MAD has really grown in the last one year. The targets we set for ourselves at the start of the year were very different from what we were working on at the end of the year. Because of the sheer scope of developments, we had to prioritize and some plans took a back seat.
MAD has grown from 4 cities in 2008 to 11 cities. That’s a 175 percent growth, almost 3 times what we were at this time last year!
My greatest regret is that we did not keep our alumni and donors updated on our activities. But the main reason MAD was able to grow so large so fast was that every volunteer was involved beyond what we (volunteers) had initially intended, Owing to a high level of ownership and responsibility.
A lot has been happening in MAD over the past year. Some updates:
National projects for the year include a formal curriculum to teach English as a second language to children, based on the Cambridge University syllabus. This will come with detailed instructions to increase the average teaching effectiveness. Also a cascading teacher training system through mentors and an online MAD application to bring all our stakeholders under one roof: including children, alumni, donors and well-wishers.
City level projects include a robust Placement project to ensure that on completing our course, the children are ready to take off towards a successful future. This will involve a structured placement plan covering career awareness, camps, talent identification platforms and field visits. The computer project and library project have also been formalized and will be taken up for every centre.
The Friends of MAD program has been formally launched nationally and once we meet our targets there, we will be able to meet most of our projects internally. We will definitely need alumni support to connect us to corporate contacts and being our voice in your networks. Two grants of around $25000 each are being looked into this month. Jithin is going to Boston next month for a Youth Conclave in connection with the Ashoka award. Any contacts for fundraising he can meet there will be useful.
National Conference: This was indeed a sudden decision. In less than a months time we had core teams standing by in 6 cities. We felt the need to orient them on the MAD spirit and give them an understanding of our systems and processes. Also to get their third party inputs before becoming a part of the system. We had a clear agenda in mind. And time was limited both to prepare for the program and for the event itself. So not too many people were involved. From next year, it will be part of our national processes, so there will be more open discussions.
We have our first MAD employee: Samhita Das, the President of MAD Delhi and an overachiever in every forum. She is the National Co-ordinator.
As we evolve, there may be areas that get neglected unconsciously. Therefore inputs from stakeholders are essential to ensure continual improvement.