Grade Level of Students Participating
Grades 8-10 (students aged 14-16)
Number of Students Participating per Year
Year Organization Began
Relationship to the public education system
Lend A Hand India partners with state and federal government in the “vocationalization of secondary education” initiative, “a centrally sponsored program that provides for diversification for educational opportunities to enhance individual employability and provide an alternative for those pursuing higher education.2”
Lend A Hand India seeks strategic policy and structural support from state governments and works as a catalyst to implement the programs in secondary schools in five states in India.
Organization’s Vision and Mission
Lend A Hand India’s mission is to make a difference in the lives of the poor through self-help.
By partnering with grassroots non-profit organizations, community groups, and local governments, Lend A Hand India creates better access to education, vocational training, career development, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities. Ultimately, the organization’s purpose is to help the poor realize their full potential to meet their aspirations for a better life.
Brief Description of Program Activities
Project Swadheen, the vocational training program, provides vocational training and career guidance to young boys and girls from rural and urban communities through its multi-skill foundation course (MSFC), now part of the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) as part of the national secondary school curriculum. The program promotes employability and entrepreneurship.
MSFC course is implemented as part of secondary school curriculum, within the school time table and in school premises ensuring cost effectiveness, 100% coverage of boys and girls, and better attendance. The Multi-skill foundation course curriculum covers 4 primary areas:
- Workshop and engineering techniques
- Energy and environment
- Gardening, nursery, and agriculture techniques
- Personal health and hygiene
Students take the classes one day per week (approximately 3.5 hours per week) for two years, spanning grades 9 and 10.
In order to implement the program, Lend A Hand India develops the curriculum, recruits the trade practitioners (i.e. plumbers, carpenters, electricians, etc.) from the local communities and then train them to be instructors, buy equipment and pay for the running costs and other expenses for a period of three years.
How the program works in schools:
An MOU is signed with the high school management which lists the responsibilities of the partners. The head of the school is in charge of the management and implementation of the programs, with support from Lend A Hand India. Four trained instructors, who are guided and supervised regularly for quality assurance, deliver the training. During the first year, students from 9th grade (aged 13-14 years) are enrolled. The average size of each size is 40-50 students, and the students learn the skills in groups of 10-15 each. As the students go through the 9th and 10th grade classes, they become qualified to receive Level I and Level II certification under the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF). Following graduation, students are provided assistance for higher education, to start their own small enterprise, or to pursue further specialized training in a particular trade.
Project Disha and Project Catalyst, are currently in pilot stages in the state of Maharashtra, and are intended to complement Project Swadheen.
Program Content: Intrapersonal Competencies
Self-efficacy, drive, self-management, confidence, integrity
Program Content: Interpersonal Competencies
Communication, time management, problem solving, collaboration
Program Content: Cognitive Competencies
Vocational and technical trade-specific skills for use in rural environments. They include construction, farming, garage mechanic, fabrication, carpentry, electric maintenance, solar and biogas technologies, motor rewinding, nursery techniques, soil testing, water analysis, knitting, blood and hemoglobin testing, stitching and food preservation, tailoring, compost making, and pathological analysis, among others.
Program Content: Attitudes and Values
Learning by doing Work ethic
Program Content: Pedagogy/ Active Engagement of Students
The program equips secondary school students in basic technology skills in engineering, energy and environment, agriculture and animal husbandry, and home and health sector. Introductory training is provided in about 40 different trade-specific skills suitable for use in rural as well as urban environments. They include construction, poultry farming, garage mechanic, fabrication, carpentry, electric maintenance, solar and biogas technologies, motor rewinding, nursery techniques, soil testing, water analysis, knitting, blood and hemoglobin testing, stitching and food preservation, tailoring, compost making, and pathological analysis, among others.
As part of the course, students also learn various aspects of running a business, namely accounting, finance, marketing, and customer service through various revenue generating projects.
1All information provided in this table are based on the website (www.lend-a-hand-india.org) and phone interview with Sunada Mane, co-founder and president, on June 6, 2016.