The biggest movements, that shaped history, ranging from civil rights to equality to suffrage, have risen 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 the youth into a potent social force to strategically impact children at risk in their communities.
MAD nationally employs a panel of experts that conducts 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 needs of the community. Programme expertise involves training modules, year-round support, mentoring, monitoring and evaluation for effective implementation.
To make multiple programmes work within the community, there need 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 for all young leaders and volunteers of MAD so that they can learn, reflect on existing processes and add to it overtime, thereby boosting community-powered process generation.
MAD takes complete ownership of the quality of delivery of our programmes delivered by our community partners across India. To ensure quality of the 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 drive the quality standards nationally. Moreover, every community partner is reviewed on the standards that are outlined on Page 5 on a monthly basis and held accountable for the maintenance of the quality standards.
Once 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 facilitating dialogue, provide a chance for these young leaders to have a say, or participate, in MAD’s growth, vision and future plans. MAD’s Leadership Circles are intensive 3-4 day affairs where Fellows are put through path-making workshops, do-it-yourself sessions and intense debates, all with the view of increasing the efficiency of the functioning of MAD chapters across India.
Ed Support was conceived with an idea of bringing in very bright and talented young individuals to interface with underprivileged children so as to serve as role-models, and to provide high-quality after school support for Math, Science and English. Each Ed Support volunteer is given a class of 5 children.
Transition Readiness & Aftercare 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 camps that primarily focus 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 3,460 children in 67 shelters across 23 cities in India, through a highly efficient 3,822 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.
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 67 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Neelima 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. Neelima 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.
Neelima decided to explore her interest in social sector by volunteering with Make A Difference (MAD) in 2013 as a teacher volunteer. She believes MAD was the beginning of a new chapter in her life that helped her grow and broaden her horizons. In 2014, she took up fellowship for Propel which was also the pilot year for the programme. Since then, there has been no looking back. She took up the role of Propel-Operations Strategist in 2015 and closely worked with four cities for that year in an operational capacity.
After completing her graduation in Commerce with along with Diploma in Guidance & Counselling, Neelima explored various opportunities while working with startups. She went ahead to work towards ending gender based violence. Her zeal to empower the society led her to participate in the Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE) 2016, an impact initiative that focuses on providing clean energy and education access to promote sustainable energy solutions in remote communities across the Himalayan ranges of north India. In June 2016, Team GHE lit up the 2500-year-old Phugtal Monastery in the Zanskar valley by setting up 8 DC solar microgrids.
She eventually joined full-time to work with Transition readiness and aftercare as Programme Operations Director in the year 2016.
Her love for the kids is the primary motivation to continue her journey with MAD and she believes the consistent efforts will definitely bring a positive change in the society.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rupinder 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. Rupinder’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.
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.
MAD's Shelter team comprises of Shelter Support and Shelter Operations Team. Shelter Support team is responsible for ensuring that we are able to work closely with children in shelters through shelter authorities and staff. The team works to understand the needs of the children in shelters so that we can customize interventions, provide care practices and provide infrastructural support wherever necessary.
Shelter Operations are the voice of the child at the shelter level to MAD. They enable teams at the shelter level to ensure efficiency and consistency of programmes on MAD.
The Shelter Team collaborates with shelter authorities are responsible for managing relationships, along with handling and streamlining all communications between MAD’s impact delivery teams and shelter authorities in order to ensure consistency, uniformity and standardization. Shelter Team is the vision guardian of MAD at the shelter.
Shreya is passionate about empowering children and creating conducive environments to enhance their social and cognitive development. With a Bachelors in Psychology from Christ University and a Masters in Education from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, she has worked with diverse organisations focused on imparting quality education.
Shreya started her journey with Make A Difference in 2012 as a volunteer. The following year, she took up the role of a Program Fellow and City Trainer and managed the operations of the Communicative English program ensuring essential program services reach over 200 children by managing a team of over 150 volunteers. The following year, as a Centre Head Fellow, she designed and managed the set-up of a library in a shelter home in Bangalore, providing over 200 books to the 50 girls in the shelter. In 2016, Shreya assumed the role of a Shelter Support Strategist where she actively worked towards supporting fellows with operations through trainings, feedback and risk mitigation, and also designed, integrated and facilitated learning and development modules for city fellows to increase their knowledge on policies for children.
Shreya is also the founder of ‘Kora Kagaz’, an award winning green initiative that optimized resources by making new notebooks from discarded paper and distributing them to children from low-income schools. The team’s efforts have been recognized on platforms such NDTV Teens for Green and more recently, at TEDx IIM Rohtak.
Shreya realised early on that the best thing one can do in life is make a difference to the lives of others. This clubbed with her belief that all children deserve access to a safe, caring environment that supports their holistic development lead her to join MAD.
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.
Keerthana is part of MAD's Communications, Campaigns and Outreach 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 the team supports the Programme teams in delivering and showcasing impact through recruitment materials and collateral, and by raising social awareness through online and offline campaigns. The team also manages brand consistency, presence and experience at MAD, through a team of Fellows and Volunteers across the country.
Keerthana joined Teach For India as a fellow post her graduation in Aerospace engineering which provided her a platform to work with children and interact with the community in the slums of north. This helped her gain insight on the different dimensions of inequity that existed in the society. She then worked as business development executive in the e-learning sector, where she gained knowledge about the technology, LMS platforms and Gamification strategies used by the other side of the learning and education sector.
In 2016, she was the only Indian among the ten people selected from around the world for a new venture planning and leadership program in Raleigh, NC, US. There she worked with the startup community in North Carolina, helping to set up a non profit organization for victims of Human Trafficking while building her own social venture on the side. She also worked as the director of operations with another social enterprise in India, where she was able to redesign the operational strategy and the delivery, before designing a leadership development program for youth and prototyping for her own venture focussed on performing arts for children. Although the social startup had to be suspended Keerthana was still strongly driven to bring about a sustainable change in the lives of children which led her to MAD.
Keerthana believes that passionate people especially highly driven youth, have the potential to design inspiring solutions to the problems in today’s world. This, together with her drive to bring about a holistic change in the lives of underprivileged children resonated perfectly with MAD. She believes that through targeted human centric solutions, inequity especially with respect to poverty and education can be abolished.
Sunita is part of MAD's Finance team which is responsible for overall financial planning and compliance of the organization. Sunita’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 Sunita’s domain involves introduction of technology for financial and fundraising operations to ensure streamlined processes in the MAD structure. She also advises the leadership team on all financial and legal issues.
An MBA in Finance with over 7 years experience in the corporate and about 4 years in the social sector. Corporate experience includes financial planning, reporting and analysis in companies such as 3M, Pepsico, Synovate.
Most recently, 4 years with GiveIndia provided a huge exposure into the social sector handling about 40 NGO relationships each year and due diligence visits to numerous organisations across the country working in different spaces. The visits helped in providing inputs on streamlining processes & documentation, primarily to comply with GiveIndia norms/requirements, but overall, to improve organisational efficiencies too.
The last 4 years in this sector, opened up a whole new world for Sunita. She believes that it is only fair that everybody in the society gets a chance to do what they want to do, irrespective of the situation or family they are born into or land up in. Most people get stuck at a point and lose purpose only due to lack of a support system to pull them up and have their back. Appreciate that MAD has done this successfully with a niche group of beneficiaries, especially by empowering the youth. It is an interesting movement where a key group of the society is made more sensitive and made to think while on the other hand making sure another section of our society gets that fair chance!
Arjun is part of MAD's Campaigns, Communications and Outreach 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 Arjun supports the Programme teams in delivering and showcasing impact through recruitment materials and collateral, and by raising social awareness through online and offline campaigns. Arjun also manages brand consistency, presence and experience at MAD, through a team of Fellows and Volunteers across the country.
Arjun started his career in the development sector as a documentary filmmaker. After completing his post graduate diploma in Community Media from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, he worked with several different grassroots organizations, to help them communicate the impact of their work through theatre, radio and video.
To develop a comprehensive understanding of the digital medium and to fine-tune his production skills, Arjun took a detour into advertising. As an Associate Creative Director with a Mumbai based production company, he conceptualized, scripted and directed branded digital content. In his free time, he continued to pursue his passion for development communications by curating and facilitating life-skills focused theatre workshops for young adults from marginalized communities. Arjun now hopes to use his background and skills to contribute to MAD’s vision of transforming outcomes for vulnerable children.
Arjun strongly believes that the key to addressing intergenerational poverty lies in helping marginalized youth realize their true potential. With this vision, he hopes to contribute to MAD’s efforts towards enabling vulnerable children’s access to the resources, skills and information they need to achieve their dreams.
Jayashankar is part of MAD's Foundational Programme team which is responsible for ensuring that the children we work with are equipped with basic developmental, personal and functional skills for the youngest age group that we work with which is 10 -13 years. Jayashankar is responsible for spearheading the operations of the programme. He is also involved in the designing of the key elements of the programme owing to his volunteering experience.
In 2012, Jayashankar started his professional career at L&T Construction after completing his B. Tech. In 2014, after being offered a sabbatical, Jayashankar went on to pursue his Masters from IIT, Madras. During this period, he got involved in many extra-curricular activities to develop his skills. He started his stint at Make A Difference as a volunteer in 2015 – 16 in Chennai. Post that, Jayashankar has never looked back. After completing his Masters he continued to work for L&T for another year after which he felt his true calling is in the social space. He quit his job in August 2017, to intern with Make A Difference. To follow his passion and deliver the highest quality to children, Jayashankar joined the role of Programme Operations Director.
One of the primary influences in Jayashankar’s interest towards social development is his parents who were often involved in social work. During his tenure in L&T Construction where he worked in a building construction site, he had to interact with a lot of construction workers who did not have sufficient opportunities and led stressful lives. Listening to their life experiences re-ignited the drive in him to do something that will make a difference to society. His volunteering experience as an Ed Support teacher at MAD, inspired Jayashankar to take the courageous step to switch careers from being a corporate employee to a Director at MAD.
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 G. Joseph & Associates.
MAD follows all financial regulations set forth for non-profits by the Government of India, and is audited annually.
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!