SUSTAINABLE LIFETYLES AND EDUCATION
BACKGROUND & RATIONALE
Influence is a nationwide youth programme on environmental leadership, active citizenship and volunteering that aims to build a new cadre of youth leaders, who will work to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable future. The program engages young people in an attitudinal, structural, and cultural inside-out leadership journey, where they gain the ability, authority, and agency to make decisions and implement change in their own lives and affect change in society.
CYON stands for ‘Connecting Youth Organisations Nationwide’ and is one of the networks moderated by Swechha, with over 300 youth groups/organisations from various parts of India, as its members.
RURAL AND URBAN INTERNSHIPS
Youth leaders participate in issue-based workshops, rural exposures, residential leadership camps, rural and urban internships with NGOs and grassroots social movements. As part of the program, they initiate social change initiatives, action projects, city level campaigns such as Right to Education, Oye Dilli (political awareness) and Spotted- War against Waste.
Through our fellowships, many youth led campaigns and projects also get incubated as long term social change initiatives and enterprises like Bio Gas plants, lake cleans up, solar lanterns, environmental film festivals, career counselling for the environmental sector, community gardens and plantation drives. We also hold capacity building workshops for youth led volunteering organisations on youth development and volunteer management.
In 2012, as a part of The International Citizen Service (ICS), a 3-month rural volunteering and international exchange program with VSO funded by the UK government (Department for International Development) – we hosted 65 young leaders from India and U.K. , who led grassroots community initiatives in Delhi and Jaipur, engaging over 12000 people.
CYON facilitates the exchange of knowledge as well as resources amongst these organizations and provides mentorship support to the members around financial stability and management, organization skills development, capacity building and communication. A collective and consolidated space for everyone who works with/for youth on volunteerism, active citizenship, social entrepreneurship, environmental responsibility and other developmental concerns.
Run over 2010-2012, VSO International has supported this initiative in the past and we have impacted over 10,000 individuals and 300 youth groups so far.
Rural and Urban Organizations
We are always looking for young and enthusiastic minds that can help us create the change along with being the change. Whatever your passion, we always have opportunities for you along with endless cups of Chai!
SOME OF OUR
‘The internship helped me understand myself, and build capacities to connect with people from diverse backgrounds. I challenged my beliefs and countered many stereotypes i harbored, especially around rural India. I discovered my own passion for community work, and am determined to bring this back to the city as well.”
“Through my work with Swechha, I learned how public policy is shaped by everyday decisions and vice-versa. It gave me the tools to successfully launch my own endeavors.”
As a fellow, I got the first hand experience of how one can design and run a successful campaign on waste and recycling in the city. I understood the key elements of a campaign, the storytelling, the mediums, how one can creatively engage people, and how one person’s story can inspire so many to take that step towards change. Seeing over 300 people turn up for our Yamuna community clean up at Khudsia ghat was fantastic!