Education

Want to be changemaker?

The programme helps young people develop crucial skills like empathy, and leadership.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“The fulfilling feeling of giving back and contributing to society inspires, trains, guides, and gives a proper direction to youngsters on how to contribute towards the underprivileged communities, and also helps them in becoming a social entrepreneur,” says Mandeep Kumar Jhajj whose brainchild, TribesforGOOD, helps potential changemakers discover, learn and contribute to their communities.

Founded in 2018, TribesforGOOD is a social impact platform where individuals learn about and take action on the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. By bridging the talent gap faced by social enterprises and non-profits, TribesforGOOD envisions inspiring a generation of young people to support and work with social impact businesses and has successfully trained over 1,000 young people.

Teaching women from underprivileged communities to use ATMs

Teaching women from underprivileged communities to use ATMs   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Its flagship programme, The Young Changemakers, teaches students between 13 and 17 years everything they need to know about setting up a social enterprise. One of its pandemic-related projects was to educate women from the lower-income groups about basic transactions like using ATMs, making payments online, using apps to book gas cylinders and making them financially and digitally literate. “Focusing on issues such as gender, sustainability, climate change, menstrual hygiene, technology, and animal welfare, this programme offers mentorship by the best facilitators and allows students to collaborate remotely in small multidisciplinary teams, focus on human-centred issues of their interest, leverage design thinking and present their idea to an expert panel and gain valuable insights on next steps,” explains Jhajj.

Mix of courses

Since students have little or no experience, the platform also has a Learning Academy where participants are offered a mix of online and offline courses, expert-led modules, and learn-by-doing modules on social entrepreneurship, along with a masterclass by experts who run a grassroots organisation. Other aspects include contributing to outcome-based short-term and long-term projects that look for skills such as marketing, business development and fund raising and career development programmes consisting of internships and entry-level job opportunities.

Jhajj feels that the social impact space needs to look students who are hyper-connected and vocal on social media about social and environmental issues. Many want to make a difference but aren’t sure how and that’s where TribesforGOOD comes in. “Our social impact ecosystem is generally faced with talent shortage, skills gaps and an ageing workforce. It is not able to attract the same talent as banking or fashion design ... and hence the need for this. By providing a structured, outcome-based project, we are able to guide and nudge them in the right direction.”

“Interested students must fill a small application form, which will be followed by a phone interview. We look for students who are eager to improve their surroundings and will engage with the NGOs even after the programme’s completion.” Jhajj describes the organisation as an enabler that educates and trains individuals to become lifelong changemakers. “By addressing real issues facing real organisations, our young changemakers create real continuous change in their communities. This also helps them develop crucial skills like empathy and leadership. On successful programme completion, they receive a certificate and a letter of recommendation,” she says.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 5:02:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/social-impact-start-up-tribesforgood-helps-potential-changemakers-discover-learn-and-contribute-to-their-communities/article32989435.ece

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