Manzil is a non-profit, youth-led learning center providing a supportive community and resources for students from low-income backgrounds to empower themselves and one another through learning, teaching, creativity and encouraging each other to see the world in new ways. Manzil offers young people a safe after-school space where they get exposure to a wide range of teaching environments, opportunities to look at education in new and meaningful ways.
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Hello Zindagi: Wings to Career
A snapshot from the final session
A few years ago, Manzil started a program called W.R.I.J. which stood for Willingness, Readiness, Internship and Job. In this program we identified students who needed jobs immediately after completing class 12 and wanted to increase their knowledge about careers.
Manzil started the program with some interested students and the structure of the program kept evolving with new team members.
When Neha Bhatia joined this program, it got new wings. It was renamed Hello Zindagi (HZ) which means ‘saying hello to life’ as after class 12, students enter the world on a new footing, and begin a new phase of life. The program’s emphasis was upon helping young people to discover their passion and integrate the same in their career choices. In addition, the program sought to equip students with basic soft and technical skills that are required in most professions.
With COVID-19, Hello Zindagi classes shifted to online mode. Due to lack of offline activities and interaction, it was challenging to keep the students engaged. Eventually the HZ team found new ways to keep the students interested. For example, the “workbook” encouraged a lot of self-introspection on part of the students. Two volunteers Mickey and Aishwarya joined Tulsi (a core team member who manages the program) to facilitate the sessions and re-design them. The current course content are: Managing Self, Goal Prioritization, Time Management, Workplace Ethic, Emotional Management, Business Communication Skills, Resume Making and Interview Skills, Google Collaborative Tools for Workplace and Professional Conduct at Workplace.
At the start of the pandemic in 2020, we started a batch with 24 students for 4 months which focused on their self-discovery that helped them identify their interest for a career. In 2021, we started a batch of 80+ students to enable them to acquire technical and soft skills to make them ready for jobs. The biggest challenge that we faced was the dropout rate. Due to the online medium, some students lost interest. Also because of their other commitments, students tended to drop out. In our current batch there are approximately 28 students. Recently, we have closed the online sessions on 5th Feb where we sensed students did not want to stop it but for their further growth of all the learning it was proposed that students can come by themselves and practice whatever they want to practice. It says that learning is incomplete without continuous practice and brings it into the habit which is being and becoming (in hindi Gunna).
Now the further steps from the HZ team is to look out jobs and internships for the potential candidates and pair them with mentors for their individual growth and learning.
However in the Month of November 2021, 5 HZ students got selected for Manzil’s internship program and we are so proud of that.
Lets hear about a student named Neelu Jaiswal, 23, who wrote about her experience. “I'm able to know and understand myself in a better way after learning the concept of smart goals.
This term has helped and sorted my life in a really managed way. I'm able to explore my area of interest, likes and dislikes. I had interest in dance, theatre, yoga and a few more things but I used to not be able to manage my time between my work and studies. But, After I learnt the concept of prioritization and time management I have become quite able to manage my time and start learning dance, yoga and theatre and in future shall do more new things."
Another student Hema, 28, shares “Ever since I started attending classes, I noticed some changes in myself. I got a lot of information about Google tools, how to compose an email and all the usage of emailing like bcc and cc. This class gave me practice on how to give interviews.”
Sagar, 20, shared “Hello Zindagi session has helped me a lot to understand myself, I understand my big and small goals, (The workbook is very well designed). I increased my self-confidence, I have learned technical skills, Learned to be responsible, learned to control emotions and I am still improving every day.”
Poonam, 21, shared with us that “HZ has helped me a lot in my personal and professional life. It boosted my confidence. I can manage my time well.Now I can control my anger when I get angry, I do not overreact. I connect my feelings with family and friends. Some of my learning are written below:
● How to act with Responsibility.
● Not to mix personal and professional life.
● How to give an interview.
● How to make our resume. Things to keep in mind while giving interview
● How to make people trust you.
● How to use google meet, zoom, google docs, google drive, calendar.
● I am now able to talk to people confidently and express my thoughts which were difficult earlier.
● I can now listen to people and understand their words and feelings.”
Durga Rohilla, 20, shares with us “The sessions were insightful. It was a great experience. I enjoyed learning email specifically the role of bcc & cc, prioritizing tasks & also meditation that happens at the beginning of every session. The guidance and the journey provided in the sessions really would help anyone out in the long run. Through peer to peer discussions, and effective facilitation helped develop my communication skills and self-esteem. Understanding different opinions of people from different backgrounds also makes the sessions so diverse and friendly. It is a great opportunity for the youth to groom themselves for their career and job aspect in life.”