Candor TechSpace has partnered with Alohomora Education Foundation to help children from underserved communities develop independent learning skills, set smart career goals for themselves, and make a well-thought-out action plan to achieve their dreams.
Dhanesh, a grade 11 student from Delhi, was good at making sketches and paintings. However, he did not know how to go about pursuing his passion as a profession. To add to it, his understanding of the arts was very limited. It was only when he took up an independent learning project with Alohomora Education Foundation—a Delhi-based NGO which wanted him to design a logo for it—that his appreciation of the arts started to grow. This process happened steadily as he learnt how to search on the Internet in order to learn the basics of logo design.
The next major transformation happened in Dhanesh’s life when he, thanks to Alohomora’s support, was selected to participate in a national-level conference called ‘Kids Education Revolution’ in Mumbai. He was one of the 100 students who were chosen for this unique event. Here, he got the opportunity to facilitate an arts’ appreciation workshop for students and educators. His self-belief increased, and today, he is dedicated to pursuing design as a career option. That’s not all: Dhanesh is also a part of a virtual learning group initiated by Alohomora. This group, led by two design professionals, has exposed him—as well as other like-minded students from different communities of Delhi—to new ideas and perspectives in design, and new nuances of the arts.
Alohomora Education Foundation aims to unlock the minds of students like Dhanesh, who belong to underserved communities and are passionate and skilled in different areas but are unsure of how to develop their skills further and take up their passion as a profession. And because these students do not have the social capital to guide them towards the right path nor the privilege of time after completing their grade 12, Alohomora gives them a safe space where they can continue to explore and learn. The NGO is striving hard to ensure that these students are able to build the skills required to achieve their dreams, thereby reducing the massive gap that exists between their aspirations and abilities.
The holistic youth development programme initiated by Alohomora derives its structure from the well-researched Positive Youth Development (PYD) framework of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Then there is Alohomora’s intensive fellowship programme which provides community youth the opportunity to go back to their schools and support more students. For this purpose, the NGO gives training to youth so as to enable them to become fellows or Community Leads. After their training is complete, these Community Leads counsel school students and give them career guidance. Additionally, they become role models for other children in their local communities, mobilise support from locals, and passionately work towards changing their own schools and communities for the better.
To provide underserved students the kind of the exposure they have never received, Candor TechSpace has partnered with Alohomora. The aim is also to help these children realise their true potential and overcome numerous challenges in the pursuit of their goals. This year, with Candor’s support and guidance, Alohomora has helped 816 students in nine schools and communities to start their journey of personal leadership and achieve their career aspirations. Candor TechSpace, as part of its 2018-19 CSR initiatives, has also enabled Alohomora to scale up its programme and reach 17 schools and communities in Delhi and Gurugram, thereby impacting more than 1,500 students with 21 Community Leads facilitating the programme.
For Candor TechSpace, working with Alohomora has strengthened its belief in the potential of the youth out there, be it children, young adults or adolescents. Indeed, this association encapsulates all that Candor believes education should be about: ‘Empowering and enabling children to take charge of their own learning as well as that of the people around them’.