Professional Skills Required: Kitchen Garden & Organic Farming
Volunteer: Nazima Paul, Wife of Kaushik Paul, Manager, Budlapara Tea Estate, Apeejay Tea Limited
Volunteering Hours: 30
NGO: Literacy India
Target Group: 100 tribal farmers in Raghunathpur village of Purulia district, West Bengal
Problems Faced: Unable to grow crops due to low rainfall, long summers and high cost of chemical fertilizers
Solution provided by Volunteer: A hands on cultivation training session was created by our volunteer using organic fertilizers made out of cowdung, tulsi and other natural substances on small patches of land in and around the houses of the small farmers.
Impact: After the training, the villagers created kitchen gardens in the backyard of their homes where they now grow cauliflower, radish and ladies fingers for use in their own kitchens and sale in local markets.
Professional Skills Required: Finance & Accounts
Volunteer: Moonmoon Ghosh, Deputy General Manager, Finance
Volunteering Hours: 10
NGO: Literacy India
Target Group: 25 underprivileged women belonging to the community of rag-pickers and scavengers in Belgachia who learn how to make bags and gift items out of waste paper and fabric through the NGO’s programs.
Problems Faced: The women were making bags and other gift items but they were not getting a fair price for their products. They needed the knowledge of how to put a price on the products and sell them directly in the market without the help of middlemen.
Solution provided by Volunteer: A training session on Basics of Pricing & Cost Benefit Analysis was created by our volunteer for a batch of 25 such students. The course covered many aspects of accounting including how to price their product and directly sell to the retailer.
Impact: After the training sessions the women have gone out to sell bags and gift items directly to the buyers without the help of middlemen and have been able to increase their income and improve own livelihood. Some of them have gone on to start their own small businesses!
Professional Skills required: Counselling, Logistics, Story Writing and Photography
Total number of volunteers: 30
Volunteering Hours: 130
Target Group: Children and adults, belonging to economically weaker sections of the society, suffering from cleft lips and palate
Problem Faced: The children and adults were suffering from cleft lips and palate but they didn’t have the money required to undergo surgery. NGO Mission Smile has come forward to provide free surgeries to these people, which are funded by the corporates. For conducting these surgeries, the NGO needed volunteers who would work along with the medical staff to ensure that the surgeries were carried out smoothly and the patients did not face any problem.
Solution provided by volunteers: Volunteers from various divisions of the Group took part in the medical missions in Delhi and Kolkata and used their knowledge of cleft to counsel the patients and their families about the pros and cons of the surgeries, provided logistics support while taking the patients to the operation theatre and back to the post-operative ward, took photographs pre and post surgeries and wrote stories about the patients and their families for Mission Smile’s blog and website. The Group had part-funded surgeries at the Kolkata Medical Mission in May.
Impact: With the help and support provided by the volunteers, Mission Smile was able to successfully conduct a total of 256 surgeries, taking into account Delhi and Kolkata together. The stories and photographs taken by our volunteers were published on the NGO’s website and annual report. Through counselling and logistics support, our volunteers helped the medical staff and NGO’s volunteers ensure smooth execution of the surgeries right from when the patient was admitted till the time they were discharged post the operation.
Professional Skills required: Knowledge of English, Maths & Science of Class VI, VII & VIII standard of Jharkhand State Board
Total Number of Volunteers: 9
Total Volunteering Hours: 260
Target Group: Children studying in Class VI, VII & VIII in Tikratoli, Chachgura and Bero villages of Jharkhand
Problems faced: Schools in remote areas of Jharkhand were suffering from absence of teachers and a subsequent drop out of the students from the school
Solution provided by volunteers: Our volunteers took online classes on English, Maths and Science through SKYPE, thereby bridging the inaccessibility gap and reaching out to them as well as helped in bringing back the students to school and also overcoming the shortage of teachers faced by the schools
Impact: Through their dedicated efforts, our volunteers succeeded in creating an interest among the students to attend classes. The volunteers helped the students strengthen their basic understanding of the subjects and through periodic evaluation, helped identify the weak areas of the students and showed them ways to improve them. This helped the students to move to the next grade successfully.
Professional Skills Required: Computers, Communication & Interview Skills
Total number of volunteers: 53
Volunteering Hours: 360
Target Group: Young adults coming from families, belonging to the economically weaker sections of the society, whose monthly family income is less than Rs 8000
Problem Faced: The young adults lacked the necessary skills in computers and communication needed to make them equipped for the professional world
Solution provided by volunteers: An ejunction learning centre, the first such offsite classroom of ejunction, was set up at 2nd Floor cafeteria of Apeejay House where volunteers across various divisions of the Group used their individual areas of expertise to teach basics of computer and internet usage, MS Office skills like Word, Powerpoint and Excel to make them proficient with basic usage of computers at an office space. The young adults were also taught communication skills in English, along with interview and presentation techniques by volunteers from the HR department to equip them with the necessary skills required to sit in an interview.
Impact: The volunteers imparted skills training to a total of 50 students across 3 batches that were held at the Apeejay House. After successful completion of the course, some of the students went back to their college to complete their education while some of them went back to their workplaces equipped with this knowledge. A few of them got placed in various offices.
* ejunction is a trust promoted by Apeejay India Volunteer Awards 2011 winner mjunction, a Tata Steel-SAIL JV, as a part of their CSR and affirmative action initiative