It’s been 6 months since I have quit my full time corporate job. My last working day as a full time corporate employee was on Dec-31, 2014.
After which, I was working 5 days a month for part time in the same corporate. I quit that as well by May-2015.
So, I have spent the past 6 months in the area which I like the most – ‘Service and Volunteering’.
Note: I founded Team Everest in August 2006 and was doing volunteering work for the past 8 years from Aug 2006 to Dec 2014 while working in a corporate. From Jan-1, 2015 I quit my corporate job to spend all my time and energy on volunteering work.
Starting Jan 2015, to keep my work open and transparent, I wrote one blog post a month covering all the activities that I did for that particular month. You can read them here - Jan-2015, Feb-2015, March-2015, April-2015, May 2015, June 2015
As in corporate, you have a self-appraisal once in 6 months. I would like to consider this blog post as a self-appraisal for myself. I would like to reflect on my work, see where I went right and where I need to improve.
I wrote a blog post in Jan-2015 listing the targets that I would love to achieve in first 6 months of 2015. Here is an update on it:
Mom Dad Community Center:
Goal: Set and ensure the Mom Dad Community Center (MDCC) initiatives goes on smoothly. Will be ensuring that the first batch of students have a quality learning experience in the center.
We have completed computer course for 8 batches (6 Student Batch and 2 parent batch) in Mom Dad Computer center. It includes 1 month of summer computer crash course for 2 batches of students.
We conducted 2 Medical camps, 1 summer and 1 winter camp in MDCC.
We are also using the MDCC to take free tuition classes on Sundays for SMILE 100 kids.
Misses: We wanted to start Yoga classes in MDCC. We could not do it due to lack of Yoga teachers in Arni. Once we find the right teacher, we will start the classes there.
First Batch of students who completed their course.
Computer classes for a Parent Batch
Goal:Identify 100 parentless and single parented kids in Arni, Tiruvannamalai Dt, Tamil Nadu and put them in a proper English Medium school and sponsor till they finish formal education.
Identified and shortlisted 100 parentless and single parented kids.
We have admitted them in a good private school in Arni.
We are also conducting free after school tuitions for all 100 kids since there is no one to guide them after school hours. We have identified a venue for these classes and appointed 4 staffs to take daily tuition.
Every Saturday, we conduct extra-curricular activities for the children.
Every Sunday, we conduct bridge course for students from 6 th to 8 th standard since they are weak in English.
Smile 100 Home Visit
Smile 100 - Result Day
Smile 100 Inauguration
Day-1 in School!
Reaction of students on first day at tuition
Smile 100 - Parent Meet
We underestimated the fund raising efforts for Smile 100 initiative. We need to put in 10 times more efforts in raising the required funds for Smile 100. We have raised funds for 80 students so far. Need sponsors for 20 more students. Interested volunteers can sign up here. To know more about Smile 100, please read here.
The lesson learnt is, that I should be more careful in estimating efforts for our future initiatives.
Starting Everest Chapter in Bangalore:
Goal: To start Team Everest in Bangalore
I made a visit to Bangalore, stayed there for 10 days and kick started Team Everest. We had a volunteer meeting followed up by school visit.
Now every weekend, 5 to 10 volunteers in Bangalore are doing some good to the people of Karnataka.
Misses: The entire Bangalore activity is dependent upon one volunteer. Need to strengthen the core team in Bangalore to scale up the initiatives in the city.
Bangalore Volunteer Meet
Reading Session for Visually Challenged in Bangalore
Library set up across the Country:
Goal: To set up 50+ Libraries which is donated as part of Team Everest Contest for a Cause (C4C) prize money.
Hits: We successfully set up 50+ libraries across various cities in India which includes Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune, Delhi and Dindugal.
Misses: We chose the wrong time frame to set up libraries. Since many schools were busy with exams, summer vacations from February to May, the bulk of the library set up happened only by June. I underestimated the external factors which will affect our library set up.
Contest for a Cause winners distributing the library in a Govt School
Additional Goals achieved:
Strengthening Hyderabad activities:
We have appointed one full time staff in Hyderabad. Hanumanth is one of our volunteer who has quit his corporate job similar to me to do social work. He Joined Team Everest in March-2015 and played a key role in executing Smile 100 initiative along with me. I successfully mentored him for 3 months and we hope to see the results through our Hyderabad Everest activities.
Re-Structuring Internal support team:
We had a lot of re-structuring within our support team with the focus on empowering the team volunteers, providing them clarity and giving them responsibility for the initiative they own. It is bringing a lot of clarity internally, speeding up decision making process and helping us scale our initiatives.
Everest Support Team!
Partnership with Corporate:
We started focusing on partnering with like-minded Corporate who share a similar vision. Corporate tie-ups need not be purely fund oriented. In fact, we look for corporates who are ready to motivate their employees to engage in community activities.
We had one successful partnership with Lennox who supported Team Everest’s Smile 100 activities during the first half of 2015.
lennox Sponsored Visit
Volunteers from TCS started to regularly volunteer in our schools for our digital literacy programs.
Volunteers from Cognizant Outreach helped in conducting summer camps in 10 villages and they continue to volunteer in various Team Everest activities.
Cognizant Outreach volunteers during Summer Camp
What amazed me is the interest shown by start-ups and small sized corporates who truly want to give back to the society.
Team from Aadhyaa Studios
Team Everest will expand its platform to engage as many corporate volunteers as possible to promote volunteering and motivate them to volunteer at least once a month (12/365).
I’m a person who looks at the past with gratitude and the future with hunger. The first 6 months of this new volunteering journey is fruitful and enjoyable. I was able to set up goals and chase them as well.
The next 6 months is going to be challenging and game changing as we are experimenting with various new initiatives to promote volunteering in our country.
Till then, it is bye from Karthee Vidya. We can meet up again through my monthly review blog post and will write a one year summary blog post by Jan-2016.
Happy Volunteering. Keep Supporting!
Note: If you wish to get my personal updates on whatsapp, plz whatsapp to +91 8939912365 as ‘Update Me’ with your name and city mentioned in it. You can also follow my updates on Facebook and Twitter – @kartheevidya