As I sit and write this message on the penultimate day of 2017. My mind goes back to the same day in 2016. What a day it was. I was woken up with the news theft of all our computers at the Okhla centre and a message and an hour later was handed with yet another miracle: a kind benefactor would replace all the computers! I did not see it then. But do today in hindsight, this would be the tenet of 2017: a mixed bag of expectations and reality checks.
2017 started with a bang. We had a consultant whose task was to give us the much needed makeover, new board members who brought new vistas and ideas, a sound donor willing to hold our hand till we could finally stand on our own and above all the incredible Project Why time rearing to go forward.
Our target was to build a new base of donors within India so as not too be too dependent on foreign donors. And everyone was banking on the three magical letters CSR, (Corporate Social responsibility) now mandatory for profit making businesses to be the game changer. Strategic plans were drawn and new communication material created. But then came the realisation that without contacts it was quasi impossible to enter the hallowed portals of the CSR world. This was the first learning. The FFF (Friends Family and Fools) band was contacted in the hope that they would pull out some names from a magical bag and set us on course. This took a good part of the year and we began approaching one and all. We are still waiting for positive outcomes. However this exercise did bring in some new India based individual donors and we are grateful for that.
Hence you guessed right, this year again was supported by our old and faithful donors, to whom we remain eternally beholden.
So much for our efforts towards sustainability!
2017 was also the year were we committed ourselves to enhance the quality of our outreach. The idea was to inspire and motivate our children to be life long learners. This was done by introducing new in house assessment programmes and access to better learning aids: workshops, outings etc.
The detailed activity report is available here.
With a new Board in charge, I was able to take a further step back and assume the role of troubleshooter cum advisor. I hope to be able to step back even further and achieve my dream of becoming mentor and thus being able to spend time with the children as I did in early days.
Will 2018 be that year? Only time will tell.
I have not stopped believing in miracles.