About The Nonproﬁt:
MITRA Foundation, Ravikiran Katkar (Project coordinator), Maharashtra, India
“MITRA” stands for Mission of Integrated Training on Rural and Agriculture Development. MITRA Foundation works toward upholding the legal rights of the poor, children, women, and underprivileged sector of society. They try to resolve injustice within the community democratically, along with imparting training and credit support to rural and urban vulnerable groups of women, marginalized farmers, and the disabled. Their mission is to promote the general well-being of poor people and transform them into self-reliant, self-managing, just, and peaceful living communities.
About The Volunteer:
Vaidehi Kulkarni, Data analyst at Deutsche Bank, Pune, India
Vaidehi is an experienced service management specialist and has worked in financial services in the past. She is a computer engineer and she used to work as a coder at an MNC before making a career switch post-pregnancy. She took excel classes and now works for Deutsche Bank as a data analyst. As a coder, she always looked for ways to simplify her work, and data-driven fields were where she found her passion. She has helped many NGOs with her skills. Her love of excel and principle of constantly updating one’s skills is what made her take up this project.
The Excel training sessions were to help Mr. Ravikiran and his team develop excel skills and implement their learnings in their work for the smooth functioning of MITRA Foundation’s daily affairs.
After the initial briefing, Vaidehi got straight to work. She noted that Mr. Ravikiran was very enthusiastic to learn and would make it a point to practice what he had learned. He would complete any prep work that was assigned to him by her before their next session. He was very punctual and no matter how busy his schedule, he made sure he attended every session.
Mr. Ravikiran’s will to learn was a highly motivating factor in the progress of the project. Vaidehi went above and beyond what was required of her, by curating extra course material that elaborated technical terms. This course material was thorough enough for a learner at any level (beginner to advanced) to be able to follow.
This project was completed during the pandemic which made it challenging to stay on schedule. The training required Vaidehi to start from the basics as Mr. Ravikiran didn’t come from a tech savvy background. The course was intensive work for Mr. Ravikiran because he had to do a lot of ground work before each session. Taking time off from his schedule to complete his assignments did pose a bit of a challenge.
Another hurdle was language. English was the primary mode of communication but not ideal. Since Vaidehi is well versed in Mr. Ravikiran’s mother tongue (Marathi), she used to take the sessions in a mixture of both Marathi and English. The jargons and technical terms were a challenge when it came to translation.
Mr. Ravikiran managed to pick up an entirely new skill in a span of two months. This will help him and his organization analyze and track their data in a systematic way. Excel sheets are a great and the most common way to record data in today’s times. These sheets can also be shared with the nonprofit’s partners, donors and beneficiaries and will help them save a lot of manual updating time.
“My experience with Chezuba was phenomenal. I got to learn a lot as a volunteer. I believe that everyone should constantly keep updating themselves and their existing knowledge and I do that. But, this experience made me go back to the grassroots level and start at the basics. To teach, I had to learn and that has in turn enhanced my knowledge of excel. Chezuba is a really good platform for volunteers.They are always quick to respond and very polite in their communication.”