Wednesday 15 April 2015

Challenge India -- International Special Project

Empowering Young People through sports and Experiential Learning using the Award Programme

Challenge India, The International Special Project kick-started during May 2014 by the Audacious Dreams Foundation, a YES Centre led by Dinesh Gajendran (Gold Award holder, Member-National Training Panel and former Asia Pacific Regional intern). Challenge India programme aims to "Empower Young People with Sports and Experiential Learning" using the Aaward Programme with support and mentorship from the National Award Authority, IAYP India and The International Award Association. The International special project was a remarkable success and there was great response from the young people towards the programme from the rural community.

The programme began with Empowering Young Leaders Potential - 2014 through which 20 volunteers were trained about the structure the philosophy of the Award. The team then visited several parts of the district, met a number of institutions, stake holders and brought extensive reach via personal visits to colleges, schools, and NGOs, with invites to eligible candidates for orientation and follow up calls to potential candidates.

The programme team used various promotional strategies including meeting sports clubs, youth organizations like Rotaract and NSS, and established a good communication with our existing networks. Organising workshops using different mediums set up the way towards expansion and reach. The programme team conducted many outreach events including The Princess Summit, partnered with Life Style International Seminar.

Social media again played a vital role in promoting the programme. The volunteers engaged with several pages and groups and posted about the Award and the response we received through social media was impressive: the team received 60 inquiries about the Award and 35 people registered thanks to extensive follow up by our team.

The interesting fact about Challenge India is that 70% of registrations are girl participants which means girls are getting empowered a way better.

The Challenge India project is also coming across several interesting stories as the participants are driving themselves and working with real inspiration to become better citizens of tomorrow.
One interesting Award story from the project was from Samson Prabhu, an engineering graduate who became a DJ. This Bronze  Award participant took music as his skill. Having starterd learning electronic music production he started producing his own mixtracks and podcasts. He has now established his own home studio for music production named Aspires Brotherhood.

The inspiring efforts from Business Students of Auxilium college, Vellore was remarkable as they joined as volunteers with the Challenge India Programme and spent their valuable time to spread their skills through the Service section of the Award Programme. Every weekend they spend time to organise Life Skills classes using sports and experiential learning methodology.

Bronze Award participants named Surender and Kannan from Jamal Mohammed College, Trichy participated in Indian Student Parliament, Pune and showed their efforts with the learning of Civic Citizenship.

The team Challenge India has travelled across 45 different venues, rural based institutions and conducted 60 Award Orientation programmes and an Award Leader workshop, while registering 300 young people with the Programme by December 2014.

The people are receptive and there was a positive response as the Gold Award holders Dinesh Gajendran and Priyason Pauldurai shared their Award experience and described how the Award changed their lives. Deveen Baskar, an engineering student working as intern with Challenge India office spending time with the participants to explain about the Award programme and maintaining the database. We believe the Challenge India, International Special project creates the next generation of leaders who take the Award flag high with glowing colours.

On the whole, Challenge India, The International Special Project which was new in Tamilnadu is now being seen and celebrated as a premier youth development programme in the districts of Vellore & Trichy. Looking forward to see more successful stories in 2015.

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