As we enter 2013, Lakshya looks back to see & cheer for the significant progress during 2012. Here, we take you through some of the key hits and misses on its targets during 2012.
Induction & Training: One of the major improvements in 2012 was the process of induction of volunteers into Lakshya. Even the volunteers who were part of last year DnE underwent the induction to understand and appreciate the revamped program Lakshya. The induction presumably a key factor in the higher quality volunteers turnaround. Another significant step in Lakshya’s growth story was its association with Ms.Saras Bhaskar, an eminent counseling psychologist, whose training on mentoring provided immense value to all the volunteers. In addition, the outbound training helped in building a fantastic team.
Ripples: It would be an understatement to classify Ripples as a mere newsletter for Lakshya. It has been a vital avenue for volunteer engagement, be it sharing experience or gossip or achievement. It has also helped in identifying hidden talents and tacit knowledge of volunteers.
Mentoring: This year mentoring was restricted to only Chennai as the other chapters are still in initial phase. With the quality of training taking the driver seat, the dedication and quality of mentoring has tremendously improved benefiting the children at large. Unfortunately we were not able to enjoy enough flexibility as expected due to lot of constraints.
Tutoring: A creditable addition to the program is the tutoring for 10th class children. While 2012 beginning saw the rise of tutoring within Lakshya, delivering a breakthrough results in Bala Mandir, Chennai, the later part of the year saw more energetic volunteers involved in regular tutoring sessions including weekdays. Not withstanding this, we have also developed a clear plan of action, schedule and syllabus for tutoring.
Personality Profiling Test: Though we had started the concept of psychometric test for children in late 2011, it was only in 2012 we reaped the benefits of it. We had been able to automate the test analysis & results successfully and use the results effectively for mapping mentors with mentees.
Expansion to other Chapters: It was indeed a big step towards expanding the leaps & boundaries of Lakshya to start the program in Trichy & Bengaluru. Despite facing a lot of constraints on volunteers’ / children’s turnaround, the enthusiastic & determined volunteers continue to show progress and we are confident of establishing Lakshya in these chapters this year.
Workshop Model: Continuous research & development is necessary for any organization to sustain, let alone improve. It was this thirst for learning & improvement that led us to study various mentoring organizations across globe and experiment new approaches. One such approach that had a successful start was the workshop model for Lakshya. However, we are yet to regularize this due to centre constraints. We are hopeful that this model will be a key ingredient for Lakshya’s road ahead.
Group Activities: Like every year, this year too saw a lot of improvisation on the group activities conducted. We also created a central repository of all GAs documented in a standard format which was helpful for other cities as well.
Feedback & Learning Cycles: One of the drawbacks this year was the drop in the quantity and quality of post session feedback which needs to be focused. We could have also done much better in conducting Learning cycles. On the other hand, the feedback session on mentoring was a great success with lot of mentors benefiting from the suggestions of fellow mentors and wisdom of Ms.Saras Bhaskar
Chennai Expansion: One of the biggest challenges of 2012 was our inability to expand beyond 2 centres within Chennai, though some the reasons could be attributed to external factors. We are committed towards achieving this by this year.
Target Age group Segment: We have also not been able adequately work on our change in the target segment from 10th class alone to five years from 9th class. Our brief experiment with Industrial Training Centre (ITC) boys of Bala Mandir gave us an insight into the potential scope and challenges in extending Lakshya to a higher age group.