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Blessings in Disguise by Himani and Lathika

Collaborative Blog by Himani (FHI Rajkot) & Lathika (FHI Chennai)

The pandemic has disrupted the socio-economic landscape of the entire world. It has also taken a toll on India’s developmental gains in the past decade. But as it is said, Out of Adversity comes Opportunity, the pandemic has brought out the good in people. The global pandemic gave a rise to high CSR contributions in cash and kind. Not only did it raise the monetary donations but also individual volunteering surged. Let’s talk about how Covid-19 affected the social working sector, the changes it brought to NGOs, and how it has raised awareness among people towards their responsibility of doing ‘social good’.

Volunteering During Covid-19:

At the onset of the pandemic, everyone was terrified of the mysteries of the disease. But with time, everyone adjusted to social distancing, transitioning to digital life – online schooling and remote work – as well as pausing all activities that included physical contact. But there was no restraint on the social workers during those hard times. NGOs quickly adjusted to the Covid-19 protocols and adopted new policies as per the demand of time. Such as FHI conducted an online mentorship program for the growth of children in their blooming age. Another such program called “FHI Covid Relief Warrior” was brought into action to provide basic ration for children at risk.

The Aftermath of the Pandemic:

As a human, helping people out of generosity is a must quality. But people these days especially post covid have started having trust issues because of many fake people who disguise themselves and use the public and their help for their selfish agendas. To change this, NGOs need to build trust among the public and assure them of results.

They generally rely on lean operating structures, donations, and volunteer help. During this economical down surge, NGOs need new ways to raise funds to run their organization smoothly.

Ways to Raise Awareness:

NGOs need to run campaigns to make people aware of the causes they stand for. The core requirement for any successful campaign is relativity. You should target people who share your organization’s beliefs and feel the need on working on the same cause. Educating those potential volunteers/supporters for the organization’s cause, hence generating new contacts and a database is one way to run your campaign. On the other hand, social media plays a major role these days to connect with the public. Focusing on shareable content, such as infographics stating facts and videos your followers can see and react to is one of the best ways to gain traction.

Other than this, NGOs can create brochures, host educational events, or organize community service projects to invite more youth clubs, corporate employees, or service organizations to join hands. Hosting a little social media competition can also give your organization great exposure. For instance, giving your followers certain criteria and asking them to share photos using your hashtag. You can also host an in-house contest with your volunteers to get sponsors for an event or raise money or any other metric your NGO will benefit from. And then there is always the option of hosting social events such as old clothes/books/toys donation.

Also, there is a variety of governmental group which has been created to help the NGOs, there are big companies that offer help just like TATA group which shares a certain percentage of their earnings for social service. I personally also believe that we should share at least a minimal part of our earnings to help people out, this will in return bring us a lot of blessings.

Charity or Helping Hands?

According to us as social workers, Charity is a low-key term instead it should rather be defined as a helping hand or supporter to not let the underprivileged feel inferior. Rather than saying I gave something for charity, one should say I would like to help you out by sharing this with you. This would bring more positivity to both sides.

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