A 15 years “Engagement with Volunteers” Udayan Care Volunteer Programme - Dr. Kiran Modi
Udayan Care seeks to engage socially committed individuals in bringing about a world in which each disadvantaged child enjoys a supportive family environment, gets opportunities for self-development and higher education, the dignity of self-reliance, and develops the ability and desire to give back to society. Our Theory of Change
Who is a Volunteer?! A Volunteer is someone who commits one’s own time to do something useful, especially for the community. Being a Volunteer means that one is ready to take on the responsibility of engaging oneself with a Cause for no material benefits . Thus, Volunteering is described as a service offered or performed out of choice or free will. In return, one gets the satisfaction for one’s time and effort well-spent.
Volunteering is an unpaid, but formal and structured activity. It provides individuals with an opportunity to share existing skills and develop further skills while taking on exciting new challenges. It contributes to the development of our children and other beneficiaries, Udayan Care, and the individual. We place great value on the commitment that volunteers make and on the work that they do. Udayan Care’s Volunteer Program is an important part of our organization’s continued efforts towards fulfilling our Mission to “regenerate the rhythm of life of the disadvantaged.”. Statement on Volunteering
Need of Volunteering When we started a decade and a half ago, a conscious decision to work with volunteers was taken. This, after weighing all pros and cons Supporting volunteers requires the time and energy of staff, the use of equipment , and other monetary costs. But the costs, for the same work on paid staff, outweighs this consideration. Then the volunteers’ commitment too is found to be of another level. We have also considered the possible threats that hosting volunteers poses, particularly for and from those staying in the homes and working directly with the children. This is the reason that necessary guidelines and procedures have been developed to ensure the implementation of the volunteer program in the most effective manner possible. The manual is a living document and subject to evaluation from time to time.
<ul><li>We believe that sharing one’s experiences, knowledge and </li></ul><ul><li>time to serve a Cause is as beneficial and crucial as it is to </li></ul><ul><li>give material gifts. We owe it society. It contributes to </li></ul><ul><li>broadening one’s own understanding and knowledge besides </li></ul><ul><li>‘ feel good’ factor. It also encourages and inspires others. </li></ul><ul><li>Our Volunteers must strictly adhere to international and </li></ul><ul><li>national statutes on human rights and equality, </li></ul><ul><li>especially Child Rights. </li></ul><ul><li>We respect diversity and cross-cultural interaction </li></ul><ul><li>and so volunteering is open to individuals from all </li></ul><ul><li>backgrounds and nationalities, irrespective of academic </li></ul><ul><li>achievements and personal circumstances, as long as </li></ul><ul><li>one does not have profit or other ulterior motives. </li></ul><ul><li>We expect our volunteers to follow the organisation’s </li></ul><ul><li>values, rules and regulations in a respectful, lawful </li></ul><ul><li>manner and communication be open at all levels. </li></ul>Our Values
<ul><li>9 Udayan Ghars (Homes for orphaned and </li></ul><ul><li>abandoned children in and around NCR) </li></ul><ul><li>Udayan Shalini Fellowships in Delhi, Haryana, </li></ul><ul><li>Uttaranchal, West Bengal, Maharashtra, for hogher </li></ul><ul><li>education and empowerment of girls in need </li></ul><ul><li>VT & IT Centres (Vocational trainng & It Training) in </li></ul><ul><li>around NCR for communities </li></ul><ul><li>Outreach Education & Nutrition Programme for HIV </li></ul><ul><li>affected children </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer/Intern Programme for national and </li></ul><ul><li>international volunteers/interns </li></ul>Our Projects
There are a number of unique opportunities (with different levels of engagements, time & duration commitments) in which Udayan Care encourages civil society to get involved in volunteer work in its different programmes: 1. Mentor Mother/ Father to our children, deal with their open nest syndrome; use their parenting skills to bring stability and balm to their bruised souls 2. Mentor to Udayan Shalini Fellows, use their spare time and give day to day counselling to girls in need & become their window to the world 3. Corporate Volunteers & Mentoring Programme to fulfil CSR as also to widen our children’s horizon and expose them to corporate culture 4. Student Volunteers to develop individual potential, theirs as well as our children’s 5. International Volunteers to make our children into global citizens and to develop cross cultural understanding 6. National and International Interns to get exposure to the development world and fulfil their course requirement Volunteer Opportunities
<ul><li>Mentoring and building children’s sense of belongingness and trust; developing opportunities and outings for them; represent them and the organisation to the world </li></ul><ul><li>Building children’s capabilities and improving skills (for ex., helping them build self confidence, improving English, helping with homework, teaching life skills, the arts, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Fulfilling many needs of the children as well as the organisation, for ex. Education, Health, Legal issues, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Researching our systems and processes; the development (social, psychological, health, cognitive, education, etc.) of the children within our homes and propose ways to better them </li></ul><ul><li>5. Building organizational capacity and strengthening systems </li></ul><ul><li>within the organization (for instance, capacity building of staff, developing systems and processes for communication, management or IT, developing proposals for fund raising, business plan, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>6. Strengthening partnerships and networking with other organizations and countries </li></ul>Volunteer’s Working Role
Recruiting and Managing Volunteers Applications & existing databases Need analysis and matching needs & skills Agreement Orientation & Induction Presentations & Role defining Visit to the project, Introductions For International volunteers, their accommodation, etc. Monitoring & Supervision Line Manager Reports & Discussions Evaluation Recognition and Certification Follow up of their work Ensuring their involvement Steps in the Volunteer Process
<ul><li>Partnering with some volunteer agencies: Youthreach, Pravah, iVolunteers, Joining Hands, Volunteer Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Colleges & Schools: LSR, Blue Bells, Modern School </li></ul><ul><li>Interships with many colleges: Symbiosis, TISS, Management Schools like IIFT, etc.; even international ones, like Princeton </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate Partnerships for Mentoring: CSC, Steria, Absolute Data, adidas, Make myTrip.com </li></ul><ul><li>Our own Cell: International Division headed by Kristen Benson, Melbourne; internal division by MT & Coordinator </li></ul><ul><li>Our website & other websites’ </li></ul>Recriutment made easy
Finding volunteers with appropriate skill level Ensuring a proper match between volunteers’ abilities and the projects they are assigned Maintaining high levels of motivation throughout the duration Getting volunteers to submit work plans and weekly reports Adequately supervising the volunteer and providing honest feedback Some Concerns
Some Constraints <ul><li>For International Volunteers: </li></ul><ul><li>A different and possibly less comfortable lifestyle </li></ul><ul><li>A lack of privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Uncomfortable heat and a lack of air conditioning </li></ul><ul><li>Periodic power cuts </li></ul><ul><li>Unfamiliar cultural practices </li></ul><ul><li>Unfamiliar food </li></ul><ul><li>Limited availability of internet access </li></ul><ul><li>Limited access to research materials </li></ul><ul><li>Unavailability of sometimes proper supervision & guidance </li></ul><ul><li>Addressing their issues and concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of proper communication </li></ul><ul><li>Unavailability of other international volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>For Indian Volunteers: </li></ul><ul><li>Managing their time commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Planning their work with so many other demands </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining motivation levels </li></ul><ul><li>Report writing and giving adequate feedback </li></ul>
<ul><li>Bring a sense of continuity & stability to </li></ul><ul><li>children </li></ul><ul><li>Huge cost savers </li></ul><ul><li>Varied experiences and backgrounds </li></ul><ul><li>Highly motivated and committed </li></ul><ul><li>Result-oriented and responsible </li></ul><ul><li>Take ownership of projects </li></ul><ul><li>Greater exposure for our children </li></ul><ul><li>Act as Ambassadors to Udayan Care </li></ul><ul><li>Elevate Udayan Care as a global entity </li></ul>Importance of Volunteers
<ul><li>Self-satisfaction in supporting others and </li></ul><ul><li>positively contributing to society </li></ul><ul><li>Enhances their world view </li></ul><ul><li>and diversifies their perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Helps in developing one’s network </li></ul><ul><li>Adds credit to one’s current course </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural enhancement and understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Immediate impact and gratification </li></ul><ul><li>One discovers one’s own potential </li></ul>It helps Volunteers too!
Life Time Commitment " I personally felt a deep desire to get in touch with the needs of other people, especially children. Udayan Care provided me the ideal vehicle to do just that, but not before I had surveyed other possible avenues. None matched the kind of commitment Udayan Care had, where actions were more important than mere deliberations. It filled in well with my own philosophy of life. Today, I feel privileged to be a part of Udayan Care. Ours is like a large extended family group, with the normal requirements of education, healthcare and recreation. The children all need a variety of responses, decisions and day-to-day problem solving. Time always falls short. Frustrations may be many as well – but one brilliant welcome smile, one tight hug – and we feel transported. What we receive, perhaps, is more than we can ever give.” Usha Pratap Singh, Mentor Mother, Mehrauli Home
Mentoring an achievement “ The girls have shown tremendous growth in their confidence, responsibilities and career consciousness; mentoring them reveals a new aspect of own personality to us…..” Principal S L Jain, Mentor & Chairperson, USF Program “ The children show so much eagerness to learn. To keep pace we have to plan all the time…..We all look forward to Tuesdays… Corporate Mentors, CSC, NOIDA
Melanie Effenberger Germany Melanie spent two tireless months in early 2008 compiling the first Udayan Care child rights policy and presenting it to staff and mentor mothers for official initiation Invaluable Support Karen Bemis Yale University, USA Karen created a Mentor Mother’s manual designed to provide a greater understanding of what is a Mentor Mother for current as well as future ‘Mothers’.
Mark Gaoni, Princeton University, USA, 2007 Mark stayed in our Mayu Vihar home, living day to day as a mentor to our boys there. He also spent invaluable time in our office compiling our Volunteers’ Manual. Beza Tesfaye, Princeton University, USA, 2007 Beza mentored the girls in our Delhi Sant Nagar home particularly supervising their study routine and conducting personal workshops. She also concentrated on research and data entry in our office. Jenny Lento, North Karelia University, Finland, 2006 Jenny provided us with a greater understanding of children’s academic aspirations through her extensive research and findings. Invaluable Support
Kristen Benson International Volunteer Coordinator Kristen first came to the 5 th home in Gurgaon about 5 years ago and quickly became a big sister and constant mentor to the now twenty- four boys in this home. For the last two and a half years, Kristen has also been running our International Volunteer Program from Australia. “ I never expected when I began this journey that it would become my life, but it has. I am now very much a part of the Udayan Care family and dedicated to the growth and development of the boys who are my family. I am truly proud to be part of Udayan Care, a vision born entirely of compassion and love. A vision that believes in restoring the life and faith of children, but even more than that in social equality, building a world for everyone, and giving the disadvantaged a chance to be a part of this world.” Invaluable Support
Julie Lantry Convenor, Udayan Care, Australia Chapter Julie first came to the office about 2 years back and helped write children’s profiles. Being a designer and merchandiser, soon she helped establish a chapter of Udayan Care in Australia. She has got the trading license and now she awaits the charity status. “ It is “Udayan Care” Australia’s aim and mission to ultimately raise funds and find volunteers to help our sister NGO “Udayan Care” India. Together our goal is to improve the lives of disadvantaged women and children.” Invaluable Support
Evolve a large size of committed volunteers as MENTOR MOMs, Dads and Udayan Shalini Mentors Attracting more volunteers to work with programs other than Udayan Ghars Increasing individuals’ involvement with Udayan Care even after their assignment is over, and in case of international volunteers, even when they go back Developing new ties with universities and corporations to attract volunteers with IT, management and research expertise Already piloted, develop another unique vol. program, Vanaprastha Vols…to enroll people in their 50s to serve Last but not the least, develop a very good database system as well volunteer assessment systems Future Goals
If you think you would like to strengthen us and help further our vision and mission, If you are ready to turn a life around, whether on a long term basis or short term, Contact us at Indian Volunteers: [email_address] International volunteers: [email_address] Website: www.udayancare.org Come, Join Us!!