Training in handicraft making

To train mentally challenged adults and staff of Navkshitij in handicraft making to improve the quality of the products made in the workshop.

Navskshitij wants to improve the quality of the handicraft produced in its workshop. For the moment candles, lanterns, chocolates and paper bags are being produced.

The products are sold by requesting companies, or housing complexes through personal contacts to allow them to put up stalls on specific occasions/festivals. But products are not sold in the open market but only within Navkshitij’s network of individuals and companies.

The residents receive a symbolic remuneration of 50 rupees per month for participating in the handicraft activity.

Due to a lack of adequate funding the organization cannot employ paid professionals for training the staff and improve its skills.

Nevertheless there is a need for new techniques and ideas to improve the creativity and quality of the workshop activities.

Staff members need new ideas to make the workshop activity more stimulating for the inmates. For this reason Navskshitij required the intervention of a Planète Urgence volunteer.
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Navskshitij needs a Planète Urgence volunteer with good skills in product designing and packaging.

The volunteer should be able to train the workshop staff/teacher in the organization to make attractive products, new kinds of candles, lamps or any other simple products which can be made by hand, without using machines or specialized equipment.

Handicraft making is the main skill that the volunteer should have.

The volunteer will work both with residents and with staff members of the center.

The residents have low mental capabilities but neither physical disability nor serious mental illness. Residents work in the workshop between 11 am and 4 pm.

The volunteer will work with them during this time and the rest of the day will be devoted to single work or group working sessions with staff members only.

Expected results for the participants :

-New skills in handicraft making (staff and residents)
-New techniques to teach the residents (staff)

Expected results for the organization :

-Improvement of the workshop activity,
-Better personal development of the inmates.
-Better visibility and greater demand for Navkshitij products.
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The mission can happen between July and October and again between mid-November to April end. Navskshitij staff is taking holidays at Diwali and during summer.

The volunteer should not necessarily have an experience of working with mentally challenged adults but must be willing to do so.

Working schedule: Monday to Friday, between 10.30 a.m. and 7 p.m., with a break between 1 and 2 p.m. and again 4.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. The whole mission will take place in the Navkshitij centre. The Planète Urgence volunteer will take his meals at the centre.
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Staff/teachers of Navkshitij and 10 residents
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They are men and women from 19 to 46 years old.

Staff are trained in working with mentally challenged at the workshop.

-There are three certified special educators in the team.
-They can speak English.
-The mentally challenged beneficiaries need to learn new skills for making products in the workshop.

This will upgrade their skills and improve the sales of their products.

More products also means keeping them busy for a longer time. This discipline will help them to get a good chalked out routine on a daily basis.
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Congé Solidaire;Mission Solidaire
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Navskshitij was funded in 2003 by a couple of medical doctors: Dr. Neelima Desai and Dr. C. R. Desai, both having a deep interest in the problems of the mentally challenged persons. Navskshitij is an NGO working for the inclusion of mentally challenged adults. Its main objective is to offer mentally challenged adults a home for a lifetime and a life filled with happiness, dignity, and self-respect, to which they have a right. It aims at rehabilitating them back to society and at offering their families a stress-free living. Navskshitij receives financial support from private companies based in India, both national and international. Navskshitij’s home for mentally challenged adults is based in Marunje, a village on the outskirts of Pune city in the state of Maharashtra. Although Maharashtra has several government and private and NGO-managed special schools for mentally challenged children, there are very few services for mentally challenged adults. And residential facilities for mentally-challenged adults are even fewer. Mentally challenged adults are dependent on their families which very often cannot afford it. Navkshitij was established with this idea of providing a dignified life to the mentally challenged adults through transfer of skills according to their ability, providing opportunities for wider exposure to the world and lead a healthy community life. All the organization’s activities are aligned towards these objectives. Since its creation Navskshitij has been setting up a residential cum workshop facility now welcoming 36 residents. The NGO organizes annual holidays outside Pune, including out of India. It also sets up an Adventure Club for mentally challenged persons and organizes activities like high altitude trekking in the Himalayan region, para sailing, para gliding, etc. Navskshitij is paying attention to make its beneficiaries constantly interact with the mainstream society. It is also raising awareness about the problems of mentally challenged persons and about what they can do when they are given support. The need is great, but residential facilities are expensive and need lot of financial as well as human and technical resources, so Navskshitij cannot host a big number of inmates. Currently there are 36 residents. In its residential center, Navskshitij is organizing three types of activities for its beneficiaries: 1. Workshop activities: making chocolates, candles and floaters, tie & dye products, paper lanterns, handmade paper bags and eco-friendly jewellery. 2. Adventure Activities: High altitude trekking, jungle trekking, monsoon trekking, moonlight trekking, trekking in the hills and forts near Pune; Climbing Competition Parvati Hill close to Pune; Holidays outside Pune; Participation in sports competitions held by other organisations for the mentally challenged. 3. Music, dance and drama classes, performances for an invited audience, and the Annual Natya Mahotsav, a Drama Competition for mentally challenged people. Navskshitij is willing to expand its activities and open a second shelter unit to be able to help 60 mentally challenged adults and their families.
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The volunteer will be picked up by a taxi hired for him (1 hour and half)
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The volunteer will be given a room with attached bathroom in the Navkshitij center.
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There are four rooms in the center available for the workshop activities. The Planète Urgence volunteer can use them. There is also raw material for the products currently being made at Navkshitij: candles, paper lanterns, jewellery, chocolates, handmade paper bags, key chains. Other material can be bought for the mission according to the volunteer’s project.
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