Volunteering at Udayan Care – Rhea’s First Post

Hello from the chaotic, excessively conjested yet vibrant capital of India, New Delhi! I’m currently at the Lajpat Nagar Head Office of Udayan Care where I am interning for the next 6 weeks. Udayan Care is a 19 years old non-profit organization that has 13 foster homes for boys and girls and a scholarship program for girls wishing to pursue higher studies. It aims to empower, educate and provide educational and employment opportunities to the disadvantaged youth in the National Capital Region. The unique factor about Udayan Care is that each foster home has no more than 15 children and has at least 4 mentor parents and numerous volunteers to support the children. It also has a program called the Udayan Shalini Fellowships initiated in 2002, that aims to ensure no girl with the drive to learn is denied her dream, due to lack of support.

I found out about Udayan Care through a family friend and immediately got in touch with the Volunteer Coordinators over winter break. Initially, I applied to volunteer at an Udayan Ghar but my plans changed when I went to the Head Office in June 2013. I was introduced to the Managing Trustee, Kiran Modi, and she asked me what I did at Brandeis. Amongst many things, I told her that I worked for Brandeis Phonathon. Kiran thought it was best for me to get in touch with the Communication Department considering my experience with Brandeis Phonathon.

rhea-udayan-staffMeenakshi Kohli, the Director of Communications was given the responsibility to ensure I find a project as she decided that I would be more of use to the Communication Department than the Ghar program. It was decided that Udayan Care needed some research to be done on online giving and I was the best person for it, given my experience with Brandeis Phonathon. However, after discussing the pros and cons of the project, we decided that it would take me more than six weeks to collect substantial information and thus, the idea of doing a research project on online giving was dropped. We then met Kiran Modi again and she gave me a project on Donor Recognition. I was supposed to do research on how to recognize donors online and offline. After collecting the statistics of the average donor, I went through various websites and found various ways to recognize donors. I put together a PowerPoint presentation and presented it to the Director of Communications, Director of Fundraising and the Board of Trustees. This presentation marked the end of the first half of my internship.

Although I didn’t interact with people from my age group, I got a chance to mingle with the employees  – the backbone of Udayan Care. I was transformed to a different world when we spoke about their backgrounds, love for Udayan Care and need to give back. It was great to have some serious and some very mindless conversations with my co-workers over lunch! More than that, it was inspiring to sit in a room full of individuals devoted to such a great cause. Children from various homes would be in and out of the Head Office and it was a pleasure to see them come running into the office to greet us and thank us for all the work we were doing. It was such an amazing feeling to see how our jobs were not only impacting our lives, but also their lives. Overall, the first three weeks spent with Udayan Care made me even more excited for what was to come and I was looking forward to working with a group of creative individuals who taught me so much about how non-profits functioned and life!

– Rhea Sanghi ’15

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