Journey of our Cohort’20
The journey of Cohort 20
“Aim for the sky, but move slowly, enjoying every step along the way. It is all those little steps that make the journey complete.”
EduMentum is proud of its journey so far. It was conceived of an idea to bring a transformation in the realm of education by making it more equitable and accessible. EduMentum is delighted to share the success stories of our third cohort, Cohort 20, which has graduated to the next phase of its journey ahead.
The final members of this cohort were selected in June 2019 and since then the eight non-profit organizations worked with EduMentum team and the designated mentors on their respective initiatives. It should be mentioned here that Cohort 20 witnessed a coterie of impact-driven and passionate social entrepreneurs with a common goal and diverse approaches to achieve it. The members of the cohort transcended geographies and social milieu.
Change Leaders of Cohort 20
The partner organizations who successfully completed one year of intensive journey with EduMentum as incubatees are as following:
1. Vidyalaya Udhyam Association (Udaipur, Rajasthan) – It aims to integrate entrepreneurial skills in the tribal communities of Rajasthan with the mission of harnessing creative thinking skill through its systemic initiatives at school, community and panchayat level.
2. rZamba (Kargil, Ladakh) – A non-profit working in the field of education, health, livelihood, environment, gender-equality, leadership and culture to bridge the gap between Kargil and the rest of the world.
3. Samanta Foundation (Dehradun, Uttarakhand) – The Foundation works with the ability of the individual for empowerment by – education, youth engagement, livelihoods – leading to progress with an indigenous approach. With this mission they aim to improve the lives of the forest communities.
4. Shiksharth Foundation (Sukma, Chhattisgarh) – Works towards improving the quality of education in conflict affected tribal areas of Chattisgarh through action-based research, contextual pedagogy, design and robust implementation.
5. Varitra Foundation (Karnal, Haryana) – A non-profit with the aim of initiating social change through collaborations and co-working towards bringing meaningful difference in the lives of children in the rural areas of Haryana.
6. Karunodaya Foundation (Gaya, Bihar) – Works for quality and Inclusive Education in Government school in Bihar by focusing upon community participation, child-centric teaching practices, creating space where children can learn fearlessly.
7. Lantern EduSports Foundation (Mumbai, Maharashtra)– A non-profit to transform education in affordable private schools through action research undertaken by teachers and school leaders.
8. Mera Gaon Meri Dunia (Ujjain, Madhya Pradhesh) – A non-profit working towards improving the delivery of education in rural areas by empowering passionate young individuals to enable change across communities.
It has been an absolute pleasure for us, at EduMentum, to work with these exuberant young change leaders. The organizations come from across locations and experience unique issues with respect to the communities they serve. We, as an incubator, assisted them in terms of financial and human resources, technical expertise, models to ensure sustainability of impact, organization development, creation of content and pedagogical framework, mentorship and constant feedbacks. However, the association goes far beyond.
During their journey, these organizations have discussed their ideas and modalities with the mentors and the EduMentum team to ensure necessary steps are taken along with provision of resources. Their peers within the cohort assisted them in refining their models with continuous exchange of knowledge and resources. It is their aspiration to scale that built the momentum for a far-reaching social change in the field of education.
Throughout the year, the cohort members interacted with each other during basecamps and Community of Practice calls to promote collaborations and exchange of ideas. These peer learning sessions included members from ongoing as well as former cohorts. These discussions have led to forging of some notable alliances by organizations hailing from the same geographical areas or sharing the same vision.
One such remarkable collective formed during these interactive sessions was between Karunodaya Foundation from Cohort 20, and i-Saksham from the first cohort along with several other social impact organizations. Both of them work in Bihar and believe in community led interventions to impact the lives of children. Finding synergy in their work, they set onto discovering more community oriented solutions and launched a program called Shiksha Saheli (a program where community fellows are taking classes for children). This combined approach is producing some incredible results in their community.
Another such example is Rural and Tribal Collective which was initiated by Shiksharth and facilitated by Mantra4Change. This collective will focus on sharing knowledge and resources with each other to prevent reinventing the wheel and ensure access to education for the last mile. 6 of our partner organizations from across cohorts are part of this collective.
Pandemic and the Bumpy Ride
Our cohort members have been highly motivated and driven to bring about the social change. This drive became more evident when the challenges increased exponentially due to the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown all over the country. The schools were shut and all the gatherings were banned.
It is in these difficult times that the importance of these organizations is truly recognized. Our organizations have faced many hurdles in achieving the goal of accessible quality education due to the crisis. Yet, they remained resolute and using collaborative techniques, these change leaders created novel tools to ensure continuity in education for the children. Some of the examples are:
Summer 2020 by Lantern edusports: With the ever-increasing cases and schools being shut, the students, especially from underprivileged communities, are struggling to continue their education. Apart from losing out on learning, they are also stressed, anxious, and bored. To address this problem, Lantern edu started with Summer 2020. It was an initiative to continue education with focus on Socio-emotional learning, extra-curricular activities, and academic syllabus. The program is executed via online sessions and workshops, podcasts, infographics, and fun-filled activities. Till now they have been able to engage over 1000 students in this program with the help of teachers and volunteers.
E-Pathan by Varitra: Awareness around online classes and content is limited in rural areas but people are very well aware and familiar with facebook. So, Varitra Foundation created a facebook page, E-Pathan, that has been designed keeping the learning pace and requirements of children in rural India. Through this they have been able to engage parents, teachers and children in different parts of the country.
The Road Ahead
It was a year full of learning and unlearning, taking on challenges head-on and converting them into opportunities, finding out-of-the-box solutions and collaborating to grow together. On their successful completion of one year of extensive incubation, we wish Cohort 20 our change leaders the best in their future endeavours. Their association with us will continue to grow, as will the ecosystem.