been different. Initially, I knew only few people but now, I know more than that. The bonding has started and its going strong, with both children and volunteers.

NRO is relatively a new project, what are your ideas in store for its expansion/ betterment?
NRO was started when I joined Bhumi. And we have learnt a lot from the oth
er projects. Recently, we had a meeting and someone was speaking of expanding NRO to other cities. That’s the standard I wanted to create. Since its completely different from other projects, we have always tried to make the volunteers and children engaged in the program.

Tell us about your life outside Bhumi
I am person who likes to keep myself busy. I love meeting new people and listening to them talk. I feel that there is always something one can learn from other. And definitely whomever I have met in my life has left me with some memories. I am doing my final year masters in Mass Communication in MOP Vaishnav College and am also an RJ at the AIR.

Bhumi’s influence on you, personally.
Adopt more and more children so that I can start a family. Just kidding. In short, spread happiness by all possible means.

Most memorable moment with Bhumi/ Bhumians.
When I was inducted into NRO programme and NRO’s dance performance at Nakshatra, 2013.

Message to fellow volunteers
Every minute at Bhumi matters, value, treasure and spread it.