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Creating Large Volunteers’ Pool for Varied Impacts

By auther pic. CSRBOX

October 22, 2020

Creating Large Volunteers’ Pool for Varied Impacts

CSRBOX

The founder, Karthee Vidya, turned a compassionate ear long time ago to his school mate who used to share his inability to procure a long-copy due to lack of money. Karthee understood that it would be tough for a cycle mechanic to buy his son a copy on the one hand but also understood how the child is suffering being bullied in class by his fellow class-mates and punished by the teachers.The memory stayed with him for several years when Karthee started a job and got his first salary. Now was the time for action upon the childhood sharing. Armed with Rs 4000 in hand, he visited a rural school in Tamil Nadu, where 70% of the children were child labourers. He paid them school fees, donated uniforms, notebooks and other stationaries. Long time after, Karthee finally quit his high paying corporate job and is now dedicatedly carrying out full time social work upon creating the NGO, Team Everest.

 

Having switched to a social sector with a strong underlying zeal of philanthropy in order to help others on a daily basis, right after an enriching corporate exposure, was not really a big transition, says Karthee. The founder of Team Everest had actually been a corporate person working with a famous MNC. Being a Java developer was no obstacle for this techy as his sense of compassion somewhat strangely lead him to the CSR wing of the corporate house he was working for. Having an exposure to the CSR sector in this way, Karthee realized many little nuances of the welfare aspect. “Volunteers can make miracles happen” was the strongest take away for him and this is something that provided him with a strong belief in creating a platform for volunteers in the shape of Team Everest.

Fifteen years down the road to creating a successful NGO has certainly exposed Team Everest to a number of challenges. Karthee has been on the track of learning and relearning constantly. The world of CSR has rapidly changed since 2007 and it was quite a challenge for an engineer to turn into a full-fledged social entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship needed him to wear several hats together, not just having a compassionate and zealous approach. “You need to be a jack of all trades,” he says.

Team Everest is one of the biggest youths run NGOs in India. With 25,000+ volunteers the focus on motivating individuals to volunteer at least once a month and make a difference by providing quality education to financially challenged children through volunteering had already had a tech-driven virtual background. Post COVID this effort has gone up at least five times, in terms of volunteering time and also donation. Due to the across industry factor of this volunteer’s organization, the post COVID scenario has not adversely affected them at all.

Beneficiaries of Team Everest are mainly students from low economic groups. Right from the pre-primary sections up till college studies, the students are provided with various kind of supports, mainly in terms of scholarship. However, it is difficult to choose who to provide the support as there are thousands of applicants but only a few hundred are given scholarships. This calls for a selection criterion that provides various types of scholarships. There is an eight-step procedure that is involved in selecting the student for the scholarship. This process ensures that the most needy student receives the grant.

 

Activities encompass a lot of fun-filled actions too. Distribution of ‘school kit’ to the little ones or giving them sweets on Diwali on the one hand to more serious activities of providing scholarships to the senior ones ensuring serious impact on the other. Walk to Cycle is an initiative that helps students to receive bicycles that saves them from walking to their schools, sometimes even more than 3km, one side. Speak Out is an initiative where volunteers guide students through phone calls to improve their English communication skills through 1-to-1 conversation. The idea behind speak out is that when students practice English daily, they can improve on it.

 

‘I am the change scholarship' is an initiative of Team Everest NGO that provides scholarship for single parented or parentless students who are good at academics, but are financially challenged to pursue graduation. Similarly, First Penguin Club (FPC) is a 100-hour Skill development training program for the student scholars. From Public Speaking to Problem Solving, the beneficiaries are taught all the essential employability skills to the students through FPC initiative.

Post Covid everything has moved to the virtual world, which means over 70 activities on Team Everest platform can be easily executed through this platform for volunteers across the world. The organization already has 5000 volunteers, remarks Karthee that is expected to grow to 10,000 in number by the year end.

Volunteerism is all about providing right help at the right time. This is something that Karthee has discovered on the way. Many a time there are events that happen to pull down the spirits completely but there are more significant events that bring back the smile to the Team Everest efforts. Recalling the story of Kartik who was a samosa seller’s son but good in studies to receive scholarship by Team Everest. Currently, he is a working professional, Manager in an organization, also happily married with kid.

Once the masses are engaged with the volunteering activities, the future of volunteering is secure, feels Karthee. Not many people have actually experienced the wonderful volunteering opportunities. In order to scale up as an organization, Karthee’s future vision is to bring volunteering discussions as a casual day to day coffee table discussion in every home.

 

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Impact-Story is a series on development and CSR interventions leading to some impacts on the ground. If you have a project, innovation or intervention that has changed the lives of a few people or a community, please share a brief note at shilpi@csrbox.org. Our Team will get back to you after validating the information for a detailed coverage.

 

 

Author

CSRBOX is India's largest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) analytics and partnerships platform. It lists CSR portfolio of 1000+ companies falling under the ambit of mandatory CSR and investing altogether over more than INR 10,000 Cr. on CSR projects each year. CSRBOX under ambit of Renalysis Consultants Pvt. Ltd, works on various research and consulting projects with corporate, CSR Foundations, iNGOs and UN organizations.

 

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