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During the year, Lend-A-Hand India continued to work on three projects - Swadheen, Disha and Catalyst - covering 1267 high school going boys and girls. We also launched a unique and ambitious project "Plan 100" which will equip 20,000 girls and boys from 100 high schools in rural India with job and life skills.
The career-counseling program (Project Disha) was strengthened further by introducing monthly activities such as exhibitions, tutoring for improving English language abilities, screening of documentaries, and field visits. Through out the year 886 students benefited from these monthly programs. In addition, 274 boys and 170 girls (total of 444) from six villages benefited from aptitude testing and career counseling program. 127 parents also attended the counseling sessions.
The community leadership program (Project Catalyst) is now ready for replication. So far 113 young men and women from the local communities have completed the six-month community leadership program supported by Lend-A-Hand India. Two representatives from the organizations which will launch the community leadership program at their centers in 2006 will attend the forthcoming training program. A special training will be organized for them about how to implement and monitor the center activities. The operational manual which will facilitate running of the center is getting ready.
The project implementation activities in Mumbai were badly affected due to unprecedented floods. The lives of people in two slum communities where our projects are implemented, Chembur and Colaba, suffered material loss and even loss of lives. Lend-A-Hand India, through partnership with other organizations extended help to address the emergency health related needs of the communities. During the rest of the year 43 students completed short term vocational training courses and 62 boys and girls were provided counseling.
A new project was launched in partnership with the NGO Vigyan Ashram, Pabal. The project titled "PLAN 100" is about replicating a unique and successful vocational training model for generating employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for the rural youth. We have ambitious plan to start the program in 100 high schools covering 20,000 youth. The program is already launched in two high schools, Dhamari and Nhavara, where total 375 students are enrolled for the program.
Lend-A-Hand India sponsored a survey of alumni of Vigyan Ashram of over 400 students. Face to face interviews of about 100 alumni were conducted. The interim report of the survey is received and the final report is expected soon. The findings of the survey will provide inputs for curriculum revision, training of teachers, and the success stories of alumni will motivate and guide the current students. The alumni are encouraged to enroll as mentors and also extend their support to the Vigyan Ashram's future development.
Total direct beneficiaries: 975
Indirect beneficiaries: 1823
Boys to Girls ratio: 60:40