Women Unite on International Women’s Day in Kolar

 By Reena Pillai

The International Women’s Day celebrations organized by United Way Bengaluru and corporate partner AMAT brought together nearly 200 beneficiaries under the Rural Development Program in Chikkanallaguttahalli, Kolar on 8th March 2017. On the occasion, 60 roof top rain water harvesting units, the first of its kind in Kolar district, was inaugurated by Deepa Shashidharan and Priya from AMAT, David Kumar from United Way Bengaluru and other representatives of our implementing partner agencies.

David, Senior Manager- Community Initiatives, UWBe inaugurates a roof top rain water harvesting unit

David Kumar, Senior Manager- Community Initiatives, UWBe said, “We have pioneered the installation of roof top rain water harvesting units in Kolar where people for a long time have been suffering from acute shortage of water. Each unit will capture upto 15,000 liters of water during the rainy season which can be stored upto a year without any fear of contamination. People can use this water for drinking and cooking especially in dire times. It is a low maintenance set-up and very convenient for the beneficiaries to use. “

The event commenced in the traditional style with the feeding of a goat followed by nearly 10 beneficiaries sharing their positive experiences with the immense support they had received in the last two years.

Deepa from AMAT and David from UWBe inaugurate the program by feeding a goat
Students supported under the Scholarship program gather for a memorable click

College students supported under the scholarship program gave entertaining cultural performances, while young students spoke on the positive impact of the new educational model introduced in 50 government schools. Tamarind parcels packaged by beneficiaries were distributed to the lead representatives of the 12 villages supported under United Way Bengaluru’s Rural Development Program.

Tamarind parcels produced by beneficiaries gifted to lead representatives of other villages

The programs supported under the Rural Development program are 1) Women empowerment program which covers sheep rearing, mini poultry farms, kitchen gardens, tailoring, tamarind processing and other sustainable micro enterprises ; 2) Financial support through scholarships to college going students; 3) Academic enhancement through motivating and mentoring students studying in government schools; 4) Roof Top Rain Water harvesting and 5) Safe drinking water units.

Table showing the total numbers of beneficiaries in Kolar under various programs

There was also a conscious decision taken to make the entire event eco-friendly and minimize the use of plastics. Earthen pots were used to drink water from, lunch was served on plates made from arecanut leaves and large brass containers were used to store drinking water.

Earthen pots for drinking water displayed on stage

Pushpa, a beneficiary who was supported under the scholarship program last year was also excited with the roof top harvesting unit in her house. She said, ” Earlier, it was quite difficult to get access to clean drinking water. We had to wait for three days, sometimes even upto a week for the tanker to come to our village. Then we had to stand in queue to collect the water and later carry the heavy pots home. We are so happy with the roof top harvesting units in our houses and we cannot thank UWBe and AMAT enough.”

The implementing partners for the Rural Development Program are Sikshana, TREES, Chilume, C&R and Samarthanam. The event concluded with a sumptuous meal and an engaging interaction with the beneficiaries.

Bhargavi from UWBe team interacts with Pushpa one of the beneficiaries

Coverage of the event in local media

Samyukta Karnataka
Prajavani
Vishwa Vani

Support refurbishment of anganwadis and rejuvenation of lakes

1. Pledge for your Neighbourhood lake as a part of ” Wake the Lake ” initiative from United Way.

Water scarcity in Bengaluru is not a new subject. Our forefathers addressed the same by building artificial lakes across the city.

1. Cleaning the Lake Bund and the Lake Boundary.
2. Enhance Bio-diversity of the lakes.
3. Convert them as lung spaces for the communities.
4. Help in improving the physical infrastructure of the lakes such as Security Cabin, Benches, Children Play area, Dustbins, Solar Lights etc.
5. Help in setting up STP (Sewage Treatment Plants) and many more.

or

2. Pledge to revamp infrastructure of Anganwadis in your neighbourhood as a part of ” Born Learning Campaign” 

1)We will revamp the anganwadis by improving infrastructure
2) Make the anganwadis more child friendly to increase enrolment
3) Provide high quality learning materials to ensure they become school ready

What can Corporates expect?
1. United Way Bengaluru shall share quarterly report of your contribution.
2. Scope of volunteering at the lake you pledged support or anganwadi you have adopted.
3. IT rebate under 80G
4. United Way’s strict adherence to corporate governance.

United Way Bengaluru’s Contact details: 

Tel:+91-80-4090 6345, + 91 80-2525 8363

email ID: info@uwbengaluru.org

 

High demand for organic eggs produced under UWBe’s Women empowerment program

By Reena Pillai

The women empowerment program supported by United way Bengaluru and Applied Materials for 50 women in Kolar to initiate mini poultry farms in their backyards has come full-circle as women have started to sell the nati (organic / desi/ country) eggs.

Good demand for organic eggs produced under the Women Empowerment Program

Under the women empowerment program which commenced in December, each beneficiary woman was given three hens and one rooster to set up a mini poultry farm to make them financially independent. We are pleased to state that they have started to reap the benefits of the program. The demand for the organic eggs is high and each egg is sold for Rs. 9 which is very profitable for these women.

Maramma, a beneficiary women with the hens and rooster she received

David Manger of Community Initiatives, United Way Bengaluru said, “There is very good demand for nati (organic / desi/ country) eggs as people are becoming more health conscious. United Way Bengaluru is supporting a women empowerment program in Kolar where 50 women are taught to run their own mini poultry farms. The initiative which commenced in the month of December looks to be lucrative and and these women see a great potential to scale it”.

Women beneficiaries are positive about the success of the mini poultry farming initiative

Shivamma from Guvalahalli, Bangarpete Taluk, a beneficiary, committee member and a fervent participant of all the programs says, “I have sold 17 eggs so far and earned Rs. 135. With proper care and perseverance, in a year’s time, I hope to make a minimum profit of Rs. 6000 per month.”

Shivamma

Uma Devi from Hosmanegalu says, “I’m grateful to United Way Bengaluru and Applied Materials for providing us an opportunity to earn and contribute towards our family expenses. I plan to start a successful poultry farm first by breeding and multiplying my livestock and then selling the eggs and hens in the local market.”

Uma Devi

About the project

The Women Empowerment program supported by United Way Bengaluru and Applied Material through sustainable livelihood is a one year program (2016-2017) initiated to provide financial support to 50 poor and marginalized women from Yelesandra panchayat of Bangarpet taluk.

Though the project’s main focus is to improve the socio-economic condition of the 50 women, it has also helped them become more confident in their business dealings. Other women too have began to show interest in this venture in order to become financially independent, which is definitely a positive sign.

BLC children shine on Talent’s Day

By Reena Pillai

United Way Bengaluru, Target and implementing partner Vidyaniketan jointly organised Talent’s Day on 21st January, 2017. Nearly 200 children and parents from 12 anganwadi centers supported under the Born Learning Campaign participated in the celebrations.

Children sing and twirl in their colorful dresses

Organized at the Thanisandra school campus, children aged 3-6 years rendered heart-warming performance in singing, dance, quiz and story-telling.

Children performing a folk dance

The Chief Guests for the event was CDPO Prakash who on the occasion expressed his delight on the event and performances of the children. “I’m extremely happy to witness such talent in these young children. Such events must be encouraged among children to ensure their all-round personality development. I thank United Way Bengaluru for supporting these anganwadis under Born Learning Campaign and Vidyaniketan for being an exemplary implementing partner”.

CDPO Prakash (Center) with the felicitated anganwadi teachers

The other Guests were Nagaraj – Director of Vidyaniketan; Shrimati Renuka – Headmistress of Government High School, Thanisandra; Sharadamba- Supervisor, Department of Women and Child development.

It was momentous occasion when all the anganwadi workers of the 12 centers were felicitated for their commitment and dedication towards their work.

All anganwadi workers from the 12 centers were felicitated on the occasion

On the occasion, HC Mahesh and Ajay from the United Way Bengaluru programs team were felicitated too. The event ended with a sumptuous meal and everyone went home with wonderful memories.

UWBe team members Mahesh and Ajay were honored on the occasion

 

 

Uttarahalli Lake comes alive with Kere Sankranthi celebrations

By Reena Pillai
The three-day Kere Sankranthi celebrations organised by United Way Bengaluru, BBMP, corporate partner Infinera and Uttarahalli Maghekere Nadigedharara Vedike (UMNV) culminated at the Uttarahalli Lake today on 14th January, 2017 among 500 active community members of Uttarahalli. The entrance of the lake was decorated with the newly harvested produce like sugarcane, paddy, ragi, groundnuts, aurekai, coconuts, fruits and decked with traditional rangoli and flowers. The other lakes where Kere Sankrathi was celebrated with active community members present were Kaudenahalli Lake on 12th January, Seegehalli Lake and Saulkere on the 13th January.
Mr Manish Michael, Executive Director of United Way Bengaluru felicitated on the occasion
Mr.M.Krishnappa, MLA (Bengaluru South) Constituency, Bengaluru, Mr. Hanumanthaiah, BBMP Corporator,Ward No:184 Uttarahalli, Bengaluru, and Mr. Manish Michael, Executive Director United Way Bengaluru, Bengaluru were the chief guests for the event.
On the occasion Mr Hanumanthaiah BBMP Corporator, Ward No:184 Uttarahalli said, “Day by day the Uttarahalli lake has seen tremendous development since the last three years. Be it the Gym, the stopped of sewage or providing water supply, along with United Way Bengaluru and other leaders we have ensured that the lake is developed. In the future, we would like to increase the capacity of the STP to ensure that only treated water and rainfall flows into the lake. We also want to ensure that there is scope for the interested people to take up fishing enterprise. With the support from United Way Bengaluru, the corporation, Mr Krishnappa and other leaders we hope to continue to develop the lake. On this auspicious and joyous occasion, I wish one and all a very happy Sankrathi.”
A water pipeline facility which will take care of the all the gardening needs of the lake was inaugurated
A 1.5 kms of water pipeline facility was inaugurated during the event. This will ensure that there is continuous water for the gardening facilities for 10,000 trees and plants around the lake which were planted around the Uttarahalli Lake when the rejuvenated work commenced under United Way Bengaluru’s ‘Wake the Lake’ campaign three years ago.
Various stakeholders of the Uttarahalli Lake gather around the mound of newly harvested crops
Manish Michael, Executive Director, United Way Bengaluru who was felicitated which traditional shawl and garlands said, “The harvest festival historically has been celebrated in the community. Shrinking spaces in our cities is taking away the charm of such festivals. Rejuvenated lakes provide us the opportunity to come together to celebrate festivals together. United Way Bengaluru is happy to facilitate such programs in several lakes across the city.”
A traditional Rangoli design at the entrance
Rashi puja for the bountiful crop was performed and the customary ellu bella was distributed among all.

 

Kundanahalli Lake emptied out to initiate dredging work

By Reena Pillai
United Way Bengaluru in partnership with BBMP, Qualcomm, GE and Whitefield Rising, an urban activist group, which have jointly undertaken the restoration of the Kundanahalli Lake, near Whitefield has completed another milestone in the rejuvenation process.
The Kundalahalli Lake, which was at once point at the brink of dying, was revived at the nick of time under United Way Bengaluru’s ‘Wake the Lake Campaign’ and its unique concept of Community Corporate Partnership.
The Kundalahalli Lake now empty and ready for dredging action
Says Manish Michael, Executive Director of United Way Bengaluru, “Under our Community Corporate Partnership, we bring together the community members living around the lake or existing Resident Welfare Associations to involve themselves in the development of the lake. We bring interested corporate partners to commit and pour in sufficient funds to ensure that the project is smoothly undertaken from conception to completion.”
The lake has been pumped off all the sewage water and now is ready for the desilting and dredging work to commence. There is a vast amount of black muck which is decades of accumulated silt and degraded waste, now weighing perhaps a thousand tons. After this has been cleaned out, only rain water or treated sewage water will then enter the lake.
Once cleaned out, the Kundalahalli Lake will receive only treated or rain water
Says Arvind Keerthi, an active member of Whitefield Rising, “When dredging is completed, this will be a great win for local aesthetic. It will be a picnic area for all, an urban wildlife refuge, a mini – Lalbagh to visit. But most importantly, it is a huge victory for public health. You will soon see that the seemingly ever-present background odor of sewage will slowly fade away”.
The eco-friendly sewage treatment plant set up at the lake with the support of Qualcomm and GE at the cost of Rs. 2 crore will pump 750 kilo litres of treated water every day.
After the completion of this phase work, United Way Bengaluru will commence work on enhancing the bio-diversity around the lake by planting nearly 10,000 indigenous plants and saplings over a period of three years. This is a crucial step in the restoration process in order to attract a variety of insects, birds and small animals. Finally, United Way Bengaluru will ensure the smooth handover of the lake to the community members or Residents Welfare Associations for its maintenance.

 

 

Interning with United Way Bengaluru

United Way Bengaluru is inviting applications for a 2 month internship program from April to May, 2017 to work with the team and make valuable contributions to the organization’s programs. The last date for submitting applications is 31st January, 2017.

Will an internship at United Way Bengaluru mean brewing coffee and making copies of documents? Absolutely not! An internship benefits both the organization and an intern in different ways.
Duration of Internship: Minimum of eight weeks of sincere commitment.
How will an internship at United Way Bengaluru benefit students?
  • United Way Bengaluru has designed its internship program to ensure that suitable hands on experience will supplement the theoretical knowledge being learnt inside a university classroom.
  • In particular, the intern will be exposed to United Way Bengaluru’s dedicated efforts at trying to help corporates achieve their corporate social responsibility targets, match the root causes of problems in the society with NGOs who are willing to make a significant intervention and finally empower communities to take charge of their resources. This will offer interns with an in depth understanding of how NGOs and funding organizations function.
  • We understand that most interns may be undergraduate or graduate students who are unsure about what they would want be involve themselves with after graduation. Interning with United Way will provide exposure to the public space which may be an area of interest for students. Further, every intern will mandatorily visit at least two sites and generate a report which will complete their experience of engaging with the social sphere.
  • Internships are voluntary based which means that they are non-remunerable. However, interns will receive a certificate at the end of their internship recognizing their work in the organization.
Our Selection Process
  • United Way Bengaluru accepts university students who have completed at least one year of their college degree program.
  • The organization does not offer Work from home projects which means that interns will be expected to come into office for work.
  • Interested candidates are requested to fill out this application form  and send it to krithika.prakash@uwbengaluru.org. Your email should be accompanied by your profile and cover letter. Ensure the dates and duration of your internship is clearly mentioned. We do not host interns for durations less than 8 weeks. Internship applications should reach us one month in advance

1000 corporate volunteers undertake cleaning, planting activities at Saulkere

By Reena Pillai
Nearly 1000 corporate volunteers from Genpact came together for a two-day Corporate Engagement Activity as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility program at the Saulkere on 20th and 21st December, 2016.
A corporate volunteer engrossed in bird viewing activity
The volunteers undertook a number of activities such as de-weeding, picking up and segregation of waste and mulching. Nearly 500 saplings were planted on this day. Around 1 kilometer of the lake area was cleared and cleaned over the two days. Volunteers involved themselves whole-heartedly into the task and were determine to complete them.
Volunteers clear out clumps of weeds from the lake bund
Manjunath, Assistant Manager working for Genpact and a first-time volunteer was delighted with the experience, “The entire event was very well organised by United Way Bengaluru. Our team consisting of seven members planted nearly 80 saplings. I planted around 25 saplings and also undertook the de-weeding activity. We really sweated hard but at the end we were extremely satisfied with our work. I would definitely want to continue to volunteer my services for the betterment of the society ”.
WATCH GANESH, A CORPORATE VOLUNTEER TALK ABOUT HIS VOLUNTEERING EXPERIENCE. CLICK ON THE LINK https://www.facebook.com/UnitedWayBengaluru/videos/1334303523300641/
Manjunath, (second from right) and his buddy Ganesh (center) pose with United Way Team members
Planting of saplings were undertaken on the occasion
Ruchi Sinha, CSR Head of Genpact poses with delight for the camera
Bird watching, painting on leaf and photography were fun activities organized on the occasion.

UWBe, AMD volunteers and beneficiaries bond at Community Initiative Meet at Mandur

By Reena Pillai
United Way Bengaluru and AMD organized a Community Initiative Meet at an old age home in Mandur on 13th December, 2016.
Volunteers listen attentively as they are briefed on the agenda for the day
The purpose for this meet was a joint engagement of the leadership team and corporate volunteers with the senior citizens whom they have been supporting for the past one year.
WATCH MR MANISH MICHAEL WELCOME THE GATHERING https://www.facebook.com/UnitedWayBengaluru/videos/1321674121230248/
Corporate Volunteers engaged with the inmates of the old age home
United Way Bengaluru in association with AMD have been supporting the holistic needs of 25 senior citizens which include nutritious meals, 24/7 health care facilities and recreational activities.
In addition, the senior citizens are being trained in various income generation activities like candle making, broom making, paper bag making and tailoring.
AMD volunteers participate in various activities together with the inmates
AMD Leadership team look on at an ongoing game of musical chair
Around twenty corporate volunteers and six senior leaders participated in the various activities the inmates of the old age home undertake on a day to day basis. They were extremely happy with the ambience, facilities and the overall positive vibe of the center.
A fun game of musical chair played by volunteers and beneficiaries
The meet began with an ice breaking session initiated by Mr Manish Michael, Executive Director of UWBe. The session began with the rain clap mimicking the day’s rainy weather followed by self-introduction and sharing the meaning of his/ her name.
WATCH THE FUN RAIN CLAP HERE https://www.facebook.com/UnitedWayBengaluru/videos/1323982187666108/
It was an invigorating start followed by the fun musical chair game between the volunteers, inmates and intellectually challenged young children living in a hostel within the same premises.
Mr Manish Michael, Executive Director and other participants listen as a senior leader speaks
On the occasion, Mark Papermaster, CTO and SVP at AMD said, “We are extremely happy to be in a partnership with United Way Bengaluru. With all the technological advances we have achieved as a company, we as a team also wish to give back to our community. We look forward to partnering on more such initiatives.”
Mark Papermaster, Senior Leader of AMD lauds the work undertaken at the old age home
Kiranmai Pendyala, CVP of HR at of AMD shares her positive feedback on the support program
Gurudutt, aged 83, who worked as a professor in his younger days shared thought provoking words of wisdom. Having being abandoned by his family for being unable to fulfill their never ending materialistic demands, he said, “Please be content with whatever you have in your life. It’s understandable to have certain expectations in life but don’t be greedy.”
Gurudutt, an inmate of the old age home shares his experience
Lakshmamma, another inmate who is 80 years old and living here for the past one year is extremely glad with the support she receives, “I’m childless and lived with my husband in a rented house. I used to work in a temple for most of my life as a cleaner. When I fell sick people, people advised me to join this home as I was unable to look after myself and my husband. My husband went on to live with his relatives while I came here. I love it here. We are looked after very well and live as one big family.”
WATCH LAKSHAMAMMA TALK ABOUT SHE CAME TO LIVE IN THE OLD AGE HOME AND EXPRESSES HER GRATITUDE FOR THE CARE SHE RECEIVES HERE. https://www.facebook.com/UnitedWayBengaluru/videos/1322769271120733/
Women beneficiaries engaged in broom making activity
Kalyani an employee who volunteered said, “I’m so happy that I got a chance to participate in the various activities. I have never done anything like this before. I thank my company for giving us this wonderful opportunity. I would definitely love to volunteer in the future too.”
Nehal, lead volunteer who was instrumental in organizing the meet gave the vote of thanks. The meet ended with food and hot beverages and everyone departed with a resolve to work even more closely with the aged and the underprivileged.

UWBe celebrates International Volunteer Day

By Reena Pillai

On occasion of International Volunteer Day, United Way Bengaluru, BBMP and the Traffic Department coordinated volunteering events over a period of two days i.e, on 4th and 5th December, 2016.

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Volunteer strip off illegal posters from the underpass wall

United Way Bengaluru along with BBMP and 100 corporate volunteers from Allegion coordinated a Spotfixing painting activity in association with The Ugly Indian movement, to give a facelift to a major underpass near Dairy circle on 5th December, 2016.

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Volunteers scrub the wall clean
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Volunteers apply the base coat of paint

On their third anniversary, Allegion proposed to undertake the unique volunteering initiative to instill the spirit of volunteerism and the need to ‘give back to the society’ among their employees.

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Volunteers commence work on the other side of the underpass

On the occasion, a representative from Allegion said, “This Volunteering initiative is a celebration of our third anniversary in Bengaluru and we couldn’t have done this on a better day than International Volunteer Day. Our volunteers were extremely happy to participate in this painting activity and they had a wonderful time. We hope to organize more such events in the near future too.”

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Volunteers painting the peacock motif on the walls of the underpass

The Spotfixing painting activity is a part of Project UFO (Under Fly Over) – a joint initiative of citizens and BBMP to transform the areas under Flyovers and Underpasses.

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Engrossed in the painting activity

It aims to deter people from sticking illegal posters on the wall and ensure that public property is secured from defacement. In an innovative way, this project was undertaken to ensure aesthetic transformation of walls of the underpass.

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Commuters appreciating the initiative

The following activities were undertaken: removing posters, cleaning the walls, filling in the pre-sketched BBMP approved peacock motif with colors and paining the sides of the footpath. These activities were undertaken under the guidance of experienced volunteers, who had earlier managed and executed dozens of similar transformation projects in partnership with BBMP, BMRCL and Indian Railways.

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Volunteers covering the sides of the footpath with fresh coat of paint

On the occasion, Manish Michael, Executive Director of United Way Bengaluru said, “Prominent places are being defaced by illegal advertisers without any sense of ownership or pride towards their city. Thousands of citizens who pass by everyday are assailed by the visual pollution and ugliness of this public infrastructure. We hope that through this volunteering initiative people feel empowered to come forward and make a positive change. This move will also provide additional assistance to the municipal corporation, whose task it is to remove posters and maintain the cleanliness of the underpass walls and footpaths”.

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Team Allegion pose against the backdrop of their Spotfixing masterpiece!

This initiative hopes to create an impact in the community by encouraging many corporations to come forward to undertake such activities, lessen the burden on the BBMP and also improve the self-image and pride of citizens who pass by every day. This will hopefully also help in prevention or control chronic illegal activity that defaces and damages public property.

Awareness program on Road Safety

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Student United Way volunteers displaying banners when the signal turned red

In order to sensitize the public on the importance of adhering to traffic rules and its benefits, the student wing of United Way Bengaluru, Student United Way (SUW) in collaboration with Chilume organization organized half a day Road Safety Awareness Program on Sunday, on 4th December at two locations; Marthahalli Traffic Junction at Outer Ring Road and Yamlur Traffic junction.

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Volunteers waiting with banners at strategic traffic signal points

Volunteers of SUW organized a public rally displaying placards and repeating slogans, urging people to obey traffic rules. When the traffic signal turned red for 20 to 30 seconds, students came to the center of the road and flashed their placards.

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Roses were distributed to people who flouted traffic rules urging them to be responsible citizens

They also distributed roses to those obeying traffic safety regulations like wearing of helmet, pillion rider wearing helmet, strapping of seat belts, using the zebra lines to cross the road and like- wise.

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Traffic police felicitated on the occasion

On the spur of the moment, roses were also handed out to those who didn’t wear their helmets, in order to encourage them to follow the rules.
Around five traffic police were felicitated on the occasion and they were honored with shawls and garlands.