Building Communities of change
U & I Annual Impact Report 2015-2016
" Our greatest natural resource
is the minds of our Children. "
~ Walt Disney
Owing to the much-hyped American presidential elections, I stumbled onto a book that Barack Obama wrote in 2006 - The Audacity of Hope. This book was released 3 months before Obama announced his political campaign and was based on his famous keynote address at the 2004 Democratic Convention.
In the book, Obama expounds on many of the subjects that became part of his 2008 campaign for the presidency. But what caught my attention was the compelling narrative of his personal journey and family background.
Obama's father was born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats and went to school in a tin-roof shack. Obama's parental grandfather was a cook, a domestic servant to the British. But he had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work and perseverance, Obama's dad got a scholarship to study in America. While studying there, he met a young American lady that was from the other side of the world - Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression. Her mother worked on a bomber assembly line. But they, too, had big dreams for their daughter.
A common dream, born of two continents. Obama's parents shared not only an improbable love, they also shared an abiding faith in possibility. They gave him an African name, Barack, or "blessed".
They imagined him going to the best schools and achieving his highest potential.
Obama talks about his own "audacity" to hope that a skinny African American kid with a funny name had a place in America. I wonder if he reckoned back then that his "place in America" would include eight years in the Oval Office!
As I read about Obama and his family's audacity to dream, I couldn't help but wonder as the father of a 2-year old, whether I had the audacity to believe that my son will have a place in history.
U&I works with 850 students today and for many of these children, we are the closest thing to a family. As their family, do we have the audacity to believe that they can reach their highest potential and will, in turn, shape this nation one day?
I'm proud to say that when I see our children and our volunteers I catch a glimpse of that audacity.
There's no goal that is too big for them and there's no dream that is out of their reach. No matter what walk of life they come from, their future is not defined by their past, it's only limited by our ability to believe in them.
Ajit and I are immensely grateful to the U&I family which teaches us how to dream without doubting.
Since its inception, U&I has been working to impact underprivileged children and provide them with educational support and mentorship opportunities. U&I Teach is now in seven cities across India, impacting the lives of over 850 students. With 21 learning centers and over 1000 volunteers, we strive to create a tangible difference in the quality of our students' learning and growth.
U&I Care has started working with three Governmental Homes this year where we help the residents improve their lives providing physiotherapy, rehabilitation, special needs education, counseling and vocational training. We serve 225 men, women, and children every day and make it our priority to give them the care they deserve.
As you read this report, our hope is that you, too, would get a glimpse of that audacity - the audacity to hope, to believe and to dream the impossible.
Ajit Sivaram & Satish Manchikanti
A group of friends start Computer and English classes for children from a nearby slum at U&i Co-Founder Satish's HR office space
We set up a strong volunteer recruitment campaign and grow to 6 L earning Centers. Nearly 200 children are enrolled in the program.
U&I Trust formally registers as a charity on January 31st! We partner with NGO's to set up 4 Learning Centers across Bangalore.
302 children from our 9 Learning Centers complete the academic year. We partner with America's #1 Teacher Training Company ' The Flippen Group ' to train U&I's volunteers.
U&I grows to 7 cities, we reach 850 kids through 1000 volunteers at 20 Learning Centers
U&I starts summer camps for all its Learning Centers. We take our camp to a potential partner Center in Chennai! South India -here we come!
U&I grows to 6 cities - Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Msore, Mumbai and Manipal
A few friends visit the Institute of Mentally Handicapped Children(MHC) in Bangalore every Sunday. They organize activities for 85 children. They celebrate the boy's birthdays with a huge carnival called the 'Big Birthday Bash'. Over 100 volunteers pitch in for U&I's first big event.
We start work at the Yashodharma Dasappa Women's' Center, setting self-help and vocational training activities for the women. We hire a physiotherapist to work with the boys at IMHC.
The pressing need at the Boys' Home is health and hygiene. U&I hires five full-time nurses at the Home to take care of bathing, grooming and wounded care for all the children.
We begin work at the Social Services Complex for Men. We include counseling services at the women's Home
We hire more special needs teachers with the view of running an educational-focused program in the homes. Experts from NIMHANS train the special needs teachers and develop a curriculum.
Medical camps with specialist doctors are held regularly. In addition to this, with the regular care provided by the nurses, there is a significant reduction to the skin diseases and associated illnesses among the boys.
U&I signs Public Private Partnership with the Government to continue its work with the boys home for special needs individuals. Under the PPP, we hire special needs teachers and develop a curriculum.
TO BUILD COMMUNITIES OF CHANGE.
To leverage the power of committed volunteers in order to enhance the quality of healthcare and empower through education.
Who we are
U&I is a volunteer-driven non-profit that impacts hundreds of people through education for underprivileged children and healthcare for the differently-abled. Started by Satish Manchikanti and Ajit Sivaram as a one-room teaching class for handful of children in 2011, U&I now impacts 850 individuals in 7 cities across India
For the last five years, through U&I Teach, we've come alongside hundreds of underprivileged children, ensuring that each of them is given the resources and opportunities to succeed. Our 1000 volunteer tutors invest 2.5 hours every week teaching 850 children so they excel academically. But they also listen, play games, answer questions, laugh at jokes and make sure that every child they interact with feels affirmed and empowered.
For the last five years through U&I Care, we've come alongside the most neglected group in our society - individuals with special needs, most of whom have been abandoned by their families. Our staff teach them in special needs classes, help in mobility through physiotherapy and have given them a voice through speech therapy.But together with our volunteers, they are the only family this group of 200 differently-abled individuals can claim as their own.
Let’s start with the Why? In India today, while children from varying income levels have access to education, the quality of education remains a pressing need. Government schools are stretched in terms of resources and manpower – often times, teacher-student ratios are as high as 1:60 and material resources like workbooks and learning aids are scarce. As a result, learning outcomes are low and school
dropout rates are extremely high.
It’s estimated that 53 percent of fifth-graders can’t read at a second-grade level and 46 percent can’t solve a two-digit subtraction problem. These sub-par learning competencies lead to disillusionment with school and frustration with a system that doesn’t meet educational needs. As a result, as many as 58% of children don’t complete primary schools and an
alarming 90% drop out of high school.
Many school dropouts are trafficked into child labor, beggary and prostitution, or find themselves in low-paying, dead-end jobs. Furthermore, children in urban poverty are usually first-generation learners who are discouraged from going to school, in order to become earning members of the family. Due to these factors, the cycle of poverty persists.
U&I Teach | Overview
U&I Trust has been working since 2011 to address these specific educational lacunae through our Teach program. Leveraging a network of highly-qualified and trained volunteer tutors, U&I provides personalized, high-quality education to children living in urban poverty. Our tutors also act as mentors to students, encouraging them to pursue their education and reach their goals.
Maintaining a tutor-student ratio of 1:3 through an extensive tutor network of 1000 committed volunteers.
Approaching education holistically through field trips, camps and workshops.
Training tutors through internationally recognized, certified training programs like the Flippen Group.
Tracking teacher and student attendance, performance and curriculum progress through the integrated software platform Podio.
U&I serves underprivileged children in 7 cities across India, including Bangalore, Mangalore, Mysore, Manipal, Pune, Bombay, Chennai, Coimbatore and Cochin.
Conducting regular baseline, quarterly and final assessments to monitor students’ progress.
Providing supplemental learning resources and introducing creative elements into the teaching process to enhance the educational experience.
U&I has proven success in demonstrating scalability and sustainability while maintaining high standards in teaching and training. Since 2005, we have grown from reaching a handful of children through one Learning Center in one city to now impacting 850 children in 20 Learning Centers in 7 cities across India.
BY THE NUMBERS
Total Volunteering Hours
English pass ratio
pass ratio in Science, Math and Social Studies
TOGETHER WE UNLOCK POTENTIAL
Research indicates that poor literacy skills are linked with lower education, earnings, health and social outcomes. Recognizing the importance of reading, U&I has launched a well-structured Library Program. The program into account varied reading competencies and then matches those levels (classified as “Belts”) to appropriate books in libraries at our Learning Centers. U&I tutors conduct reading assessments and children are then slotted into five different reading levels, based on proficiency rather than age or grade. The Program is complemented by our Teach volunteers during classes. Tutors engage children in hands-on activities that revolve around the books they read, so as to further the reading habit.
An in-depth evaluation of students’ behavioral and psychological well-being is conducted every year. Tutors are also given a checklist with various parameters that assess behavioral and psychological issues, as well as learning disabilities. Students with psychological problems are referred to U&I’s professional counselors. Tutors are trained in various techniques to address needs of children with Learning Disabilities. Those with more profound disabilities are referred to other organizations which specialize in handling the same.
In the last year, students from our Learning Centers have had opportunities to participate in career days, field trips to the zoo, team building workshops and art camps. U&I teamed up with corporate partners for many of these events, and we’re grateful for their investment of time and resources in our program.
Abdul is an 11–year-old with a big smile and sparkling eyes. But what his smile didn’t reveal was that he faced a challenge – a big one. In his 11 years, no one had given him enough attention to see if he was actually learning anything at school. Instead, he was simply promoted to the next grade – just so the numbers looked right in the books.
Here was Abdul, a 6th grader. A 6th grader who didn’t know his ABCs. A 6th grader who had been written off as “dumb,” a sure high school dropout in couple years.That’s when U&I came into Abdul’s life. With the attention of his U&I tutors, Abdul finally began committing to the task. Maybe it was his U&I teachers’ creative consequences for coming late to class – Abdul was made to write the alphabet down every time he was tardy. Maybe it was because Abdul needed the one-on-one attention from his mentor. Or the affirmations that U&I emphasizes at the end of every class. Whatever the reason, Abdul finally started “getting it.”His tutor Anuj recalls, “In his first assessment, Abdul didn’t even know his ABCs. By his second assessment, he got a 50 out of 50 on his test. It was a proud moment for all of us.”A 50 out of 50. No one could believe their eyes. Especially not Abdul. He saw the stars on his test paper and beamed with pride. For the first time ever, he had a perfect score on a test. His mother seeing the test results was sure Abdul had faked the results.On Abdul’s insistence, his mom came to the U&I Learning Center to meet his teacher. Could it be that the boy had a perfect score? Or, more likely, did he lie to her? But Abdul knew that the truth was way more exciting than a lie. He had got a perfect score. And he didn’t dream it up!
U&I tutors work with kids like Abdul on a daily basis. They see individual learning needs. They take the time to creatively teach each child. They invest in each child and instill them with an I-can-do-it attitude.
TOGETHER WE RAISE LEADERS OF TOMORROW
This 3-day training for about 100 U&I Learning Center leaders focusses on management skills, trains our leaders in specific job descriptions and equips them with Flippen Tools, an international professional development platform. We also cover the five levels of leadership (John Maxwell), as well as the operational aspects like curriculum, training in software to track attendance and progress, policies and guidelines.
This day-long training includes all our tutors, at different cities in India. Close to 1000 participants learn about U&I’s vision, culture and the difference we aim to make. Tutors are also trained in classroom management skills and “creativity bank” whereby they are equipped with inventive ideas and resources to keep students engaged
This day-long event takes place toward the end of the year to give our tutors the impetus they need to push through and finish the year well. It focusses on motivating the tutors so they, in turn, can impact the students.
U&I TEACH | CHAPTERS
U&I CARE | OVERVIEW
U&I has been working with the residents of the government-run Institute of Mentally Handicapped Children and the Social Services Complex for Men for the last six years. We also provide vocational training and counseling to rescued women at Yashodhara Dasappa Women’s Reception Center.
Provide individualized physiotherapy to meet the residents’ needs
Provide special needs classes and vocational training to enhance the cognitive abilities of residents
Operate at only the highest standards, providing all residents with the ability to lead the best life possible
Conduct field trips and celebrations in order to give residents a sense of community and explore the world outside their Home
Countless celebrations, hugs, smiles, and words of encouragement
Provide care and rehabilitation to 100 Special Needs Boys
15 Care Givers employed to support the special needs residents
2 Therapists who work on speech and physiotherapy
Provide care and rehabilitation to 90 Special Needs Men
2 Amazing Birthday Parties celebrating all the residents
Provide vocational training to 50 rescued women
2 Special Needs Teacher to work with residents
60 volunteers who engage with the residents every week
TOGETHER WE SEE PEOPLE BEHIND THE NUMBERS
Institute of Mentally Handicapped Children
Through transformative healthcare and therapy, U&I impacts the lives of 100 special needs boys at the government-run IMHC. Through a Public-Private Partnership with the State, U&I works to improve the living conditions of the boys in terms of health and hygiene, as well as engage them in individualized speech and physical therapy. The potential of these children is also recognized and enhanced through classes conducted by special needs teachers employed by U&I. The boys are also taken on regular field trips and engaged through sports and special events like birthday parties and celebration of festivals.
Social Service Complex for Men
The complex houses 90 men who have been abandoned by their families. U&I conducts special needs classes for the men and engage them in vocational training activities. We also conduct physiotherapy to improve the mobility and motor skills of the residents. U&I volunteers engage with the residents every week, coming alongside them to listen, take them for walks, play games with them and conduct celebrations so these individuals can live with respect and dignity.
Yashodhara Dasappa Women’s Reception Center
The Women’s Center is a government-run shelter for women rescued from abuse and trafficking. In the last year, U&I counselors and volunteers have worked toward giving about 50 of these women skills-based training and the motivation and emotional capacity to better their lives on being re-introduced to mainstream society.
The interventions we conduct include counseling programs for the women with trained professionals. This helps the women deal with trauma from past experiences and helps increase self-esteem. We also conduct skill-training programs to keep the women engaged through the day and provide a livelihood. The program provides skills like jewelry making, painting and basket weaving and gives the women a sense of purpose and income generating potential.
A PROUD MOMENT
Writing the letter A. Many would dismiss that as easy for a teenager. But for Basava and his U&I volunteer teacher Madhuri, it was a special, even groundbreaking, moment.
Basava a spunky, energetic teenager lives at the government-run Institute for Mentally Challenged Boys. He is one of 90 boys at the Home. Basava is known for his never-give-up attitude and his determination to try his hand at new things.When U&I volunteer Madhuri was assigned to teach Basava she wasn’t sure where to begin. She tentatively gave him paper and pen and held his hand down on the paper. In true Basava style, he gave it his all and enjoyed scribbling on the paper. Over the next few weeks, Madhuri took the next step and guided his hand to write the letter A. They practiced a few times. Many of the As were lopsided and may not have passed muster with an exacting critic. But Basava kept going. He refused to give up till he could do it on his own. And he did. He beamed with pride looking up from a carefully crafted letter to his teacher who had worked patiently with him.
Madhuri recalls another time when Basava felt this same sense of achievement. After one class Basava managed to put all the pencils back into the box without anyone’s help. It wasn’t an easy task for him – but he kept at it till every pencil was in the right place.It’s in these little moments where volunteers like Madhuri stand by the children and encourage them do take steps of their own.
U&I volunteers invest their time and talent every week at the Home for special needs boys, many of whom have been abandoned by their families. U&I also employs full-time staff and therapists at the Home so children like Basava receive the help and resources to live to their full potential.
Donations : |||44,19,712.43
Events : |||1,44,469.00
Interest (Bank) :||| 38,975.00
Total Income :||| 46,03,156.43
Our finances are audited by
R.K. KHANNA & ASSOCIATES
On objectives :||| 34,42,721.15
On Administration :||| 10,33,269.41
Depreciation :||| 25,085.88
Total Expenditure :||| 45,01,076.44
“Let us remember that one book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world.”
- Malala Yousafzai
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