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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.

Photo of simo galimberti
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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

Who benefits?

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?

  • Nepal

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.

Organizational Status

  • We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.

Idea Maturity

  • Research & Early Testing: I am exploring my idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it.
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Attachments (4)

YES A VISUAL IMPAIRED AS KEY NOTE SPEAKER..JPG

Actually this has already happened with some of our incredible friends but this should become a norm, we do not want a person with disability to go and talk about social inclusion and rights of persons with disabilities. The day will come when for example an ENGAGE Fellow will go and address a conference at university to talk about her bio-technology start up!

JOB INTEVIEWS SUCH A BIG FUSS!.JPG

When will we have a job market fully inclusive and able to reasonably accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities? We need more tailored made programs that will make the job market totally inclusive and for this we also need a radical change in the mindsets of not only the executives but also the lower cadres.

GOING TO THE BANK SHOULD NOT BE A BIG DEAL.JPG

We want to see a society where all persons with disabilities will have a bank account and surely someone of them will become a bank CEO. This would not create a big fuss

Engage Fellowship.pdf

Find here the details of one of the component of this proposal, the Fellowship. We have been working on this since long and we have already made few presentation and share it with some stakeholders. It is totally complementary to the other phases that actually made the Fellowship even more relevant.

58 comments

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Photo of simo galimberti
Team

very interesting Hub for minorities in Australia...http://www.smartcompany.com.au/startupsmart/news-analysis/australias-first-innovation-hub-for-minorities-dhive-opens-in-cairns/#.WQu9gXj2Ymk.twitter

http://www.smartcompany.com.au/startupsmart/advice/startupsmart-growth/startupsmart-innovation/aboriginal-entrepreneurs-launch-australias-first-innovation-hub-for-minorities-so-no-one-gets-left-behind-in-the-digital-economy/
you can also see an interesting curriculum here from the same organization launching the above mentioned hub http://www.envizion.org.au/our-programs/llm

Photo of Marcela Torres
Team

Congrats Engage Team. Although It is very important to keep in mind that all the process for The In-stitute and its curriculm should be developed with the guidance and help of the potential users. They are the ones going through the difficulties and challenges in the daily life. They will be the ones leading the program and engaging other youths in The Theory of Change. I consider that the Curriculum stage should be developed with a multi-disciplinary team because it shall include all the main issues that an Engager will be facing when trying to fight stigma in society, family and friends environments.

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

A big DOUBLE YES. TOTALLY! As you know Bharat is playing a big role and he was the one who designed the theory of self empowerment. I believe we will have to set up a special working group with a selected group of service users who will critically review each element as we already did during the brainstorming. The second Yes is about multidisciplinary and yes we have developed a very rough concept and we need to work more on it and make it more holistic...and include experts from different background. big thanks

Photo of Walter Morselli
Team

Hi Everyone, the idea of the In-stitute is very interesting and innovative.
I like the concept of the hub and especially the peer to peer training.
The project is well written and well presented. I very appreciate the effort to express your idea through simple and attractive infographic.
As a designer, one of my concerns is the branding of the In-stitute?
Have you though about it?
Which is your next step? You should think about that.
As an institute for youth you need to work on the image of the school. It should have a professional and fresh appearance with the innovative spirit of a start-up.

The branding of a school is the the power for its future.

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Thanks Walter...branding should reflect the philosophy of The IN-stitute. I envision something sparkling, something that gives positive vibes...cozy at the same time...where youths feel at home... where youths ENGAGERs or FELLOWS or any activists... can come and join, a real COLLABORATIVE...at the end of the day this is going to be the HOUSE OF ACTIVISM....and SOCIAL INCLUSION....this is what we are thinking of ...i am glad that following the meeting yesterday we will work on the rendering and design no matter what will be the final outcome of OPEN IDEO context. BIG THANKS TO YOU and MARCELA for being part of this.

Photo of bikash gurung
Team

simo galimberti  Yes, your idea is totally validate, until and unless differently abled people feel themselves they can, they are not going anywhere! I think though we have different idea , our goal is same.
Best wishes for upcoming programmes.

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Hi Bikash, thanks for the comment. Yes i agree with you, it does not want to be a "forced", top down thing and self empowerment is SELF empowerment, nothing else, you can support, encourage in amazing ways but then, it is up to the person, that's why we always say ENGAGE support a process of self empowerment and on this there are many ways....The assumption is that with the right/conducive environment, right activities, a youth living with disability can have much better chances at making it.
I saw you got a lot of comments...great, best of luck

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Hi Bikash, thanks for the comment. Yes i agree with you, it does not want to be a "forced", top down thing and self empowerment is SELF empowerment, nothing else, you can support, encourage in amazing ways but then, it is up to the person, that's why we always say ENGAGE support a process of self empowerment and on this there are many ways....The assumption is that with the right/conducive environment, right activities, a youth living with disability can have much better chances at making it.
I saw you got a lot of comments...great, best of luck

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

simo galimberti I like how you try to connect young people with and without disabilities. It reminded me of Allan Goldstein course: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/disability-inclusion/ideas/people-with-disabilities-team-up-with-university-students-to-create-person-centered-digital-stories.
Allan's idea is in the context of a university and I wonder if you have thought of connecting to a university. I could see his course as part of your curriculum. It could also create some opportunities for students of the IN-stitute to share stories and learn skills that they can use in their projects.

To your question about the OLAA curriculum being attractive enough: have you taught some of these classes? Have you presented to some youth a flyer or brochure describing the curriculum to see how they reacted? If yes, what were your learnings.
Good luck with your project!

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Hi thank you for the comment and insights. We gave a check to the Allan's idea and well we found his background and story, whoo! this is terrific....i also saw his MA in disability studies at CUNY, this is all super interesting and absolutely we can try to find a way to collaborate...

About the OLAA curriculum: we have been using some elements for our pre-service training for our ENGAGE Sport Coaches plus we do occasionally hold lectures in colleges. Said this, we have not really designed as per now all the details, let's say we have a general framework and we remain very much open to ideas. We would like to come up with something hybrid, not just the usual, no sense leadership program but we would like to come up with something on activism/civic engagement/campaigning. We recently watched President Obama's speech at the University of Chicago and we are glad that he is going to be focused on activism in his new after presidency career.

Now your idea to test the contents of the program is really good, it makes a sense. We can finalize the framework and then have some group discussions with some college students and see how they react to it, if they think it is interesting.

I will get in touch with Allen....

thank you

simo

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Great simo galimberti I think that Allan's disability studies course could be a great component in your curriculum. Through Allan's course and the collaborative creation of digital narratives, there are a lot of learning opportunities for leadership and awareness, and it's clearly a first step to actions. I let Allan Goldstein continue the conversation with you. Adding also Bettina Fliegel one of our team members, to the conversation.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Simo. I am on the team with Anne-Laure and Allan. (Thanks for tagging me A-L.)

Great idea Simo! I also really like that it connects youth, bringing them together for skill building, with the aim to develop projects that address inclusion for people with disabilities into community life and work. I like your focus on discovering and developing one's purpose and potential as all youth struggle with this. Education and employment are what many youth are thinking about. Might the program be advertised as a way for all participants to discover their abilities, purpose, and potential? I imagine this might be a great skill building program for all youth involved, one that can be a stepping stone for future employment and work.

Photo of Allan B Goldstein
Team

Hi Simo,
I bet you can see why I'm so lucky to have Anne-Laure Fayard and Bettina Fliegel as teammates.
"Abilities, purpose and potential," as Bettina writes, are unknowingly explored and discovered during the semester-long course experience, as all participants are occupied creating/producing a digital story. They are also discussing essays by PWDs and, for those who can read and write, proceeding to write personal experience essays based on the writers' themes. Participants explore the other and end up understanding themselves. Self-esteem expands and horizons widen--a typical student changes career goals so as to serve others, and a PWD invents an assistive tech device that becomes a thriving business.
All become advocates for PWDs and and committed to a society without barriers.
Would love to hear from you, Simo.
--allan

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Hi Allan, big congrats for the work you have been doing, pretty amazing. I love the idea of "Abilities, Purpose and potential". The idea of digital story is intriguing. You wrote " self esteem expands and horizons widens" exactly this would be a powerful experience, a great outcome. As i said we still have a lot of work to develop the contents as we are a pretty small team and we are already tight up with other activities. i found your mail on the web site, i will send you a power point so you better understand our approach. How could we work together? Let's skype... and yes you have a great team

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Thank you Anne- Laure. Yes i think it would be great to know more about the curriculum of Allan's disability course. Moreover we also have just a little of experience, i will send to Allan's mail one booklet we prepared and right now we will have to expand it and updated it. Yes leadership and awareness, we need cutting edge stuff, very innovative but also fun...

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Thank you Anne- Laure. Yes i think it would be great to know more about the curriculum of Allan's disability course. Moreover we also have just a little of experience, i will send to Allan's mail one booklet we prepared and right now we will have to expand it and updated it. Yes leadership and awareness, we need cutting edge stuff, very innovative but also fun...

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

and my sincere apologies i did not drop yet a comment on your idea but i saw you got a lot of interests, congrats..

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

and my sincere apologies i did not drop yet a comment on your idea but i saw you got a lot of interests, congrats..

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Great on line conversation, i am about to reply to you and Allen, i think we have a good opportunity here...

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

dear Alan, thank you for the e-mail, very nice.. here some further comments

You wrote "All people are people first", great quote Allan, this could be the quote of the IN-stitute.

We have been reading your mails and thanks for involving Bettina, yesterday i could not find her e-mail.

Now let's try to summarize:

-use of digital story telling: absolutely, this can be a great idea, why not incorporating them as methodology as Allan suggested for the street drama

-Prepare a concept: yes we can give it a try over the week end, tomorrow, Saturday we have a full day of activities ( it is basically our main day of service) but still we can sketch out something. From our side we can try to put together all the pieces we have been working on in the last few years in terms of curriculum.

I can send something by later this evening or tomorrow morning.

-Budget for a visit to Nepal: well in principle it sounds as a great idea as it can really make the project much stronger and can really help kick off the action tank part of The IN-stitute. So why not, of course we need to figure out all the details, the travelling from NY to KTM is quite expensive and we need to allocate at least 10,000 USD for this but this could be a very good investment.

-We also need to gather expertise in community action or community organizing as it is called in the USA, campaigning for social change etc. and here i guess here you have quite a bit of experience and congrats for the Martin Luther King Jr. Award Allen... i guess we can learn a lot from him and his teaching

-The IN-stitute: since a while we have been thinking about setting up a HUB ( well pretty much an inflated word "hub"), a place of community gathering, possibly a cafeteria who can offer light meals, a place for community gathering but also personal development with library, computer lab, maybe few rooms to rent out for sustainability or to receive guests from outside. This is obviously a big and ambitious project and The IN-stitute comes from here. The think tank or action tank part is very critical but of course it also takes expertise and time to develop.

Can we make the IN-stitute a WORLD WIDE BEST PRACTICE to create the next generation of activists/change makers in the field of disabilities and later on social inclusion? i stressed this because i believe that to make the world more disable friendly we need to build ALLIANCES/Partnerships and create in the long term coalitions with other minority groups.

Can be this a common undertaking between ENGAGE and your team/NYU, possibly expanding to other stakeholders?

Now as i mentioned above, we will try to put together one page concept for the curriculum from our side...

ball back to you

simo

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Hi just checked the Bindi Project, i know WHR, very strong and solid organization with great leadership of Lilly. Great example of partnering.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

simo galimberti Allan Goldstein really great to see this collaboration taking shape. Bettina Fliegel and I both see a lot of potential in joining forces and bringing Allan's digital stories curriculum and extensive experience to the IN-stitute program. Chelsea Takamine Ashley Tillman it'd be great to have your inputs and suggestions to help Simo and Allan frame their collaboration. Thanks!

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

One thing i feel is that OLAA curriculum must be obviously focused on social inclusion and disability foundations based partially on Master of Arts in Disability Studies by CUNY SPS but we also need to make it sure that we also have a strong focus on community organizing, activism. The teaching mus be really practical and goal oriented though we also need to provide strong/solid background

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Totally, it seems something is coming out, i mean you have amazing experience and Allan is a pioneer. Here the project or idea is very ambitious, no doubts, there are still open questions, including long term sustainability, the physical space/venue etc but it is really worthy to explore and brainstorm. We are working on OLAA curriculum now, just a blue print. I will send it via mail to all the group.

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Abilities, Purpose and potential, wow, inspiring...this should be the foundation of the curriculum

Photo of Allan B Goldstein
Team

Sustainability results from two committed partners--one providing PWDs and the other providing the location/setting for the work; both establish further community engagement, as participants share their experiences--word of mouth is highly effective; experience is forever embedded in the person, creating a life-long advocate effective within his workplace and family and community. Activism is successful when done by self-advocates; otherwise, it is experience that affects a person's attitude. Students are just now completing their end-of-semester self-reflections. I am again seeing reports of the appreciation for the experiential nature of the course; how deeply the student has been influenced compared to what he or she would anticipate with coursework of lectures and readings. Reports from the agencies again depict the impact on the consultants of excitement, self-esteem, and self-discovery.

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

i am not entirely clear about the two partners part

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Yes i agree that change driven by activism must be self advocated, this is somehow the power of peer counseling and then creating alliances between disable and able youths. You say right with"life long advocates" in different settings. i guess this is what lead to system change. As you might have seen, about an hour ago i sent to all the team a draft blue print of the contents of the curriculum with some questions about really trying to conceive something innovative and unique, a true best practice, a leading action center. Maybe we can skype on sunday evening NYC time or Monday morning NYC time when here will be evening. thank you so much

Photo of Allan B Goldstein
Team

In my case, my university partners with an agency serving people with disabilities. The PWDs visit the university weekly to participate in the course. I have two sections of the course because I know two agencies wanting to participate in the program. For sustainability, it is necessary to have a representative responsible for the PWDs, and, of course, a representative for the running of the program, be it socially or academically oriented. My students are there for credit and a life-changing experience--they are only at first aware of the former. The PWDs are there for the opportunity to share who they are with the larger world. On another note, the documentary about the course is now available on Amazon, free for Amazon Prime members: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071YW4TW8

Photo of Allan B Goldstein
Team

Might be better for you if we go with your evening time, which means afternoon for me.
Tuesday, 12 pm my time works for me.
Wednesday, 3 PM also works.
How about you?

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Hi i think it can work for me, Tuesday 12pm NYC Time

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

partnership model is interesting. are you meaning the partnership with HeartShare and UCP of NYC? i guess what we are talking with the OLAA curriculum, initially intended to be a certificate, can evolve in something different, a sort of graduation course. I am also look forward to hear your view on the questions i raised yesterday. bye

Photo of Mussa Gunda
Team

Hi Simon,
This is very best model to empower youth with purpose and potential. as you are creating inclusion society we hope someday you will expand the model for other to be beneficiaries like students.

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Hi Mussa, very nice of you.. really appreciated. Does it make sense to you? I met someone who said that he could not understand what exactly we want to do and i think it is a valid comment, maybe we were too much in the "air", not offering tangible examples of what would we like to do in terms of peer counseling, community organizing ( awareness programs, drama, events...) and so on...actually it is very hard to measure self empowerment..... i will send you more info if you provide us with your mail. I will look at your idea, sorry i could not check it out earlier, just back from a meeting and off to another one... take care and thank you so much

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Hi Mussa, very nice of you.. really appreciated. Does it make sense to you? I met someone who said that he could not understand what exactly we want to do and i think it is a valid comment, maybe we were too much in the "air", not offering tangible examples of what would we like to do in terms of peer counseling, community organizing ( awareness programs, drama, events...) and so on...actually it is very hard to measure self empowerment..... i will send you more info if you provide us with your mail. I will look at your idea, sorry i could not check it out earlier, just back from a meeting and off to another one... take care and thank you so much

Photo of Mussa Gunda
Team

hahaa some how true but as the phase needed that is how it work. sometimes put all the ideas into words become difficult but we always seeing thing beyond our imagination and we skip very little things which are crucial. let me see over gmpollo@gmail.com

Photo of Simone Alexander
Team

Hi Simo, this is a a particularly new model for addressing inequality. I love the expression - purpose and potential that youth living with disabilities possess. I'm interested to know these how these young adults have been involved in the program design process to ensure the program is desired and the right model for the people it hopes to serve. Well done and I look forward to hearing more bout how you address this challenge.

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Hi Simone, we try our best to be as participatory as possible. As you know we initially wanted simply to go with the Fellowship that has been already in our plans since long but then we set this aside and we tried our best to LISTEN our beneficiaries, listen their concerns, listen their stories. Peer Counseling emerged as a very important component and we even contemplated to work on on a mobile application together with offering one to one peer counseling but on this we know that there are others doing this plus we had no experience in mobile application nor we thought it as really innovative nor a gamechanger because doing peer counseling is not enough. So there was a lot of brainstorming and again discussions with a group of beneficiaries and we felt that it was important to work at multiple levels to really try to bring systematic change. We know it is really ambitious idea, we try to break down it into pieces and to us it makes sense and it is doable. Our volunteers also contributed and liked it. Yet we still need to do more to apply more design thinking in our work.

Photo of Luis CZ
Team

Simo, I really like the idea, stigma and discrimination are things than have to be removed from the mind of the people, its a hard and long process but this doesnt meant bored or fatiguing. Im not agree with Aakash when say that there is too long process, social process and especially changes of mentality and perception dont happen in one week. Will be good share the links of ENGAGE and Parkmandu for give weight to the idea and show that it has trajectory, i think u can be more specific with the last five points: telling more about your experiences, the organization...And with the power of volunteerism be sure that there is many people and corporates rady to help with this purpose, there have to be to much compromise specially from the youngs with disability for changes her lifes, but good leadership can do it!
The best wishes!

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Thanks Luiz, appreciated. I think you are also right, social change does not happen overnight and it is very hard to track it and measure it. Here we try to work at two level, actually 3 if we think of the incubator but mainly two: grassroots and then more inside the system through the Fellows. We have been thinking of the Fellowship since long as a standing alone program, doing a call for application to target the most promising youths/young adults with disabilities but we thought it was not very inclusive and targeting only those who had already had exposure. So here with OPEN IDEO, we though well 1+1= 2, why not integrating the fellowship with a bottom up approach. Bharat and other friends with disabilities with whom we have discussed the idea, were very vocal in the grassroots level work, including, very importantly the peer counselling and community engagement. I think this is essential to "shake up" a bit the things, otherwise advocacy per se does not go too far, we need to combined, hybrid approach: we got inspired by the movement behind the Americans with Disabilities Act, the flagship legislation in the USA. Once the American Embassy here showed a video, on occasion of the law's anniversary and it was very powerful, it took them decades to get this done and they had to be very smart and pragmatic to combine pacific non violent protest with lobbying. Plus we did some readings on Marshall Ganz of Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a guru on community organizing, plus i knew the experience of the Activista program run around the world by ActionAid and it is very interesting. I am a very moderate kind of guy personally, not too keen to shout in the street, never done that but somehow i feel if we want a change, well, we need to be "street and community smart", creative and positive of course. Our hope is that this activism part can be an inspiration or a prototype to bring the disability community together and make sure they can reach out other members of the society, like women movement, after long time, they realized that they need to bring on board the men/husbands if we want to nave better conditions for women. So the same here, i guess, we need to get the able bodied involved. we do this already or we try to do this already at ENGAGE with sport playing...volunteerism....and so on... I will try to make more specifics the points you suggested. thank you Luis. Do you know how the situation changed in Colombia? Marcela told me that it was key to get the powerful people involved as there was once a bombing in a fancy/exclusive club and many youths from powerful families got disabled. I think it is key to get to the powerful too here, corporate leaders especially....

Photo of Daphne De Souza
Team

Well done Simo and ENGAGE. Your inclusive model for empowering, the very passionate and capable Nepali youth to volunteer and support their peers is already evidently, working well with wheelchair basketball. I am confident that this idea will garner momentum to achieve the much needed attitudinal and behaviour change with regards to disability in Nepal.

Further to comments from others, this idea in my opinion too, will work best by engaging and partnering with the key stakeholders (you are the best placed to sift through the plethora of players in the sector) and also to ensure the youth own and drive the activities that they come up with and are fully supported to deliver.

Wishing you and the team the best of luck.

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Thanks Daphne, thank you, you are absolutely right about local youths, TOTALLY. At the same time we know that unfortunately there is a bit of trend, specifically in certain sector, based on a culture of "allowance" but i bet you are right. We love volunteerism, that's was why we set up ENGAGE and we are pretty confident that the activism component can work out if we provided a strong holistic curriculum, something very good and attractive...ON the other side, partnership are fundamental, very key with the government, with the corporate and also, very key with other organizations working in the disabilities sector. Collaboratioin, collaboration, collaboration, we know that sometimes it is easier to say than do it, create the right level of ownership and let people think this is a common project, a unifying platform. THANK YOU SO MUCH

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Thanks Daphne, thank you, you are absolutely right about local youths, TOTALLY. At the same time we know that unfortunately there is a bit of trend, specifically in certain sector, based on a culture of "allowance" but i bet you are right. We love volunteerism, that's was why we set up ENGAGE and we are pretty confident that the activism component can work out if we provided a strong holistic curriculum, something very good and attractive...ON the other side, partnership are fundamental, very key with the government, with the corporate and also, very key with other organizations working in the disabilities sector. Collaboratioin, collaboration, collaboration, we know that sometimes it is easier to say than do it, create the right level of ownership and let people think this is a common project, a unifying platform. THANK YOU SO MUCH

Photo of Daphne De Souza
Team

Sadly the handout/funding culture rife with beneficiaries suffering. However coming up to the Earthquake anniversary, reminds us of the relief work and activism of Nepali youth that shone through despite all the government and donor barriers. As you say with a strong curriculum, effective partner coordination, incentivization with tailored benefits to all, then behavioural economics fundamentals come to play and a more sustainable model.

Photo of Aakash Shrestha
Team

Dear Simo,
I went through the texts- thrice. I found it difficult to grasp what it wanted to say for the first two times.
I also went through all the comments and I agree with most of the suggestions by Mark R.
I feel this program will need very dedicated youths for it to yield any result. I understand social change needs time but some of the targeted people, i.e. youths under 28, might find this program too long.
OLAA curriculum will certainly interest youths to join. However,to attract youths, it needs to be heavily publisized or personally reached to colleges and/or through other mediums.
I really liked the idea of establishing IN-stitute as a recognized center of expertise on social inclusion and social change. We certainly need this and this would be interesting. Having worked with/for PWDs before, I had realised that very few people know about accessibility and inclusion. This IN-stitute has scope but I am skeptic about sustainability of the program as very limited persons with disability will be able to pay. It needs to be subsidised of externally funded.

ENGAGE has been doing an amazing job in empowering persons with disability and have been an agent of social change through inclusive approach in its program.
Wish you and the team all the best!

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Thanks Aakash, we will try to improve the narrative, making it flow better and easier to understand. I take on board the length of the program can be too long, let me think about this and i will come back to you. We think of of the OLAA as max 5 months experience, 1 or 1.5 month training and then action...
Sustainability, yes i understand your concern, we are thinking of providing on going cutting edge training for a fee for youths without disability, kind of setting up a leadership and skill enhancement practice at ENGAGE, we are thinking on this since long. On the Fellowship, we had already designed the program, we have been working on and off on this since 3 years and now at least we have a blueprint for it. I will be more than happy to share the details contents of the Fellowship. Finally again you raised a very good point in "advertising" the programs, we need to make a big buzz, we need to do a real ads campaign, go to college, be very visible and be SMART in PR. For this we need some resources, no doubts. Even for the ENGAGE Sport Coaches, we always wanted to make it the best service experience in the country and for this we are investing in the contents but also the communication/visibility side is very very important and we never could make a SUPER BIG DEAL the way we should have... thank you... Aakash

Photo of Nunzio Bufardeci
Team

Dear Simone, compliments for your project! as usual your commitment is awesome and I really hope you win the challenge! You deserve a lot of success, your youths and young adults with disabilities deserve it! There are so few people caring for that enormous problem in Nepal...please keep on fighting for them!

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Thanks Nunzio, too good from your side. While designing the stuff, we were thinking about the contents of the trainings, and well definitely coaching will be key, thanks again for your help in teaching me the basics of the job...
take care Nunz

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Team

Simo - Here are some suggested changes:

What problem does your idea solve? – remove “and progress with”

Explain your idea - I find this paragraph difficult to read and as a result is not compelling– it is too text heavy and dense. I think this needs to be clearer, and easier to understand.

Who benefits? - Could be stronger – there are a lot of beneficiaries:
1. Engagers
2. Fellows
3. The young adults with disabilities who the program touches
4. Others with disabilities but who aren’t involved in the program, but benefit due to the program
5. The families of all of the above groups
6. Society – explain how it benefits society
a. Economic benefit
b. Social benefit
c. Other benefits

How is your idea unique? - Good ideas, but too dense and not well articulated

Tell us more about you - Include your website
Share links to Parkmandu and Engage– share real outcomes with meaningful data
Share information about your advisors
“amazing advisors” sounds like it is fluff and not meaningful

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea? - I think there are some grammatical mistakes in these questions.

Experience in Implementation Country(ies) - Need additional information that answers their question

Expertise in Sector - Need additional information that answers their question

Idea Maturity- Need additional information that answers their question

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Thanks Mark R., yes we need to work more on the phrasing and let me see how i can edit and write in a clearer and simply way. Some great info graphics are on the way. PARKMANDU Team is doing a great job, Walter, one of the two partners, is going all the way to make the approach easy to understand. Said that, as i said, let's try to make it stronger. In relation to the beneficiaries, i got the point, actually we have made some little changes already...again there is time to read again and rewrite.. big thanks.

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Team

DeletedUser

Simone,

I like the premise and think it has a lot of potential. I think you need to add much more to the sections I've outlined below. A bit more details, and perhaps connections and citations to similar work done elsewhere. Having an impact plan, not just an outcome plan, would be nice too, because knowing that your efforts really work is what an impact study will tell you. Otherwise, in my humble opinion, you just have a pretty program.

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)
 Yes, for more than one year.
 put in some of your actual experience, not just for how long. Include your work and all the other projects and programs you were part of with others that make this work worthwhile and sensible.

Expertise in Sector
 I've worked in a sector related to my idea for more than a year.
 Again, specify you actual work and use action words to describe what you did. this is where you sell yourself and team members. Pull in any of those who help make your group expertise a positive team effort.

Idea Maturity
 Research & Early Testing: I am exploring my idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it.
 This is a negative statement and will not be taken admirably. Your idea is the result of years of insight and analytics and is in a constant development towards perfection. or something like that.

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Dear Mark, first of all thank you for taking your precious time from your consultancy work, really great and strong comments and we like it. We will discuss tomorrow with our team. I understand what you mean about impact.. this is key but it is also very hard to quantify and measure it. At ENGAGE we have defined the following impact "Young Adults living with disabilities, independent, self -confident and skilled, lead in the development of the nation" but again it is not really tangible. You have been following us since the last 3 years and you know the evolution and the learning by doing or better to say by failures, the way we learned from our experiences and lot of piloting and the decisions we took to slim down our focus.. for example the way we started working on adaptive sports and then we realized that sport itself was not enough and we therefore came up with a broader approach, INVOLVE, BUILD, CONNECT, CREATE. We knew that empowerment is a self driven process, we can just be facilitator if there is a will but also here we can try to create the right conditions for this "will" to emerge and be nourished ( here peer counseling by the ENGAGERs with disabilities will be really key and it has been very highlighted by Bharat), so i think in our way we are impactful but you are right, we need to kinda specify it and put it in tangible terms. big thanks Mark

Photo of Bertrand Beauregard Coaching
Team

Engage is a committed local NGO that is supporting vulnerable people in Nepal. They are reliable and trustworthy. They have been working for the empowerment of young nepali over the years. They are open minded and bring the ideas to their concrete realization in the field. They want to make it happen. This project is a meaningful idea. ENGAGE team could make it happen easily with a bigger team to support all the tasks involved in such projects. Go Ahead! Keep doing this great job for Nepal and Nepali youngsters! It definitely makes a difference! Feri Vetaula. Namasté!

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Hi Bertrand, thank you so much. we really appreciate your words especially if said by someone like you who is an expert in coaching and leadership practices. One of the challenge will be to build the contents of the training but it will be fun and it is really exciting. Always trying and learning from our mistakes.. thank you again

Photo of sristi K.C
Team

It’s a wonderful idea. I absolutely agree that Empowerment is about giving agency to those who experience the problem itself. Living as a blind person in a country like Nepal, I would be indeed very glad if such projects are implemented which does achieve a holistic empowerment scenario, making environment accessible for the persons with disability, and bridging a communicational and experiential gap at a human level.

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Hi Sristi, thank you so much. Getting your endorsement is really key and a big honor. We appreciate you like it. We know it is pretty ambitious and there are many challenges in the implementation, from funding to engagement of the youths and long term sustainability but this could be a blue print. We know that we can just support a process of self empowerment but this is an individual process that will lead to agency. We can create the conducive supporting environment to back youths with disabilities and also at the same time, change the society perspective while pushing for the most promising youths with disabilities to be like you or Sushil Adhikari or Sarita Lamichane or Pawan Ghimire. Hopefully Blinds Rock, the organization you lead, can also be part of the process and have a role. Moreover your experience with Khantari Social Entrepreneurship School can be really useful

Photo of Michael Rosenkrantz
Team

Wonderful idea, makes so much sense, just need to find the right people to help ENGAGE act on this

Photo of simo galimberti
Team

Thank you Mike, much appreciated as always. Yes finding the right people it is one of the main challenges and it is all about being able to offer them an amazing curriculum and very impressive package that will help them get the most suitable skills that will create impact