Monday, August 1, 2011


Hi!!everyone my name is Sedenuo Nakhro and i am 20 years old.I am from Kohima,Nagaland.I am doing my chemistry.
I worked with ALFA EDUCATIONAL SOCIETY from the 2nd of july upto 2nd of august 2011.I came here as an intern under PRAVAH,NEW DELHI.Basically,i took English classes out here and it was a great experience for me.I took some classes in"VAYUDOOTH PUBLIC SCHOOL"and i hope they have learnt something from my teaching.I never intended to become a teacher so i found it difficult at first because my mind was not set up but the students out there were so patient and understanding,they made my work easiesr.I thank the principal Sir Ansar for giving me a chance to teach in his school.I also thank all the teachers out there for helping me wherever i found it difficult.I studied the society and learnt that everyone has the urge to learn english.I gave Lokesh an idea,that is to select some students or youth or whoever wants to learn english to go and take up english classes from Udaipur or Kherwara and come back to Karawara to teach the people out here.If everyone co-operates with this,i can see the future of Karawara very bright.
From the time i sat my foot in Karawara,the people out here were so helpful,i did not feel like i was away from home.I did not feel i was a stranger to You all.Thank u everyone for all the joys and happiness u gave me.In this short span of time i could not mingle up with some people and i ask forgiveness from all those people whom i have offended unknowingly or knowingly.Not forgetting my mentor LOKESH KALAL and my volunteer friend ROBERT who had been so nice to me.They had been like brothers to me.Lokesh made me feel at home always.I cannot thank u all individually but i hope from this Youth Express,u all will get my message.I once again thank each and everyone individually for making my stay here so wonderfull.I now can go back and tell people out there in Nagaland that my second home is Karawara.I will miss u all and if i get another opportunity to come here,i surely will.
WILL MISS YOU ALL......................

Alfa Educational Society

Alfa Educational Society
6 Month Report
Alfa has taken great strides within the past six months with help of our two interns, Jake Galloway and Robert Rickert. We wanted to make Alfa an important activist within the Karawara community and created project proposals that reflected its social issues. The community problems were easy to identify, but our goal was to take the next step and find solutions. We are proud of how far our organization has come in just six months. The Alfa mindset has changed drastically to promote action in our work and community. We narrowed the scope of our work to focus on attainable goals that our resources allow. It is amazing how much we were able to accomplish with such little funding, staff and government resources. Our six month report outlines the different projects and activities that Alfa has hosted and is intended to give the reader an idea of the progress we have made in such a short amount of time.

Alfa Educational Society
ALFA Educational Society has been working in and around the village of Karawara since its inception in 2006. Founded by Lokesh Kalal, a lifelong resident of Karawara, ALFA is a genuinely local organization with long standing roots in the community. Over the years, ALFA has developed a positive reputation within the community through its work with youth and child development, environmental protection, and communal harmony issues. ALFA’s local origins have also allowed the organization to understand the problems and needs of the community much more holistically than an NGO unfamiliar to the area.
The organization believes in a human rights-based and community-centered approach to development. ALFA believes in the power of young people to remedy the ills of their society. Education gives children the key to finding solutions to community issues. Knowledge is power and our goal is to develop the creative and reasonable thinking of Karawara’s youth to harness this power. The organization seeks to provide local youth with the opportunities and resources necessary to change both their lives and their communities for the better. Since 2006, ALFA has conducted several successful projects and campaigns that have greatly benefited the local community.
There are numerous problems that plague the Karawara community and surrounding tribal villages. The main social issues center on religious tensions, environment degradation, child labor and migration and a lack of communal harmony. Religious tensions exist between Hindus, Muslims and tribal religions. Many elders carry longstanding hatreds for other religions and pass down these preconceived notions to every generation. This causes altercations and tensions between religious communities and makes it difficult to solve most of the communal harmony issues. Community members show little respect for the environment which they occupy. Trash is disposed of in communal water sources or simply left in the streets to rot. Too many people are unaware of the negative effects correlated with these actions. The child labor issues are also causing many problems within tribal communities. Children are sent to work in neighboring states and have no hope of securing a proper education for their future. Families think it is the only way to support them and fail to see the bigger picture of their children’s welfare.

Community Need Assessment
Alfa had very little information about the area in which it worked. We relied on Lokesh’s personal understanding of the community to conduct the work of the organization. As part of Alfa’s capacity building work, we emphasized the need for the organization to fully understand the environment in which they operated. We decided to conduct a community need assessment survey to assess the needs of the community. We held discussions, both with individuals and small groups, about a variety of problems in the community. These conversations provided ALFA with valuable insights about the village and helped us to develop some of our later projects. This type of survey can be conducted with relative ease in an informal setting, it should be done more often. We believe that more information ALFA members can understand about their community, the better they will be able to implement their projects.

Demographic Survey
When Jake arrived at ALFA, the organization had very little information about Karawara demographics. The only previous knowledge was from a 2000 government census which was outdated and subsequently inaccurate. Accurate demographic information was necessary in order for the organization to successfully implement programs. We enlisted three community members to collect the information. Each ALFA worker recorded the family surname as well as the number of men, women, youth, children, and handicapped individuals that belong to that family. Families were also asked to provide information about their monthly income and, if applicable, the migratory status of members. Alfa used this information to construct a comprehensive list that was valuable for our child development and communal harmony projects.

IYCN Partnership
Jake and I attended the IYCN conference which focused on environmental issues in tribal areas. We thought that Karawara had many similar issues when it came to waste management and environmental degradation. Over the last few decades, the population in the village and the surrounding area has increased. The subsequent demand for natural resources has taken its toll on the surrounding area; deforestation has plagued the tribal areas surrounding the village and clean water is always in short supply. Individuals commonly dispose of their garbage by burning it in the streets because there is no kind of environmental-friendly waste management program in this area. We approached the president of ICYN about the idea of starting a partnership with IYCN to help Alfa fix these issues. He expressed interest and we sent a brief concept note about a potential project. We have since been working with IYCN to develop this partnership and are in the process of negotiating funds for our project. IYCN can be a valuable resource to Alfa and its environmental issues so we hope that funding becomes available to take this partnership to the next level.

Youth Express
One of the programs we strongly believe in at ALFA is the organization’s quarterly publication, the “Youth Express”. This magazine provides villagers information about local history and current events pertaining to the community. When Jake arrived at ALFA, this program was financially unsustainable, with Alfa providing the funds to print the publication then distributing it for free. With the help of a fellow FSD intern, Andrea Scali, he and Jake were able to develop a plan to make the Youth Express a financially viable business venture that could not only sustain itself, but would help to build a financial base for ALFA. Our strategy was to provide advertising for local community businesses for a reasonable fee. In this way, ALFA could provide a service to the community and help to fund the publication. Also, by selling the Youth Express for Rs 5 a copy, we were recuperating the printing costs of the magazine. This profit was put into ALFA’s bank account to help the organization build financial reserves.

Metri Cup
Our biannual cricket tournament is the most important event that Alfa hosts. Metri or friendship cup is a month long cricket tournament that consists of over thirty teams from towns as far away as 100 km. Teams play in a tournament style setting until the final two teams go head to head in the closing ceremonies. The cricket tournament is a great way for different castes and religions to engage in conversation and build friendships. Community members have a unique opportunity to talk with political and social leaders that are honored throughout the tournament. Our tournament also provides a space for youth of all walks of life to come together and have fun! They are able to showcase their skills and learn the game of cricket to build their self confidence and have a fun filled day with new friends and family. We held the Metri Cup in December and May of this past year. In May, the Karawara team was victorious after an impressive offensive display! Each tournament honored several special guests from the FSD intern program, the highest honor a visitor can be given.

Children’s Creative Education Project
The main project that Alfa has been developing over the past eight weeks is the Sanjha Manch Children’s project. This has been a challenging project because Alfa is still developing its relationship with the young children in the community. Lokesh has a great relationship with the young adults here in town, but the children are still skeptical to open up to our volunteers and express their thoughts and opinions. The children don’t have enough opportunities to express their creative side which also makes this project difficult because it is based on creative development. We created activities that reflect new and creative ways for the children to learn. Art classes, English lessons, word mapping and writing exercises are the focus of our activities. Recently we have made great strides in gaining the children’s trust. We have held more activities with larger groups each week since implementing this project. We have come a long way since our first art class where every child ran away from Sanjha Manch. This progress is exactly what our organization was looking for. We have many activities that we plan to introduce, but it has to be a gradual process to slowly build the children’s confidence and creative thought process. This children’s project has been the focus of our funding efforts. We have contacted many educational funding agencies with this proposal, but only the CRY organization has shown interest. The Sanjha Manch project is currently under review by CRY’s executive board for future funding and partnerships. The information below outlines the project in more detail and explains the need for such a program in Karawara.

Youth project proposal
The youth proposal was the other main project developed for Sanjha Manch. Alfa’s specialty is the Karawara youth because Lokesh has devoted much of his time to building strong relationships with the young men in town. Lokesh is only twenty-four years old so the youth find it easy to trust and relate to him. Lokesh sets a great example and can educate these men using his education and work experience as example. Alfa wants to build up confidence in the youth and provide them the necessary resources to help them prepare for their futures. This capacity building helps them prepare for future careers, family responsibilities and leadership roles in many community issues. Our youth project proposal discusses the important issues that youth face and how Alfa will enhance their personal strengths to prepare them for a better life. Sanjha Manch is an open forum for the youth to break down cultural barriers that many people are afraid to talk about. There is understanding and tolerance in this environment that transcends personal bias and prejudice. This proposal is marketed to many funding agencies that focus on education and youth development. Alfa’s youth proposal is in the process of funding review by NFI, National Foundation of India.

Disha Film Screening Proposal
This project proposal is Alfa’s most recent development. It is a very simple concept that involves bringing people together to view documentaries relating to community level issues. It’s a fun and simple way to bring citizens together to converse and discuss the daily problems they face. We liked this project because it requires few resources and is a fun way to bring people together. We hope to hold our first film screening within the next month.

English Classes
Our first intern, Jake, did a great job creating this program to teach English to children and community members. Sandra and Robert have picked up where he left off and have been teaching classes every day. Sandra’s English and Hindi speaking capabilities have greatly benefited the young children whom she teaches English lessons to on a daily basis. In the mornings she travels to a nearby school where she teaches a large group of fourth and fifth standard students. She also teaches English to a group of young women in the afternoons. Robert takes responsibility for teaching the mischievous youngsters in the afternoon. The kids think Robert is a comedian and love to laugh at him throughout the class. Our classes mainly teach basic English words and simple sentences. We try to make the classes interactive and fun to keep the children’s attention on the lesson. They have responded really well to an activity where they are able to write words on our white board. They learn words more effectively when they are doing more than just writing words in their notebook. It is amazing how quickly they pick up the language. Most of our students learned the entire alphabet in just one lesson. All of our teachers have a great time working with the children and we know they enjoy it as well because they always leave our class with enormous smiles on their faces.

Facebook Page
Alfa recently created a Facebook page to utilize the power of social media. Our page includes information about Alfa’s mission, vision and objectives. It also gives some insight into our different projects in Karawara. It is a great tool to link our organization with people seeking information on what we do. We have all ready received a request from a group of medical students to intern at our organization next summer after they viewed our Facebook page. Users are able to view hundreds of pictures from Alfa events, view our youth wing blog and connect with other NGO’s that our organization supports.

Youth Wing Blog
Our blog was previously constructed at the beginning of the year, but was in need of some desperate remodeling. We have updated the blog to include background information on Lokesh and his working history, Alfa organization information and a new blog heading. Youth wing is now available in proper English to accompany funding agencies and the average reader. We try to update the blog at least once a week to give readers an idea of Alfa’s new and exciting activities. This is another useful form of social media that we utilize. All of our social media sites tie to the others to give viewers the maximum Alfa experience.

SMILE Internships
The Karawara youth had a unique opportunity to learn about rural development through the SMILE internship program. Applications were accepted from all over India with only fourteen interns selected. Karawara had three young men selected out of those fourteen! Kailash, Rajendera and Naresh were selected to represent our town in the New Delhi area to study rural development areas. Their internship lasts for the entire month of July and we are anxious to hear about all of their experiences. We were updated on their first week of training and it sounded like a huge success. SMILE benefited from these young men and also helped Alfa in the process. SMILE sent an intern named Sandra to work at Alfa for one month. Sandra has been a valuable asset to our organization as she speaks both English and Hindi fluently. She is in charge of the English lessons and helps translate our most recent edition of the Youth Express from Hindi into English. She has made many new friends and has even experienced work in the fields now that the rain has arrived. Our organization is extremely proud of the three youth in New Delhi and the work effort that Sandra has brought with her all the way from Nagaland.

Alfa Budget
One of the most difficult tasks of running a grass roots NGO is that we are limited in our resources; mainly money. We dedicated ourselves towards accurately recording every Alfa expense over the past two months. Previous months did not include all expense information necessary to formulate a proper budget. With accurate information we were able to separate out expenses that were necessary to Alfa operations and those that we could cut from our spending. Robert, our accounting expert, helped us formulate a plan to maximize our financial resources and monitor all expenses. We are confident that we can keep our spending on track to ensure Alfa’s position in Karawara for a sustainable future.

Swaraj Presentation
Alfa brought in a guest speaker from Swaraj University to talk with the youth about continuing their education. Our new friend Mihir gave two enthusiastic presentations about his program to raise interest in the young men. He was able to capture their attention with games and activities that involved their full participation. Swaraj University is different than any other established institution. It is an education program that allows the student to be independent in his or her learning process. Each student is able to select their area of interest and spend two years studying with different mentors who are the most knowledgeable in their respected fields. The youth seemed very interested in this idea of self guided learning because it was more interactive than constantly learning through textbooks. Swaraj provides a great opportunity for new experiences and Mihir did a great job of expressing this to the youth. Two students journeyed to Udaipur shortly after the presentation to visit the Swaraj facility and learn more about the program. Everyone responded positively to this presentation and we hope to have Mihir back to convince more students to take hold of their future education.

Office Renovation
Alfa looks drastically different than when we started the year. Over the past six months we have added many new things to our office including a new room where we get most of our work done. There is new furniture for visitors to sit on, a new desk, a bed for our intern to sleep on and a guava tree that hasn’t stopped growing since we planted it! The new addition that we are most proud of is our library. We came to an agreement with the local school to donate their government subsidized library. We more than tripled our collection of books and magazines. This is crucial for Alfa and the young kids that like to read at our office. It is a great teaching tool and the children really benefited from this act of kindness. We’ve also spent time decorating the inner walls with all of the children’s work from our art classes. Six months ago the walls were plain and now our office promotes colorful pictures and posters that deliver positive messages. It’s a great environment for teaching and learning; we are proud of how far our facilities have developed.

Pratham Presentation
Alfa hosted a presentation from Pratham Organization which provides hotel management training. The program involves a three months training period and a one-hundred percent job guarantee after the training is completed. This is a unique employment opportunity for people in Karawara who want to work at a five star hotel or restaurant. Many young men showed interest in the program and a few have signed on for the training. This is an important partnership that Alfa has created with Pratham to help bring jobs to the Karawara people.
Relationship between Youth and Sanjha Manch.

When youth and energy go together, we feel like life has come into the rocks.Love and "Enclub" means youth can be powerful but they are burdened with lots

of responsibilities even before they grow up due to the poor social and economic conditions of the people out here.

People say,"Time changes everyone" but where we see time has stopped,we see that new definitions are defined by new methods.Bhagat Singh,Chandra Shekar Ajad

and Ashfag Khan are the ideals of youth out here.So, can we question ourselves like who will be Bhagat Singh,chandra Shekar Ajad and Ashphakulha Khan

and from which family?.Are the youth of today ready to overcome all the challenges that comes into their way and set an example for others like their


It is very easy to look at these idols and think that their actions cannot be matched. Movies like Raang De Basanti,Team India and Chak De India

give young adults inspiration that they too can lead the charge against social issues. These heroes help youth face their problems and work towards finding viable solutions. The main characteristic that these idols possess is leadership. Many citizens in the community don't believe

in the youth's ability to lead a group of people. Alfa understands that every youth possesses an inner leadership quality and that this trait will

dictate the future of social change. Our Sanjha Manch resource center helps the youth understand social, personal and economic problems and works

to develop the leadership skills necessary to make the world a better place.

Alfa encourages the youth to gather at Sanjha Manch where they can discuss social issues that range

"Greedy",when we see this word or even hear it,we give negative views.If a person is called greedy than that propably means that person wants more in life.In other words, a person can never be satisfied if he is greedy.

If we see the word" greedy" in a different perspective and if it is viewed differently than the meaning of the word "greedy" can be a positive one.Everybody wants something or the other in life and if he is not greedy than there is no way he can get it.Suppose a person wants richness,happiness,achievements,etc and he got all that he wanted so did that stop him from moving ahead in life?So is being greedy really bad at all?

Lets site an example of Bill Gates who brought new computer techniques without which no work can be done in any field today. If he was not greedy than we would not ave any ideas about new techniques that are in the computers today.If Newton was satisfied by just seeing the apple falling from the tree and if he was not greedy enough to research it than will we have any idea what gravitational force is?Thesetwo examples also shows us that we should be greedy.

We see that satisfacton and greed can never go together.Where there is satisfaction,there is no greed.But it is not this way.Where there is greed,there is satisfacton and this two qualities encourages the youth to move forward in life towards their goals.When a child passes his first standard,his parents gets satisfied that he passed his exam but is it possible in the present time that parents gets satisfied with the childrens result and than stop their education?The answer would be no..They would ask their children to move forward and than take admission for them in a higher standard.So the parents are also greedy in this manner.When a child gets satisfied with his life and his education than there is no place to learn new things in his life.We always hear our parents saying that we shoud not be greedy and even religious people teach us not to be greedy and be satisfied with what we have.They tell us that by being greedy,we are bringing trouble to our family.Had they also been satisfied in life do u think they will be where they are now?..

Alfa teaches the youth to be greedy but in a good way.It encourages the youth to move forward in life.If the youth of today are satisfied with whatever they have in present than what is our future going to be tomorrow?.Till now it is seen that no one is satisfied with life.It is the basic character of huma beings.The world is advancing very fast.If we just stop being greedy,selfish and if we just sit back sayng that we are satisfied and we do not need anything more in life than we will be left behind.We shoud be greedy if we want to achieve something in life.So if someone tells u that you are greedy than think about it.It just means you are moving forward in life.