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“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” -Franklin Roosevelt
Sauhard Youth Fellowship is an initiative for students of Ahmedabad to explore the journey of inner and outer transformation. The fellowship is aimed at building young leaders for a better future for ‘all’. We believe that the best way to build youth leadership is to let young people connect with the society that they live in and understand the process of social change. The fellowship also provides opportunity to the fellows to learn various communication skills to express their ideas, views, concerns and feelings on social change to be better leaders for tomorrow. As of now the focus of fellowship is towards the college students of Ahmedabad.
This fellowship is a learning fellowship in which there is no provision of stipend or financial benefits to fellows.
The ten month fellowship (starting from August) under the guidance of mentors from various fields is divided into three parts:
1) Learning Journey
Fellows will participate in various theme based and skill workshops, exposure trips, film screenings, group discussion, youth camp and regular guidance from mentors.
Fellows must have information and awareness on the existing social situation. Theme based workshops will give proper information about a particular subject. Fellows will also participate in skill-based workshops to learn various forms of communication. These workshops will allow students to choose the best possible communication medium to reflect whatever they have learned and discovered through the theme-based workshops.
Subject experts will conduct these workshops and the fellows will be given enough resource material to understand the subject and to practice their communication skills. The fellows will excel and simultaneously improve their understanding on below mentioned subjects through workshops. There will be a number of workshops and sessions during the fellowship:
• Indian Constitution
• Youth Identity and Leadership Under the aegis of Development Communication, we will have workshops & sessions on:
• Blog + Speed Writing
B) Exposure Trips:
It is essential that the fellows visit creative and learning spaces during the fellowship. We will organize quite a few exposure trips to visit these spaces and to interact with leaders who work on various issues.
C) Film screenings and Discussion: We will also organize series of film screenings and small group discussions on subjects which emerge from workshops, sessions, exposure trips and fellows on regular basis. There will also be numerous discussions pertaining to issues that concern the youth.
D) Youth Camp: The idea of youth camp is to create a common space for all the fellows to share and learn from each other. The residential youth camp is also aimed to involve fellows in leadership, team building and cadre building exercises.
E) Mentoring: The Fellowship programme has highly experienced mentors from various fields who are committed to youth leadership. These mentors will interact and guide fellows during their nine month journey at various levels. Some of these mentors will also facilitate workshops, training camp and exposure trips.
2) Internship (Optional)
The fellows can choose one community based organization or NGO to intern for a minimum of 15 days to maximum one month with various organizations in Ahmedabad. Fellows will be expected to work on a small project with CBO/NGO.
Fellows can choose to continue internship with CBO/NGO even after the fellowship.
3) Social Action Project (Mandatory)
But what is a Social Action Project, you ask. Citing a report published by the American Youth Leadership:
“A social action project is a multi-step process in which youth address an issue they care about, learn about it and potential solutions to solve it, then take action to create positive change on this issue.
Social Action projects:
– involve community members and stakeholders in their implementation
– both educate and motivate others to take action too
– focus on solutions to address the root causes of a social issue”
What the Social Action projects ensure is that the fellows pick and choose an issue that’s been bothering them or are curious about, set out to explore more about it, put it under scrutiny, and lead their own initiatives encircling the same. All of this, while driving a change around an issue they feel deeply about.
So while, Sarthak made inquires about the working conditions of waste pickers at the Pirana Landfill, Hirva put up a research around why young women are forced to drop out of sports. Another fellow, Disha curated her research around the lives and career ambitions of the third gender community in Adipur, Kutch, whereas Sanjana, went out to research on the prevalent myths about menstruation in urban and rural areas. (We will feature all the projects and the related documentation on the website, soon.)
In all, 36 fellows put up an Action project each, reaching out to more than 3500 people, in the process.
Fellows will receive a fellowship certificate and an internship certificate(in case, a fellow takes it up) after successfully completing the fellowship.
What we wish to achieve through this fellowship:
• Sensitize and mobilize youth to be actively involved in sociopolitical issues
• Create leadership among youth to be able to serve the society at various levels
• Create a cadre of young people who use creative mediums to address social issues
• Build strong values of diversity, equality, democracy and secularism among youth.