The IN-stitute, the Action Tank for Inclusive Change.
Unleashing the potential of youths with disabilities, we’ll change people’s mindset while nourishing a generation of achievers.
This is Bharat at the International Volunteering Day Celebration. Bharat is the designer, through its personal experience of the theory of self empowerment described in this prototype. Bharat in 2010 was a very different person from 2017. The breakthrough for him was a network of peers who invited him to get out of his room and join their club. We are very proud to say that Bharat recently joined ENGAGE as Program Coordinator, making our small organization much stronger and more inclusive.
Though we still consider ourselves a start up ( we got registered in 2011 but opened the office in 2013), we have a long experience of working and engaging local youths. We have devised in the past the ENGAGE Corps program focused on supporting visually impaired youths. This evolved into a new program ENGAGE Sport Coaches. While sport playing is important to us, we have came up with a much more holistic approach that is tailored made and include personal development and networking support.
What problem does your idea solve?
Youths with physical disabilities experience a vicious cycle of vulnerability and exclusion that deprive them of equal opportunities. We need changes at society level but at personal level of a youth with disabilities. The latter is critical as no intervention can succeed unless a youth with disabilities manages to start a self process of empowerment based on 1st Self Acceptance/Self-awareness (I might) and progress with 2nd Self Realization (I can) and 3rd Self Actualization (I am doing).
Explain your idea
The ETCs: Imagine 3 enthusiastic young professionals with disabilities, passionate about becoming leadership trainers. We will hire them and train them. We call this group ENGAGE Talent Coaches, ETCs.
The Activism Phase: Based at “The IN-stitute” which is the personal development, community organizing and ideas creation platform, the ETCs will be in charge with the exciting task of training 30 local youths both with and without disabilities who will act as “activists” serving as peer counselors, awareness makers and community organizers. We call these 30 youths “ENGAGERs” and each will undertake the Optimism, Leadership, Awareness and Action or OLAA curriculum and get a certificate. At the end of this cutting edge capacity building, each ENGAGER will get in ACTION as they will: form a group of five peers and start doing community work to change perspective of the society on disability and social inclusion.
The Awards:The best projects will be awarded at a national gala with corporate and Government representatives.
The Fellowship: The most promising ENGAGERs or group members will be invited to join the ENGAGE Fellowship, an intensive, full immersion professional development experience that lasts 12 months. They will make a pioneer group showcasing the outstanding qualities of youths with disabilities.
The Incubator: The best ideas of the Fellows will be incubated.
Sustainability: ETCs will deliver for fee short training to other youths, a potential pool to work with
Primarily youths and young adults with disabilities up to 32 years old will benefit. Additionally we believe that to create social inclusion, we need to build bridges and therefore our model would be also open to able bodied young adults strongly interested to work on social inclusion. Students, their parents and other members of the society will also greatly be involved in the activism phase. Corporates will benefit too by being sensitized and experience firsthand the qualities of the Fellows.
How is your idea unique?
We harness 2 Ps (Purpose and Potential) embedded in each youths with disabilities. To discover a purpose and achieve her potential, a youth with disabilities must undertake a process of self empowerment. We will support and strengthened it. Only with self confidence, will she be able to persuade 1st her family, 2nd her friends, 3rd the local community that ignores her and 4th the wider society about what she can achieve and how she can contribute to developing society. The idea is unique because it attacks an unequal system from the bottom with peer counseling, awareness making and community organizing of the ENGAGERs. Simultaneously we are focused at top with the Fellows who as “ambassadors/advocate” will penetrate the system, breaking down the walls of exclusion with their talents. Few projects are so ambitious to support such cadre of doers and achievers. It is inclusive in its design because the participants will have the chance to push and elevate themselves in a phased fashion.
Tell us more about you
We are 3 full time staff with 16 volunteers. We are teaming up for this challenge with Parkmandu, a venture that sets up accessible parks and urban spaces that co-designed the initiative. Bharat, our new Program Coordinator, played a large role, involving peers and offering terrific ideas. Diya, our ENGAGE Sport Coach is also contributing immensely to this challenge. We count on the expertise of a leadership and change consultant from France and amazing group of advisors from all over the world.
What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?
Will our OLAA curriculum be attractive enough to interest youths? Will its cutting edge teaching and a certificate be enough? Will ENGEGERs expect some sort of compensation? How to ensure sustainability of the model? Can some courses drawing from OLAA curriculum be proposed on a continuous basis for a fee for those who can afford it? Can we attract some private investment for the building? How long will it take to make The IN-stitute a recognized center of expertise on social inclusion and social change? Will be 5 years long enough to make it a mini NESTA of the sector? Will we be able to build in house outstanding expertise on leadership? An incubator is super hard, requires money and expertise and it is always at a loss: Do it later?
Where will your idea be implemented?
Experience in Implementation Country(ies)
Yes, for more than one year.
Expertise in Sector
I've worked in a sector related to my idea for more than a year.
We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.
Research & Early Testing: I am exploring my idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it.