Best Projects 2020 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.
Published on September 17, 2020 um 09:33
Founder and CEO
Type of Enterprise
Year the ngo or company was founded
Explain your project in details:
Vision: To empower underprivileged children to become self-sufficient. Mission: Activation of 21st century skills through holistic education. Project Sitara is an initiative to provide holistic education to underprivileged children which focuses on academic as well as personal growth and development of the child. It was founded on 1st January 2019, by an 18 year old student. Since then, it has been an entirely student-led, student-driven programme. The focus for the next phases of Project Sitara is to deliver their content to government school children. The 3 domains are Financial Literacy, Citizenship and Tech 101. The rationale behind these domains is that academic knowledge alone isnt going to help the children face the world outside their four walls. In any field they wish to work in, practical knowledge on these 3 topics enhances the 21st century skills required for jobs in this age of information. The entire curriculum follows an action-based approach. For example, English isn't taught to them as a subject. Concepts like nouns, verbs, adjectives are taught using gamified processes to also inculcate values like collaboration, team work, confidence etc. The curriculum for Financial Literacy, Tech 101 and Citizenship ends each class with a call-to-action ensuring that the knowledge translates into something meaningful and applicable in real life. Besides these, focus is also given on awareness sessions on topics like menstrual health and hygiene, waste segregation etc to align the child's knowledge with the pressing issues in our society today. A session for mental health and well-being is also being put in place to execute from the coming phase (August 2020).
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Project Sitara is almost 1.5 years old and we have successfully worked in depth with 25 orphaned/underprivileged girls for 1 period of one year. Besides academics, a lot of focus has also been on getting these girls exposed to the pressing social issues all around us. Sessions have been held on topics like Menstrual Health and Hygiene, Citizenship and Public Problem Solving. These have been in collaboration with established organisations like Reap Benefit, Volunteer for a Cause, India. The current metric to assess impact is tailored to cater to each individual student. After a few interactions with the child, the volunteer is able to gauge the kind of learner the student is. On this basis, the impact is measured either through oral presentations, hands-on activities or objective and subjective written tests. The focus has always been on making these children self-sufficient so that they have the tools within them to never feel like they are not privileged enough for survival in society.
Sustainability and future plans
The business model is entirely student-run and will remain this way. There are 3 teams involved: 1) Leadership Team - comprises of those individuals who align 100% with the organisation's vision and mission and are always finding new ways to add value to the organisation, 2) Backend Volunteers - set of volunteers who are working on Content Curation, R&D, Communications, Data and Tech, etc, 3) On-Ground Volunteers - set of volunteers who deliver the program content to the children periodically. The goal for May 2021 is to reach out to at least 8 government schools in India, and for the same there is a requirement of funding from donors. We are currently in talks with an incubator in the same field of operation. The funds will be used to constantly evolve to stay as a young and learning organisation.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I'm Shriya Shankar, a 20 year old girl from Bengaluru, India. I started Project Sitara in my first year of college when I was 18. College wasn't how I had expected it to be. While I wanted to meet new people, grow as an individual, learn from my peers, etc, college seemed like a factory producing engineers in mass. Besides this, I am a national level basketball player and it has been part of me for over 10 years now. But my college demolished the basketball court the year I joined, we had no team or a coach. Adding to all of this, there were a lot of personal challenges I faced at home as well. I felt completely shattered. It was from this vulnerable space that Project Sitara was born. I found the need for all my academic knowledge to translate into something meaningful. I knew that many of my peers too were trying to find more meaning in their life. Over the last 1 year, the orphanage has become like my second home and the girls have become my family. Being extremely passionate about serving for the society, here are a few recognitions in the sector: Represented Reap Benefit at YuWaah! Generation Unlimited event launched by UNICEF India. Presented the Neighbourhood Dashboard - a tech-for-good solution to crowdsource hyperlocal data generated by citizens to report civic issues faced by them and hold local government accountable. Awardee of Major Akshay Memorial Girish Award 2018 for Community Service and Sports along with Rs 12,500 cash prize. GSB Fellowship Program, a chapter of Global Shapers Community which is an initiative of the World Economic Forum. Launched and completed a 6-month Leafy Straw Campaign which diverted 15000 plastic straws from being used.
Project Sitara's 1 Year Journey
Collaboration with VFC, India