MOHAN Foundation was invited by Chennai Volunteers, a not-for-profit initiative of the Mecheri Foundation, to participate in “NGO Fair 2017” on 18th August 2017 at AVM Rajeswari Kalyana Mandapam, Mylapore, Chennai. Chennai Volunteers has worked over the past six years to make civic society more inclusive and responsive, and has helped not-for-profits engage with volunteers in a sustainable and meaningful way.
“NGO Fair 2017” was an interactive platform where institutions and NGOs shared information about their cause and discussed their volunteering requirements with the Chennai Volunteers and other like-minded people who believed in the spirit of volunteering. The Fair saw the participation of 60 NGOs and 15 institutions.
The MOHAN Foundation team was represented by Dr. Sumana Navin, Course Director, MOHAN Foundation, who started her 20-year stint with the Foundation as a volunteer before transitioning into full-time employment, Ms. Ann Alex, Programme Associate, and two volunteers who have been associated with MOHAN Foundation for close to two decades, Mrs. Madhu B. Sheth and Mrs. K. Srilatha. Both of these committed volunteers were there to share their vast experience in volunteering for the cause of organ donation. The team gave information to prospective volunteers about organ donation as well as the ‘Angels of Change’ Volunteer programme – a unique structured training programme meant exclusively for volunteers of MOHAN Foundation.
At the inaugural function, Mr. Rajeev Mecheri, Mentor - Chennai Volunteers welcomed the gathering. Mrs. Shyamala Ashok, Executive Director, United Way of Chennai, who was the Chief Guest, emphasised that “Volunteers = Corpus.” Their time and contribution needs to be respected and acknowledged. Good planning is required to channelise a volunteer’s passion and skills. And finally, the NGO needs to be truthful and transparent about its functioning to sustain volunteerism.
The panel discussion on “How volunteering can be made more impactful for NGOs” addressed many pertinent questions. The panelists were Ms. Aruna Subramaniam, Mr. Arun Krishnamurthy, and Mr. Sankara Mahalingam. The moderator was Mr. Harish Vittal, Barclays Shared Services Pvt. Ltd. Some of the points made by the panelists –
Ms. Aruna Subramaniam said that developing a framework for volunteers is critical, keeping in mind their skill sets and time. A reward system (not cash) also needs to be there.
Mr. Sankara Mahalingam spoke about getting volunteers to use social media in the right manner. Impactful messages need to be put, not just fundraising requests.
Mr. Arun Krishnamurthy was of the opinion that the key was Índividual Social Responsibility.’
Ms. Rinku Mecheri and Ms. Sanyukta Gupta of Chennai Volunteers facilitated MOHAN Foundation’s participation at the “NGO Fair 2017.”