HELPING YOUTH UNLEASH THEIR POTENTIAL
While with the Indian market opening up, young professionals and entrepreneurs have unprecedented access to opportunities, however, the urban-poor youth are left behind; unable to tap into these opportunities and find jobs. The situation remains grim despite the many government led initiatives available for skill development, vocational training and placement of youth. We believe, this is because most efforts at building employability in youngsters don’t focus on nurturing their life skills or emotional intelligence, which could help them build self-confidence, find fulfilment in their work and thus sustain a vocation.
Makkala Jagriti’s initiative for youth empowerment, Yuva Jagriti imparts essential life skills and facilitates access to opportunities in order to fulfil the aspirations of youth. We have set up Yuva Cafés in locations that are easily accessible to youth from marginalised communities, where they can converge and access developmental opportunities.
Yuva Café is an open and democratic space with a non-threatening environment, primarily invested in unveiling and understanding the youth’s strengths, areas of interest, personal values, temperament, competence and skills; thereby facilitating them to discover their true potential.
Various programs and focused mentorship helps prepare youth to identify and pursue their life goals.
Parent and Community Involvement
Yuva Jagriti takes a 360 degree approach, involving not just the youth but also their family and immediate surroundings to create a systemic change in the community. Yuva Cafe’ is not only a welcoming space for youth but also their parents, where we help them engage in their child’s life and understand them better. We also support needy parents through livelihood opportunities to help overcome financial challenges.
Often, children and youth from underserved communities drop out of school or college due to economic constraints. We have collaborated with a number of partner organisations to offer scholarships to students who aspire to pursue formal education, but lack the economic support to do so. The Scholars are also provided with mentoring and life skills training to help them make informed decisions.
Youth become community role models and change agents breaking the chain
of poverty and unemployment as successful entrepreneurs, professionals and
sportspersons and inspire fellow youth to make choice for a better future.
Stories of Change
How the education of one girl can impact generations ahead
Both of Mercy’s parents worked in the unorganised sector, who could not afford her school fees. She joined Makkala Jagriti Learning Centre at the age of 11, and always found the facilitators to be warm, welcoming and encouraging. Makkala Jagriti also supported her to pursue her education.
“We had a lot of freedom to explore our interests and talents. They taught us life skills and values. It was a new world for me.”
Through the Yuva Jagriti career guidance programme, Mercy received the right kind of insight and encouragement that led her to pursue a degree in Commerce, that too through a merit seat. Being the first girl in her family to study that far, she set an example in her community and made choices that allowed her to move beyond the circumstances that she was born into. Mercy now works in a reputed bank and is among our celebrated many who not only made a difference in their own lives but continue to do so in that of others.
From a 10th Std. dropout to a World Taekwondo Champion
Murali lived in Bengaluru with his brother, while his parents lived in a village in Tamil Nadu. After his 10th grade, he lost the interest and inclination to study further. When he joined Yuva Jagriti, he started learning Taekwondo at our centre, which helped him become calmer and more focused. He also showed immense capacity to work with children, especially in the areas of sports and creativity, and this landed him an opportunity to work with Makkala Jagriti. Alongside his work, he pursued Taekwondo and competed at the District, State and National levels. He won a number of Gold Medals.
Today, Murali is an accomplished Taekwondo instructor, teaching at many schools in Bengaluru. He brought great accolades to the Nation when he won two bronze medals at the World Taekwondo Championship in Korea in September 2017.
Turning a Misguided Youth into a Community Leader
Prabhu was a teenager when the old, dilapidated building in which his family lived collapsed, leaving them without a home. While they were still grappling with the situation, Prabhu lost his father, the sole earning member of the family. Unable to process his difficult circumstances, he found strength in hanging around with his friends, who often indulged in gang wars and all forms of abusive behaviour.
Prabhu was a shy yet playful boy when he joined the Yuva Jagriti centre at the age of 15. He expressed, “I feel I am at crossroads, not sure which road to take”. Following our support and guidance, he decided to pursue an internship at Makkala Jagriti. He was entrusted to work with children from Shelter Homes. Today, Prabhu is a sought-after Creative Facilitator and Coordinator at Makkala Jagriti, managing three Community Centres. A silent yet sound performer, he brings in diverse and highly creative ways to engage children and help them learn and grow.