PMIEF in India collaborates with Mahavir International Foundation for uplifting the underprivileged student community

 

18 August 2017

Written by Leena Gupte

Published inPM for Social Good

Group of women collaborating in India on a project

Teachers and mentors learned project management as a life skill and then discussed the best ways to implement their new skills in their work with underprivileged Indian youth.

PMIEF is committed to helping reach youth who can improve their lives by learning project management skills and knowledge. In some cases, this involves training the teachers or mentors who work directly with young students. A partnership with the Mahavir International organization, founded in Jaipur, India, was an opportunity to deliver exactly those skills to underprivileged youth through the teachers and mentors who serve them. 

The Mahavir International (MI) organization has over four hundred centers across India and nearly 15,000 members, and focuses on supporting initiatives related to education, healthcare and the environment. MI focuses on skill development in its members, and believes that providing individuals with important skills is the only way to tackle the issue of unemployment in India. To date, over 10,000 children have been educated through various centers across the country.

PMI’s association with Mahavir International started in October 2016 in Vadodara, with a meeting with the organization’s leadership. It was a very productive meeting around the importance of project management and the opportunities available for the centers. After the visit, MI staff took PMI India volunteers on a site visit to one of their schools for underprivileged children. It was decided to work on a few initiatives to bring project management to the youth.

The first initiative involved bringing project management as a life skill to teachers of the MC High School in Vadodara, one of MI’s adopted partner schools. The objective was to educate teachers on how to manage a classroom effectively, using project management skills. The session was delivered by senior PMI volunteers Utkarsh Pundalik and Minaxi Vaishnav, and attended by seventeen primary and secondary school teachers. To ensure the training was easily applicable to the teachers, it was offered in both the English and local Marathi language. Utkarsh and Minaxi ensured the training was engaging by incorporating case studies and group exercises. 

The training was so well-received that teachers are now looking at avenues to incorporate their training into the curriculum, especially for the 11th and 12th grade students, who already study content on planning and management. 

MI also supports student growth and development by partnering individual students with mentors. Mentors interact with the students, teachers, and parents and provide necessary guidance to the students during their journey with MI. PMI volunteers realized that these mentors could benefit from PM training, and conducted a project management as a life skill workshop for some of the mentors as well. 

The mentors found the presentation immensely useful. In their feedback, all of them confirmed that there were valuable takeaways from the session. The session provided them with a new perspective to bring to their mentorship roles. In addition, PMI India volunteers designed a case study to stimulate participation in the training. The case study encouraged discussion among the group members, including innovative suggestions for implementing the new PM skills. 

As a result of these early trainings, representatives from Mahavir International are exploring additional opportunities to incorporate PM into their curriculum to benefit students, particularly in areas that will help improve students’ career readiness. 

To deliver a project management training for youth or mentors in your community, please consider using one of PMIEF’s learning resources, no-cost materials designed for use in philanthropic trainings with youth, teachers, and nonprofit organizations.