Innovative NGO working on social inclusion and empowering young people with disabilities
This is an innovative project that turns the disability model on its head. Initially the project used sport as a means of bringing together those children with and without disabilities to compete on an equal footing, and to break down the preconceptions and prejudices that exist around being disabled in India.
The project has since developed to use these sporting and community events as a way of creating real social change. Boys and girls aged 15-18 years old, with and without disabilities, are trained to deliver valuable knowledge on key issues in the areas of education, health and gender.
Together these young adults educate their local community, while breaking down the barriers between those with disabilities and their able-bodied peers.
This community work is having very real (measured) outcomes. Better hygiene practices are becoming more widespread. Attitudes towards girls education is improved, as is the trend towards children remaining in education longer.
Environmental awareness is changing behaviours towards managing waste, and much improved disability awareness is helping families and communities with mixed abilities better integrate, based on knowledge and acceptance of each other at the most simple level.
The training, support and experience the participants receive then acts as a valuable source of employment skills, helping young adults with disabilities distinguish themselves and their capabilities in their community, providing them with the best opportunity to go on to higher education and/or employment.
Volunteers are required to help deliver, manage and expand the project, which has ambitions to grow from its base in Rajasthan, to deliver the programme in Delhi and beyond.
A variety of skills are required, from financial skills to help plan the growth, to fundraising (commercial) and marketing skills that will help raise awareness and secure the necessary resources. It is an ideal opportunity for a volunteer on a career break, someone wanting to gain experience of working with an NGO / non-profit and perhaps even to change direction.
Alternatively you may have experience or ambitions in youth development, working with children and young adults with special needs, sports development programmes or community projects. Volunteers are welcomed we can help innovate and enhance the current programme of activity.
The small team would welcome volunteers to be involved in the delivery of the sports and community events, as well as helping coach and mentor life skills in the young adults who volunteer in the projects. Native English speakers can help improve formal and conversational English, assist with written and IT skills, help develop CVs, practice interviews and work on the employability of the students.
The volunteer activity will be agreed between the volunteer and the project Director, depending on the skills of the volunteer and the needs of the project at the time.
This is a small project with only a small number of staff, so expect to quickly become part of the team and get involved in multiple aspects of this innovative programme.
The project is based near to the special needs school where the project originates from, so there is also the very practical reality of being able to visit and work in the school to support the 200+ resident children who attend with a variety of disabilities.
Depending on your experience and the role you take there are a numerous ways you can support this project. Additional skills and capacity is required if the small team are to achieve their ambition to grow.
Equally, volunteers being involved in the sports and community events, coaching and mentoring individuals bring s a new dimension to their work. Helping develop the life skills and employability of the disabled students has the very real potential to improve their future prospects.
India has been a dream; a noisy, disorganised, magical dream that I wish I didn’t have to wake up from because nothing is ever going to be as exciting as this three months has been.Womens empowerment, India