The biggest movements, that shaped history, ranging from civil rights to equality to suffrage, have rose out of tireless youth leaders fighting for what they believed in. Make A Difference provides a space for young people to step in, lead and make a difference in their own communities. By providing on-ground exposure, actively initiating dialogue and establishing a culture of entrepreneurship, MAD transforms youth into a potent social force to strategically impact children at risk in their community.
MAD nationally employs a panel of experts who conduct extensive need analysis and research on the needs of institutionalized children. Based on results, appropriate programmes are identified and tested in a structured manner. If successful, these programmes are standardized and made available to community leaders, who take up programmes based on the community's need. Programme expertise involves training modules, year-round support, mentoring, monitoring and evaluation for effective implementation.
To make multiple programmes work within the community, there needs to be strong systems in place to ensure the quality of delivery. MAD teams in cities are provided comprehensive training on recruitment, fund-raising, awareness campaigns, managing financials, motivation and engagement. An internal process website is available to all of MAD’s young leaders and volunteers so that they can learn, reflect on existing processes and add to it overtime, thereby boosting community-powered process generation.
MAD take complete ownership of the quality of delivery of our programmes delivered by our community partners across India. To ensure quality of programmes, we have internally developed a volunteer management tool, MADapp,which provides real-time information on the performance of every child and every volunteer in the MAD programme on a real-time basis. This information is used to nationally drive the quality standards. Additionally, every community partner is reviewed on Page 5 established quality standards on a monthly basis and held accountable for the quality standards maintained.
Twice a year, young leaders from across the country are invited to Leadership Circles to participate in a unique learning process, as part of MAD's youth development programme: LxD (Leadership x Design). These conferences, by setting up an entrepreneurial space and facilitiating dialogue, provide a chance for these young leaders to have a say, or participate, in MAD’s growth, vision and future plans. MAD’s Leadershp Circles are intensive 3-4 day affairs where Fellows are put through path-making workshops, do-it-yourself sessions and intense debates, all with a view of increasing the efficiency of the functioning of MAD chapters across India.
Provides role-models for children to aspire to by putting high-potential young people in touch with a class of 5 children. These youngsters provides after school support for Math, Science and English.
Propel enables children to build their career paths that are in sync with their interests and is aimed at those who are poised to pass out from shelter homes. By pairing them with a spirited volunteer, called a wingman, we wish to motivate, inspire and facilitate their journey towards an independent and sustainable life.
Dream Camps are a 2-3 day experiential camp that primarily focuse on helping children build and connect with their dreams through a process of self growth and transformation.
Make A Difference (MAD) is a youth driven, non-profit organisation working to ensure equitable outcomes for children in orphanages and street shelters. Registered as a non-profit in 2006, Make A Difference reaches out to over 4,250 children in 81 shelters across 23 cities in India, through a highly efficient 4,300 strong volunteer network. Volunteers commit a year and spend between 2 and 10 hours every week mentoring, teaching and interacting with children in order to ensure that they get the support and care they need during childhood.
Our vision is that even the most vulnerable children in shelters are able to realize equitable outcomes. We understand the most vulnerable as children who either do not have a family to support them, or children whose families are unable to provide a safe space for them to grow up in. Many of these children end up in shelters,which struggle to address more than infrastructure and basic needs, so Make A Difference focuses on providing them with additional care and support systems to ensure that they flourish.
Our mission is to improve quality of life and outcomes for children in shelters and to ensure that every child is able to fulfill their potential irrespective of his or her circumstances.
Our minimum target is to ensure that these children are able to live a life free from exploitation and are capable of managing emotional and financial life crises. However our real goal is for children we work with to end up on par with a stable middle class demographic that allows us to break the cycle of poverty and abandonment.
Sneheel is part of MAD's PR & Communications Team which is responsible for enabling MAD’s impact by supporting the mobilisation of young leaders through national campaigns, the web, online and offline engagement, and the production and dissemination of communications and collateral. The team is also responsible for supporting fundraising by driving recognition, production of collateral, visual media reporting and media relations. Finally Sneheel supports the Programme teams in delivering and showcasing impact through recruitment materials and collateral, and by raising social awareness through online and offline campaigns. Sneheel also manages brand consistency, presence and experience at MAD, through a team of Fellows and Volunteers across the country.
Sneheel started out teaching at a shelter home under MAD’s erstwhile Connect Program, before taking on the role of PR Fellow for MAD’s Nagpur City Chapter. He then moved on to become one of MAD’s PR Strategists, and eventually joined Make A Difference full time as the Director of PR & Communications.
By growing MAD’s flagship community activation events, Sneheel has ensured that digital campaigning for Make A Difference has increased in scale and participation. Formalization of communications processes and streamlining of MAD’s online and offline presence has highly impacted the visibility of Make A Difference across media platforms. He has also driven major improvements in the quality of content creation and curation using a crowd-sourced methodology of engaging and managing close to 500 young volunteers across the country.
Sneheel is passionate about design and strategic communications for impact, and drives MAD’s flagship community outreach events; MAD Week and Back-a-thon across the MAD footprint.
An overdose of The fight club, V for vendetta and Heavy Metal during his teenage life led to the germination of the seed of changing the world in him. A hopeless optimist, he believes firmly that when you talk about the right things to the right people at the right time, you will move mountains.
Binny is part of MAD’s technology team, responsible for creating and maintaining bespoke, cutting edge technological tools to manage and monitor impact and operations in MAD. Given the limited financial resources available to non-profits, a key focus for the team lies in leveraging technology to drive both efficiency and effectiveness, by automating and streamlining operating processes using technology. In parallel, the technology team is responsible for innovating not just within Make A Difference, but across the sector, and MAD has won a number of national awards for innovations in the use of web and mobile technologies in capturing and showcasing impact data, managing and monitoring operations, delivering educational and developmental services, and financial tracking and transparency.
Over the past 10 years Binny has created apps, plugins, tools that are used by thousands of people around the world. He has taken an active role in multiple tech communities and has had over a decade of experience in the web development field. He has also been a regular speaker at tech conferences including Barcamps, Google Developer Groups, and ILUGs.
For most of his life, Binny wanted to make a positive impact on the world. He found that MAD was his opportunity not only to do what he was good at, but also simultaneously create the change that he wanted to see in the world.
Nivi is part of MAD's Education Support team which is responsible for ensuring that children in shelters are able to achieve the grades necessary for them to progress into further education or vocational training. Nivi’s primary focus is to roll-out impact interventions, and innovate in how interventions are redesigned to fit MAD’s delivery model. She manages the operations of MAD’s Ed Support Programme across 23 city chapters, supports the development of programme content, and advises on needs on the ground.
Nivi started her journey with Make A Difference as a teacher for polytechnic students, where she had the opportunity to develop more innovative teaching strategies and activities, before joining the Ed Support program as a full-time specialist. She strives to make the best use of the child’s time both within and beyond MAD’s intervention hours, as according to her, the child’s growth curve expands exponentially when the entire environment is conducive towards learning.
Nivi is passionate about the language component of Ed Support, as language is a key driver in children being able to express clearly and have more clarity in thought. She is currently specialising in learning outside classrooms, through language immersion and peripheral learning, and area she is keen to focus on in the coming years.
The innovation and creation platform that MAD provides along with the child connect is what drives the MADness within her. As a Fellow, she enjoyed working with and empowering young leaders to develop their ideas into larger frameworks. She was able to implement new projects and revamp existing ones in her fellowship tenure, which ultimately was the cause for taking up the Operations of the Ed Support Program full-time.
Jithin is part of MAD's Strategic Operations team which is responsible for providing direction to the organization, safeguarding the vision, and setting targets. Jithin's core focus is financial oversight, planning, operational delivery, strategic design, and ensuring effective and efficient implementation of MAD's solution for impact on ground.
Jithin has been working with children in orphanages since his second year of University and in 2006 founded Make a Difference along with three of his friends. Since then he has grown MAD from an idea to make a difference to vulnerable children, into an organisation working with more than 80 shelters across 23 cities in India.
Jithin has been awarded the Ashoka Global Youth Social Entrepreneur award, Karmaveer Puraskar, Cordes Fellowship, Dasra peer grant and Youth Actionnet Fellowship for his contribution to society. He was one of the few social entrepreneurs personally supported by Michelle Obama through her International Youth Engagement Program and was one of the contenders for the Forbes India "30 under 30" list. He is currently part of DASRA's 2014/15 cohort of social entrepreneurs.
His inability to reconcile with the way the society treats its most vulnerable has been a leading cause of MADness. His blind belief in young people's role in being a catalyst in creating a better and more equal society has also been a contributory factor.
Rizwan is part of MAD's Strategic Operations team which is responsible for providing direction to the organization, safeguarding the vision, and setting targets. Rizwan's core focus is strategic direction, impact assurance, solution design, organisational design and restructuring, scaling, long-term planning, roadmaps, and developing thought leadership at MAD.
Rizwan has been involved with social change for nearly two decades, starting with literacy and community building projects in the mid-90s. He has since worked with more than 150 non-profits and social enterprises around the world, developing a detailed knowledge and understanding not only of the needs of vulnerable children, but also how to manage, structure and scale organisations and programmes to address those needs.
Rizwan first got involved with MAD as a Strategic Advisor at the start of 2013 and then joined as CEO to help take MAD closer to its longer term goals of equitable outcomes for children in shelters. Rizwan is also on the Board of a number of other non-profits around the world, is a Fellow of the RSA, and has published pioneering frameworks on designing and scaling social impact.
Rizwan believes that with a little support, MAD's scalable delivery model driven by young leaders full of passion, energy and drive has great potential to fundamentally make a difference to outcomes for children on a systemic level. He firmly believes that all individuals should be able to live their lives free of undue stress and trauma, and MAD represents the possibility of making this happen for millions of children at risk, not only in India but eventually also around the world.
Loy is part of MAD's Shelter Support team which is responsible for ensuring that we are able to work closely with shelter authorities and staff to understand the needs of their children so that we can customize interventions, improve care practices and provide infrastructural support where necessary. The shelter support team also collaborates with shelter authorities to understand and empathize with the day to day operations of the center, and is is responsible for managing relationships, along with handling and streamlining all communications between MAD’s impact delivery teams and shelter authorities in order to ensure quality control, uniformity and standardization.
Loy has a Masters in Sociology, and a long history of working with children. When she was still in school, she taught children from a nearby slum cluster after her school hours. During that phase of life, she realized that children are the ideal change-makers if nurtured from childhood. Having then worked in multiple sectors that deal with women, children and the marginalized, she joined as MAD’s first paid employee.
She is thus one of MAD’s longest standing members, starting out managing all operations in the South Zone, before moving on to the role of National Operations Head, then Project Head for the Discover Programme, and finally into the critical role of managing all shelter relationships. Since Loy set up and took over this role, there has been a huge improvement in trust and relationships between Make A Difference and the shelters we work with, and an almost complete reduction in issues and churn related to volunteer behaviour or impact concerns.
Loy has always believed that she could be a catalyst to social change in the society, and firmly believes that change and impact can be made by an individual at any point in life. All that is required is innate determination. At Make A Difference, she is greatly motivated by knowing that her work enables children and volunteers to realise their true potential irrespective of any boundaries, and helps them understand how they in turn can be changemakers.
Sanjay is part of MAD’s technology team, responsible for creating and maintaining bespoke, cutting edge technological tools to manage and monitor impact and operations in MAD. Given the limited financial resources available to non-profits, a key focus for the team lies in leveraging technology to drive both efficiency and effectiveness, by automating and streamlining operating processes using technology. In parallel, the technology team is responsible for innovating not just within Make A Difference, but across the sector, and MAD has won a number of national awards for innovations in the use of web and mobile technologies in capturing and showcasing impact data, managing and monitoring operations, delivering educational and developmental services, and financial tracking and transparency.
Sanjay started his journey with Make A Difference as a teaching volunteer while still studying. He then moved on to the role of heading the team for the Shelter he taught in, before eventually leading Cochin’s city operations. It was then that he decided to combine his two big passions, impact and technology, and the software he developed for solving the problem of teacher absenteeism on ground was selected for iHub, the innovations platform in MAD.
Sanjay eventually joined MAD full time as Director of Technology. Since then he has worked on numerous technology solutions for projects ranging from fundraising to operations. Sanjay designed and created India's first offline and online fundraising platform using gamification and behavior design to improve the way fundraising and crowd-funding is done at MAD. MAD now raises almost half its funds through fund-raising, with a growth of nearly 50% last year alone, driven by better technology and reach.
Sanjay has also been instrumental in transitioning the tech team in MAD to a full Scrum Agile model and scaling the tech team to better meet MAD’s delivery needs. He also project manages other non-technology initiatives at MAD, and is passionate about crafting user experience and analyzing data to help decision making.
Growing up in a family deeply involved in social work, trying to make the world a better place was second nature to Sanjay. He strongly believes in the cause MAD stands for, and at MAD has found a family of like-minded people who want to change the world.
Aswin is part of MAD's Mobilisation team which is responsible for mobilising young leaders across the country to make a difference to children in shelters. Aswin helps ensure that our Volunteers, Fellows and Strats feel engaged and supported, and that they receive the training and development they need to become leaders in the true altruistic sense of the word. As part of his role he also works closely with the Human Capital team and Programme Operations teams to ensure effective and enthusiastic delivery of MAD’s programmes on the ground. Aswin’s other focus lies with life skills, especially related to personal safety and sexuality, and he has been instrumental in developing MAD’s child safety policies. In tandem with his work on mobilisation, Aswin is also actively involved with the Shelter Support team, helping ensure fellow and strategist alignment and engagement.
Aswin has always been passionate about improving the living conditions of others and has covered a lot of ground within Make A Difference, applying his skills to many different aspects of impact and operations. He began his journey in MAD as a teaching volunteer, moving on to an internship with the corporate relations team and finally batch head of YMCA shelter home. He then moved on to the role of English Project Head and City trainer working with 9 shelters in Cochin on topics of class quality assessment, volunteer management, internal assessment conduction etc and trained over 250 volunteers in the capacity of city trainer.
He eventually joined MAD as a full time employee in the role of Regional Director (South region) responsible for social projects in 6 cities, working on city culture, fellow alignment and conflict resolution. He continued in MAD as the Director of Operations taking care of both social projects in MAD as well as fund raising project, before helping set up the Mobilisation team as Director of Mobilization. Aswin also works closely with Shelter Support vertical, and is a certified sexuality and personal safety trainer, supporting the development of MAD’s internal policies on the same.
Being a son of parents who spent a lot of time engaging in social service, and the realization after joining MAD as a teaching volunteer that children are hugely important to him, are primarily the causes for Aswin’s MADness. He is passionate about working closely with issues children are facing today and he believes that there is no better platform than MAD to help him realize his goals.
Rakesh is part of MAD's Education Support team which is responsible for ensuring that children in shelters are able to achieve the grades necessary for them to progress into further education or vocational training. Rakesh’s primary focus is to analyse needs, identify necessary learning interventions and develop, pilot and prove learning, educational and teaching methodologies that can be scaled up across the MAD network. Rakesh also identifies, engages and manages partnerships with experts in the field to ensure that we are deploying proven methodologies and aren’t losing time reinventing the wheel.
Rakesh is passionate about the role technology plays in improving and transforming education. His originally worked for an organization that created software solutions for Higher-Education institutions, helping them improve efficiency and scale up. He first started working with Make A Difference as a teaching volunteer, went on to be the English Project Fellow for the Bangalore City Chapter, and then after two years of understanding educational needs on the ground, joined full-time to develop MAD’s Education Support programme.
During Rakesh’s tenure, the Education Support program has made a significant transition from providing only communicative English to a program that provides after-school support to children in a range of subjects including Maths, Science and English. This unique program currently supports over 4200 children across 77 shelter homes through a volunteer base of over 2500 and an average teacher to student ratio of 1:2. This transition has enabled the children we work with to perform better in schools and has resulted in unprecedented improvement in the grade 10 board examination results in shelter homes.
Rakesh discovered his love for teaching at MAD and firmly believes that every child has a right to quality education, and that it is our duty, as citizens, to step up and deliver where the state has failed to do so.
Sushma is part of MAD's Finance team which is responsible for overall financial planning and compliance of the organization. Sushma’s primary focus lies in ensuring that MAD’s bookkeeping is up-to-date and well maintained. She is responsible for making sure that MAD’s books are perfectly updated without delays, manages vendor payments, ECS (electronic clearing system for monthly donations) processing, hard copy receipts, and ensures that all our compliances are met on time. She also in charge of all filing, and plays a key role in supporting MAD’s monthly and annual audits.
Sushma originally worked for a goods trading company in Hyderabad looking after their bookkeeping, before completing her MBA in Finance. She joined Make A Difference in 2014 to help ensure that we meet industry standards with our accounts and audits.
Sushma has always been keen to make an impact, and working with MAD allows her to do that.
Kamal plays a dual role at Make A Difference, being part of both the Strategic Operations Team, as well as the Human Capital team. As part of the Strategic Operations team he is responsible for efficiency and effectiveness, managing drag factors, and ensuring that the team is able to function optimally and make best use of MAD’s limited resources at all times. From a Human Capital perspective, Kamal also supports project management and alignment across teams, and is responsible for helping drive employee welfare and recruitment of full time employees at MAD.
Kamal has always been passionate about the rights of the under privileged and started his MAD Journey while working helping manage Operations for a private firm. He heard of MAD while on a sabbatical, and started volunteering with children in a local shelter, building on previous experience with education and operations. Kamal then became the Operations Fellow for MAD’s team in Cochin before joining MAD full time.
In his first year at MAD Kamal recommended the Subjects Project for I-Hub and was one of the few hand picked by MAD to pilot the project. The project was a huge success, and for the first time in the shelter’s history all children cleared their secondary school examinations. Within 2 years the Subjects Project was rolled out across the country, eventually becoming what is now called the Ed Support program. While rolling the project out, Kamal realised that his true strength and passion lies is in the field of Operations and Human Capital and he shifted his focus to improving efficiency and effectiveness, reducing drag factors, managing logistics and helping with employee welfare and recruitment.
The realization that there is so much that can be done by like-minded individuals connected by a cause.
Vrishi is part of MAD's Mobilisation team which is responsible for mobilising communities and young leaders across the country to come together and make a difference to children in shelters. Vrishi helps ensure that our Volunteers, Fellows and Strats feel engaged and supported, and that they receive the training and development they need to become leaders in the true altruistic sense of the word. As part of her role she also works closely with the Human Capital team and Programme Operations teams to ensure effective and enthusiastic delivery of MAD’s programmes on the ground.
Vrishi started her MAD journey as a teaching volunteer in Hyderabad, while still at University. She went on to become the Center Head for the Aadarana Boys Home, where she was responsible for the overall operations of MAD in the shelter. Vrishi was also one of the five leaders chosen for the I Lead India Youth Brigade, where they worked in a residential area to improve the living conditions and mobilize the residents to fight for the challenges they were facing.
She eventually joined full time as the Operations Director for MAD’s Deccan region, where she was responsible for the operations and culture in 6 chapters of MAD comprising over 800 volunteers and 100 fellows. When the Mobilisation team was set up, Vrishi’s experience and successes with motivating teams across the country meant that she was a great fit for the role of Director of Mobilisation.
Working for something way bigger than herself has always given Vrishi a purpose to strive for. She believes that every person should find a cause they are passionate about and take action towards solving it.
Shilpa is part of MAD's Human Capital team which is responsible for all aspects of recruitment, retention, induction, training and interpersonal issue resolution within Make A Difference. Her primary focus is to recruit and train employees and volunteers so as to ensure that optimized bandwidth is provided for efficient delivery of MAD’s programs throughout the year. Shilpa ensures that the work culture translates Make A Difference to be a great place to work in for both volunteers and employees by driving engagement initiatives, competency building platforms for the volunteer base. Along with proactively resolving any interpersonal issues, the HC team is currently setting up a robust escalation/grievance redressal system. Retention of the volunteers is another key focus area for the Human Capital Team and they have been driving initiatives to ensure retention of highly engaged volunteers.
Shilpa was working in Management when she joined MAD as a teaching volunteer and Mentor, before moving on to the role of HR Fellow in Chennai, and then HR Strategist for Central region. Shilpa eventually joined Make A Difference full time, taking on the role of Operations Director for the Central Region, before revolutionising the Human Capital function in her current capacity. Shilpa has driven big improvements to general operations across cities, and more specifically across the Human Capital vertical.
Shilpa has driven a pro-learning and cause focused culture, ensured a high continuation rate, and boosted morale and employee engagement. She has also improved internal escalation systems, organisation wide policies, and ensured more robust functioning across all teams. Aside from her work, developing MAD’s Human Capital, Shilpa is also passionate about the prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and is a certified sexuality and personal safety trainer, and thus has helped develop MAD’s strong internal policies on the same.
Shilpa started her journey by teaching 15-19yr olds with whom she could see the impact and improvement each day. It made her realize that MAD is truly Making A Difference in real time and she found herself hooked. MAD according to her is a life-line that supports anyone it touches. People call her a workaholic but she says she is a MAD-A-HOLIC and gets a high from constant challenges and learnings that come her way at MAD. She says joining Make a Difference was one of the best decisions she has made, as it makes her feel like she has reached home.
Vaibhav is part of MAD's Transition Readiness team, which is responsible for ensuring that young people who leave the shelters are adequately prepared to transition into the real world they will enter. This includes the readiness to cope outside of the shelter support system, having access to suitable housing, and being successfully placed in further education, vocational training or career oriented work, ideally on a path related to their interests and passions. Vaibhav is also responsible for developing the first generation of After-Care support systems for young people leaving shelters, formally through Make A Difference, and informally through the network of mentors that are dedicated to each child during their time with MAD.
Post his B-tech in Mechanical Engineering from the prestigious VIT University, Vellore, Vaibhav was employed with SABMiller before he decided to join MAD. He was one of the founding team members of the MAD Vellore City Chapter, handling the Shelter Support vertical, before joining Make A Difference full-time as a Regional Director of Operations.
In parallel he started research and piloting a program aimed at providing youth leaving shelter home with transitional support, successfully piloting it in Nagpur in 2013, before transforming it into a nationwide project across MAD. The programme is now called Propel and currently works with 250 young people in shelters across 16 cities. Since its formal inception, Propel has already placed nearly 40 young into colleges and many are pursuing jobs in their fields of interest.
Beyond transition, Vaibhav also realised the need for an equally robust aftercare system in order to ensure that MAD’s vision of equitable outcomes could be achieved. in 2014 he started preliminary work on an informal after-care system within Make A Difference, and is currently testing a pilot with around 70 young people who have transitioned out of the Propel Project and into the real world.
Vaibhav is very passionate about helping youth from underprivileged backgrounds make a life and career for themselves. He feels that this is one of the crucial steps towards them being able to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty. The reality is that there are many hurdles standing between them and this outcomes, but Vaibhav believes his personal goal of being able to create a support system robust enough that every child with a dream is able to make it a reality, is something he can achieve at Make A Difference.
Bhumika is part of MAD’s Transition Readiness team, which is responsible for ensuring that children who leave shelters have been successfully placed in either further education, vocational training or career oriented work, and are adequately prepared to transition into the real world they will enter. Bhumika is also responsible for ensuring they get life skills training and academic support before they transition out of the shelter homes. Her primary focus is to make sure these interventions fit MAD’s delivery model and get implemented with quality.
Bhumika completed her Engineering from Vellore Institute of Technology along with which she volunteered for Make A Difference for around 4 years. During this time she held multiple City level profiles where she motivated volunteers to deliver quality on-ground. Her various roles including being a Center Head of the Pastor Home in Vellore, and then City HR Fellow, all helped her realize that her passion lies in giving back to the society.
To take it a step further, she took up a regional profile under one of MAD’s programs, Propel and closely worked with four cities for the same. She eventually joined full-time to work with Propel as Programme Operations Director, closely collaborating with 250 young people in shelters across 16 cities. Since its formal inception, Propel has already placed nearly 40 young into colleges and many are pursuing jobs in their fields of interest.
Bhumika is strong believer of spirituality and thinks that everyone is born to be able to give back to the society and do their best to make world a better place. Being of service to the community comes very naturally to her, and joining Make A Difference gives her the platform to do so every single day.
Bharat is part of MAD's Mobilisation team which is responsible for mobilising young leaders across the country to make a difference to children in shelters. Bharat helps ensure that our Volunteers, Fellows and Strats feel engaged and supported, and that they receive the training and development they need to become leaders in the true altruistic sense of the word. As part of his role he also works closely with the Human Capital team and Programme Operations teams to ensure effective and enthusiastic delivery of MAD’s programmes on the ground.
Bharat has always been passionate about people and change. While at University, he was an active member of the Cultural team where he first built his skills around mobilisation and culture. He also belonged to the English Literary Society and won various prizes for speaking at events like debates and JAMs. Bharat is also passionate about improving the living conditions of others and began his journey in MAD as a teaching volunteer in Children’s Home India, a shelter in Chennai. At that time, he was working as a Test Analyst in Tata Consultancy Services, eventually specialising in training and technical communications. He would teach at the center on weekends, and became a mentor within 3 months of teaching there. The year after that, he became the City Team Lead of Chennai where he worked closely with all the verticals of the city and his main strength was his on ground presence. Bharat’s passions and skills were a perfect fit for MAD’s Mobilisation team, and he eventually joined Make A Difference full time as a Director of Mobilisation.
Bharat was not someone who had any big aspirations from life when he was working in the IT sector. He happened to interact with a friend on Twitter who told him that he could spend his weekends, volunteering for a non profit organization. Little did he know then, that the interaction would change his entire life. The second he entered the center after being selected into MAD, he knew he was in the place where he always wanted to be; working with children. He even made the change at TCS to that of a trainer so that he could improve his teaching skills. He genuinely enjoys teaching and working with children, and MAD has enabled Bharat to make the transition towards following his true passion.
Rohit is a part of both the Technology and PR & Communications teams in MAD and provides expertise in graphic design, technological innovation and web development. As part of the Technology team, Rohit functions as a full stack developer, responsible for creating and maintaining bespoke, cutting edge technological tools to manage and monitor impact and operations in MAD. His work with the PR & Communications team is primarily focused on graphic design and the production and release of materials, media and collateral.
Rohit joined MAD as a Fundraising intern in MAD’s Ahmedabad Chapter during his third year of college. He worked as a volunteer for nearly 2 years in various profiles which included that of a Public Relations Intern and Fundraising Intern before he joined the National Team as a National Technology Intern as a part of his Final Year Project of College. During his course of internship in the, Rohit helped MAD with Graphic Design works and Technology Development. Rohit joined MAD full time on 1st June, 2015 and took up the role of Full Stack Developer soon after he graduated as a Computer Engineer.
Being someone who has faith in humanity, believes in positivity in the world and values friendships and bonds a lot, Rohit realized MAD is the perfect place for him to be. After having had friends who were part of MAD and heard lot of amazing and inspiring stories from them, he decided to be a part of the change.
Karen is part of MAD's Education Support team which is responsible for ensuring that children in shelters are able to achieve the grades necessary for them to progress into further education or vocational training. Karen’s primary focus is to roll-out impact interventions, and innovate in how they are redesigned to fit MAD’s delivery model. She manages the operations of MAD’s Ed Support Programme across 23 city chapters, supports the development of programme content, and advises on needs on the ground.
Karen joined the Teach for India Fellowship in 2010 and has never looked back. As a Fellow, she taught a class of 72 students in a low-income school and led them to achieve ambitious goals in Math, Reading, Writing and Comprehension. In order to reach out to even more students and to create a culture of learning in the community, she set up an independent library which impacted 600 children. After the fellowship, Karen went on to become a Program Manager where she was responsible for the personal and professional development of 37 Fellows. She also instituted TFI's first Science and Social Studies Committee in order to build a robust curriculum and assessment method for all its partner schools. She also worked as a Reading Fluency specialist at Teach For India’s pan India training.
After her stint with Teach for India, Karen joined Leadership Boulevard as a Senior Manager of Curriculum Design and Training. She led a team of of curriculum designers for Grades 1-8 for all subjects. She also initiated a Special English Literacy Program, an accelerator program which helps students bridge their reading level gaps. Within 6 months of its implementation, 70% of students had moved up one year of reading level or more.
As a teacher, Karen discovered her love for teaching literacy and introducing young minds to the magical world of stories. She wants to use her skills to put students on a different and more meaningful life path which will enable them to get equal opportunities.
Harsha is part of MAD’s Transition Readiness team, which is responsible for ensuring that children who leave shelters have been successfully placed in either further education, vocational training or career oriented work, and are adequately prepared to transition into the real world they will enter. Harsha is also responsible for ensuring they get life skills training and academic support before they transition out of the shelter homes. Her primary focus is to make sure these interventions fit MAD’s delivery model and get implemented with quality.
Born and brought up in the City of Joy, Kolkata, Harsha completed her studies while taking various leadership roles throughout her academic journey. She moved to Bangalore in the year 2013 to pursue her higher education.
While living away from family and experiencing life in a new city and place, Harsha developed various transitioning skills. Understanding the importance of giving back to the society, while excelling in her undergraduate triple major course in Economics, Mathematics and Statistics, she decided to volunteer with Make a Difference as a wingman in the year 2014.
She took up fellowship in the year 2015 and a to take a step further in the same year she took up a regional profile under one of MAD’s programs, Propel and closely worked with four cities for the same. She eventually joined full-time to work with Propel as Programme Operations Director in the year 2016, closely collaborating with 250 young people in shelters across 16 cities. Since its formal inception, Propel has already placed nearly 50 young into colleges and many are pursuing jobs in their fields of interest.
Harsha believes that the lack of right kind of support for underprivileged youth has been one of the reasons that is taking them away from all that they deserved. Make A Difference provided Harsha the platform to aid these youth with various interventions to enable them during their journey towards their dreams.
Mohana is part of MAD's Mobilization Team driving the Human Capital components of volunteer mobilization. The Team is responsible for all aspects of recruitment, retention, induction, training and interpersonal issue resolution within Make A Difference. Her primary focus is to recruit and train volunteers so as to ensure that optimized bandwidth is provided for efficient delivery of MAD’s programs throughout the year. Mohana ensures that the work culture translates Make A Difference to be a great place to work in for volunteers by driving engagement initiatives, competency building platforms for the volunteer base. Along with proactively resolving any interpersonal issues, the HC team is currently setting up a robust escalation/grievance redressal system and Governance at Make A Difference. Retention of the volunteers is another key focus area and they have been driving initiatives to ensure retention of highly engaged volunteers.
Mohana, became a part of Make a Difference as an English teacher while she was pursuing her Law degree in Bangalore.
The problem MAD is trying to solve and the approach the organisation uses to solve the same interested her to do more and create impact through action more than talking about the same. Which eventually led her to take up roles such as a centre head, a finance fellow and a human capital fellow.
Her aim is to ensure children across India rich or poor have the same support system without any bias or influence.
Her cause of MADness is the youth of today. The role the young generation in our country can play in connecting vulnerable children back to the society is huge. She believes the right kind of platform and guidance is all it takes to make the youth of today, young leaders of tomorrow.
Rupinder works with the Operations Team which is responsible for effective and efficient implementation of MAD interventions on ground. The team also focuses on inter-team alignment, ensures smooth city operations and maintaining city culture across 23 cities. Rupinder helps ensure that our Volunteers, Fellows and Strats feel engaged and supported, and that they receive the training and development they need to become leaders in the true altruistic sense of the word. As part of her role she also works closely with the Human Capital team and Programme Operations teams to ensure effective and enthusiastic delivery of MAD’s programmes and to build and embed MAD’s Cultural values and cause focus on ground.
Rupinder's journey at Make A Difference began in Chandigarh, while pursuing Bachelor's in Psychology in 2013 as an English Project volunteer. Rupinder had a penchant for studying human behavior since the very beginning and is keen on understanding psychology and human behavior patterns. Her passion met her heart's desire while working with children in the shelter homes. She was encouraged to take up different roles and responsibilities within the city chapter.
She became part of the Ed Support team in the year 2014 where she significantly improved learning outcomes for children across two shelter homes. The following year she found herself leading the Chandigarh chapter. She seemed to have found her true calling with these kids and continued pursuing her academic endeavors while contributing her time to MAD. She now holds a Masters Degree in Psychology!
After her stint in Chandigarh, Rupinder feels her experiential learning in the shelter homes can help make better impact and improve the lives of children in shelters homes across different cities. She has now decided to continue her journey at the MAD's headquarters in Bangalore and will be engaged in several ways with the cities -- building city's leadership, improving operational processes, volunteer life cycle management are few of the many areas that she will be involved with.
Her journey started with the thought of doing something meaningful in her leisure time but with her constant interactions with the kids and MADsters she realised that every individual has the potential to build and create what they want, given the right support at the right time. Being able to ignite that fire and see the impact is what keeps her going.
Sakshi works with the Operations Team which is responsible for effective and efficient implementation of MAD interventions on ground. The team also focuses on inter-team alignment, ensures smooth city operations and maintaining city culture across 23 cities. Sakshi helps ensure that our Volunteers, Fellows and Strategists feel engaged and supported, and that they receive the training and development they need to become leaders in the true altruistic sense of the word. As part of her role she also works closely with the Human Capital team and Programme Operations teams to ensure effective and enthusiastic delivery of MAD’s programmes and to build and embed MAD’s Cultural values and cause focus on ground.
Sakshi started her career as a .Net developer. It was not very late when she realised she loved interacting with people and would prefer talking endlessly to sitting quietly in front of her computer. She moved on to become a Business Analyst as she thought it’ll give her adequate opportunities to talk to different people across the globe and understand their requirements and help them. Despite this, she felt a void as she had been a highly active student in her college days, participating in every possible activity that occurred. This led to a hunt for volunteer organisations and it was then that she came across a vibrant website. All she could think of was what a beautiful interface it was, brimming with information, articulating the minutest details which completely blew her mind. That was her first interaction with Make A Difference. Sakshi joined MAD as a teaching volunteer and went on to become the PR Fellow in Chandigarh, and then the PR strategist for north region. Sakshi has now joined Make A Difference full time as the Director of Operations.
Extremely energetic, Sakshi believes that we can all work wonders and give back to the society and the ecosystem if we get the right amount of motivation from the right person. She thinks every MAD story is exactly that motivational kick a person needs in his/her life to get started towards a better future for all.
Naveen works with the Operations Team which is responsible for effective and efficient implementation of MAD interventions on ground. The team also focuses on inter-team alignment, ensures smooth city operations and maintaining city culture as well as operational efficiency in shelters across 23 cities. Naveen helps ensure that the Volunteers, Fellows and Strategists feel engaged and supported, and that they receive the training and development they need to become leaders in the true altruistic sense of the word. As part of his role he also works closely with the Shelter Support team and Programme Operations teams to ensure effective and enthusiastic delivery of MAD’s programmes and to build and embed MAD’s Cultural values and cause focus on ground.
Naveen is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering. It was during his second year of college, amidst operating motors and machines, that he decided to volunteer with Make a Difference in the year 2013.
Naveen joined MAD as a Teacher under Project Ed Support. With the knowledge he had gained about the organisation he stepped into the role of a mentor where he was ensuring that the volunteers were able to deliver high quality support to the children along with the roles of being an active Community Fundraising volunteer and a finance intern. The following year he became the Human Capital fellow of Coimbatore taking care of recruitments, volunteer engagement and support. Done with his education, Naveen decided to move into the social space and joined Make A Difference full time as Director of Operations.
Starting as a teacher for a small group of children, Naveen realised the impact that one volunteer could have on a child. With time, he also realised that along with children, every person who is associated with the organisation also grows and becomes a better person. His passion to improve the life of children and his hunger to grow into a better person is the cause for his MADness. In the work that MAD was doing for the children he found his calling.
Mannat is a part of the Fundraising Team at Make A Difference which is responsible for sustaining the financial stability of the organization and to ensure efficient and effective delivery of MAD’s programs. The Team’s core focus is to strengthen the fundraising channel of MAD’s network and community and provide operational direction to 23 cities team for their fundraising activities. The team is responsible for building and maintaining partnerships with foundations, HNIW sponsors, educational institutions, cultural centers and corporates. The team develops employee engagement programmes and develops national and international campaigns for fundraising. This team drives one of the largest community fundraising campaigns in the country.
Mannat started working with children in shelter homes at the age of 20 in 2012 in Bangalore whilst in college doing a degree in B.Pharm. Mannat’s ability to build lasting relations has enabled her to manage large teams with ease. Her belief in dreams of children and drive to make them into a reality drove her to step up and handle multiple roles at various levels under the Fellowship and Strategist teams. The same motivated her to join Make A Difference as a full time employee in October 2015 as Director, fundraising. She wants to ensure that 50% of all organisational funding are taken care of by Community Fundraising.
Mannat has always been passionate about working with people and building teams that work in synergy to achieve a single purpose. With Make A Difference, Mannat found it all: a cause that she holds dear to her heart and a team that is willing to go the extra mile to make it happen. She believes in the power of the collective and that education can uplift and empower communities.
Natasha is part of MAD's Life Skills and Exposure team which is responsible for ensuring that children in shelters build self confidence, have the necessary life skills to help them cope and learn, gain exposure to life outside shelters, and build the soft skills they will need to successfully progress in society once they leave their shelter. Natasha manages all Discover and Dream Camp operations across 23 cities, supports MAD’s Employee Engagement (ExE) programme, and identifies expert partners to bring proven methodologies and modules to the children we work, innovating in converting them for use with MAD’s young leader driven delivery network.
Natasha has completed her Masters in Social work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and has been engaged for almost 7 years in various skill building initiatives for children and youth contributing specifically in social inclusion of vulnerable groups like children who have lost their biological parents, children from low-socio economic conditions and differently abled youth. Her interest in life skills and the impact it can have on the holistic development of an individual started right from her university days where she had an opportunity to design, implement and measure impact of life skills and psycho-social interventions for slum children in Mumbai. She then went on to work at initiatives on leadership development, peer education, vocational skill building and skill development through sports.
Natasha truly believes in the “power of one”, i.e., each individual’s capability to drive change in society if equipped with the correct knowledge, skill and attitude. She is passionate about working with children and loves spending time with them on ground. At Make a Difference she finds the volunteer driven model challenging as well as inspiring as it impacts not just the child but also the volunteer whose sense of responsibility and pride achieved from making a difference at the life of one child at a time is phenomenal.
Sushanta is a part of the Fundraising Team at Make A Difference which is responsible for sustaining the financial stability of the organization and to ensure efficient and effective delivery of MAD’s interventions. The Team’s core focus is to strengthen the fundraising channel of MAD’s network and community and provide operational direction to 23 cities team for their fundraising activities. The team is responsible for building and maintaining partnerships with foundations, HNW sponsors, educational institutions, cultural centers and corporates. The team develops employee engagement programmes and develop national and international campaigns for fundraising. This team drives one of the largest community fundraising campaigns in the country.
Sushanta has been passionate about building capacities of individuals in the field of communication and fundraising primarily involved in social mobilization, capacity building, public engagement and donor experience monitoring. Sushanta made a choice in his early twenties to work on social issues which impact lives of millions around the world. Starting with environmental and rights based campaigning to awareness building on unique disabilities.
Sushanta believes that here is an opportunity for every individual to pitch in and make a difference. Strong believer of non-violence. It is only through education that the world can start defining empowerment in real terms.
Pooja is part of MAD's Finance team which is responsible for overall financial planning and compliance of the organization. Pooja’s primary focus lies in ensuring that our overall financial plan is aligned to the long term strategic plan of the organisation. As part of the strategic planning team she sets up the Annual Budget for the organization, establishes realistic fundraising goals as well as usable Management Information Systems for better decision making. She also ensures compliance with non profit financial and tax legislation requirements. Another key focus area in Pooja’s domain involves introduction of technology for financial and fundraising operations to ensure streamlined processes and facilitating independent financial decision making in the MAD structure. She also advises the leadership team on all financial and legal issues.
Pooja is a Certified Management Accountant with over 5 years of experience in the higher education sector. She most recently spent the past 3 years successfully setting up and implementing the financial accounting, operations and policies of University College London’s satellite campus in Doha Qatar. Pooja has also successfully managed administration of financial aid and student scholarships for Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Qatar, a partnership with the Qatar Foundation with an aim to attract the best student talent in the middle east region.Over the last 6 months at Make A Difference, Pooja has been responsible for ensuring the creation and implementation of strong financial and risk management processes. She is also focusing on ensuring that the finance function moves from an accounting and reporting role into a financing role that reinforces a cyclical view of finances in MAD from raising funds, spending funds and reporting funds in a compliant manner, which will supports MAD’s decision making and fuels the path to MAD’s mission.
Pooja is passionate about helping youth from underprivileged backgrounds shape their lives and build a career for themselves. She believes that quality education and family support are the key factors towards a youth being able to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty. Pooja believes in MAD’s goal of creating a robust support system for every child with a dream to make it a reality. She believes in the courage to keep pursuing this dream at Make A difference, with it’s targeted intervention programs for MAD to accomplish it’s mission.
Aditya is a part of MAD's Education Support team which is responsible for ensuring that children in shelters are able to achieve the grades necessary for them to progress into further education or vocational training. Aditya’s primary focus is to roll-out impact interventions, and innovate in how interventions are redesigned to fit MAD’s delivery model. He manages the operations of MAD’s Ed Support Programme across 23 city chapters, supports the development of programme content, and advises on needs on the ground.
Aditya joined Make A Difference as an English teacher in 2013 teaching Grade 7 girls at Ashadeep in Bangalore. With a B.E in Electrical and Electronics from BITS Pilani, Aditya has worked for 3 years with Dell and Metro AG in analytics consulting prior to joining MAD. After a year of teaching, he took up the Education Support Fellowship in the next year managing the programme in Bangalore for 250 teachers. Subsequently, his competency in solution design and a strategic mindset led to him to join as a design strategist for improving the programme nationally. As a strategist he built the teacher training modules and lesson planning framework for 3000 volunteers in the programme. The Monitoring & Evaluation Framework developed by Aditya will be implemented to all shelters across the country for assessing programme impact this year.
Aditya joined MAD with a mission to maximise his personal impact and growth. He is fascinated by the possibility of using data, technology and design to come up with scalable solutions to world problems.
Our work has been recognized by eminent people around the world, including Michelle Obama who chose MAD as one of the few organisations to visit on her trip to India in 2010. We have also consistently won awards for excellence, including:
Make a Difference is a registered society under the Travancore Cochin Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies Registration Act, 1955. We are a 12A registered society with section 80(G) status of income tax act and we are eligible to receive foreign funding via the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act. Our financial records are audited annually by M R Jayaprakash & Associates.
MAD follows all financial regulations set forth for non-profits by the Government of India, and is audited annually.
80(G) 12ARegistered Society
Help us transform outcomes for children in shelters.
Register on this website. As and when we have our next recruitment drive in your city, we'll be sure to inform you, either through email or by phone!
We've currently put a hold on our geographical expansions as we wish to stabilize operations and implement various more processes within our existing chapters!
You could apply to start a new chapter on the website (Register button); as and when we roll out our expansions we'll be sure to consider your application and inform you regarding the same!
Unfortunately, Make A Difference does not have round-the-year recruitment drives. We only recruit once at the beginning of the academic year! If your email ID and phone number are already in the database, somebody from your city will be getting in touch with you as and when a recruitment drive comes around to let you know about the recruitment drive.
Do check your mail, and keep your phone on!
Unfortunately, Make A Difference is not a short-term engagement. MAD teachers are expected to commit for the duration of one year.
Why? Because the children we teach have been abandoned several times in their lives. And we can't have teachers walk in and out, every other weekend. A constant and steady relationship is needed to cultivate that bond with them. MAD teachers don't just teach, they also serve as role models for these children. Hence. I hope you're able to understand the reasoning behind this request.
We're glad that you want to help out, but unfortunately, if you don't have a year to commit, you will not be able to fit into the system.
Do register on our website as and when you have settled down. We'd love to have you around!