‘Empowering Grassroots’ towards Sustainability

Since its inception, Smile Foundation has been keen on addressing the challenges of sustainability of the grassroots NGOs and equipping them with the skills to operate in a more structured and effective manner.

Grassroots NGOs and CBOs, despite their impact on ground, do not have enough leverage to push for their vision during the contract drafting and signing phase as they lack resources and competitive edge to attract the best talent.  In addition, most grassroots NGOs lack direction and strategy which causes them to deviate from their year plans. Propelled with a dream to minimize these challenges, Smile Foundation through its programme – ‘Empowering Grassroots’ has associated with Change the Game Academy to empower the grassroots NGOs and help them become self-sustainable.

Change the Game Academy, an initiative nurtured through the collaboration between Wilde Ganzen, The Netherlands and Smile Foundation aims at empowering Self Help Groups (SHGs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) all over the world, with special focus in low and middle-income countries. Smile Foundation’s ‘Empowering Grassroots’ is a national capacity building programme that aims at handholding, training and enabling Community Based Organisations to maximize their impact. Under ‘Empowering Grassroots’ initiative, Community Based Organisations are trained on vital issues relevant to the development sector in the country like scalability, sustainability, communication, resource mobilisation and governance by industry experts from reputed Indian and International organisations.

The action implemented by the organisations after the workshop showcases how they performed in crowdfunding and local fundraising. One such case study is reviewed from Swami Vivekanand Shiksha Samiti(SVSS), an NGO based in Chopan Block, Sonbhadra, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Due to lack of resources and extreme poverty, children in the villages of Sonbhadra work in the mining sector. The stark reality of these children is that in spite of back breaking hard work that they put in, they cannot have two square meals a day. They are condemned to a life of abject poverty which steals away their childhood. The children here don’t play any sports and most of the families don’t even allow their daughters to play outside.

SVSS, which closely works with children in 10 villages, organised a sports welfare programme for the children and youth to instill confidence and educate them about the rules and regulations of different sports like Badminton, Volley Ball, Kho-Kho and Kabadi. The primary intention behind this initiative was to build a strong foundation for children to develop their interest in sports so that they can eventually represent their villages at international platforms. The organisation also educated guardians and concerned institutions about the benefits of sports and its positive impact on children. SVSS plans to reach out to the journalists, Local Panchayat, MLAs and different school management who are interested in children welfare so that the ‘Right to Play’ initiative can be further developed.

The initiative undertaken by SVSS is just one example of how grassroots NGOs can motivate children to attend school. Apart from this, the curriculum can be adapted to make it more relevant for the children. Students should be inspired by people by sharing their success stories with them to impart practical knowledge that complements their academic curriculum. Proper arrangements for the remuneration provided to teachers needs to be made in order to incentivise them to attend school regularly. These are all just an essence of the productive activities that can help people develop a clear mindset about the positive effects of education and how it can be used as a vital tool to uplift communities.

To know more about our projects on Empowering Grassroots please log in to https://www.smilefoundationindia.org/empowering-grassroots.html

Or contact Mukesh at 8750980633


Smile Foundation

Smile Foundation is an NGO in India that directly benefits over 15,00,000 children and their families every year. We have more than 400 live welfare projects on education, healthcare, livelihood, and women's empowerment in over 2,000 remote villages and slums across 25 states of India.

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