One Incredible Month in India – my experience working with Prayasam in Kolkata

I recently returned from a Corporate Service Corps (CSC) assignment in Kolkata India were I was part of an 11 person IBM team providing problem-solving assistance to small businesses, non-governmental organizations and social service providers. Our team, the 19th in India since 2009, came from 9 different countries – Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Peru, Philippines, UK and USA.

My client was Prayasam, a non-governmental agency that empowers disadvantaged children to become leaders and health advocates in their community. Their motto is ‘Each One, Teach One’ and we lived that everyday in our work there.

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Our team developed a branding and communications strategy to help make Prayasam’s work more structured and professional – enabling them to become a more trusted consultancy with a greater say in the shaping of national policies designed to assist marginalized sectors of society. We facilitated a number of workshops that were then tailored to use as learning modules for Prayasam’s adult education classes and even had the opportunity to lead the classes for a week to train the future trainers. It was the experience of a lifetime and I feel so lucky to have been able to spend a month with the fabulous individuals at Prayasam.

India 19’s other clients were ONergy, a small business that provides energy from renewable sources to the disadvantaged; the United Way Kolkata, a non governmental organization that assists the needy; and Sukanya, a specialty retailer created and managed by economically and socially disadvantaged women. 

The CSC experience was amazing from both a personal and professional standpoint. Contributing my marketing and branding expertise to Prayasam was really rewarding. I grew professionally from working so closely with a global team. An unexpected outcome was realizing how much I learned from the talented, wildly creative and dedicated child advisors and staff at Prayasam. Their creativity, resourcefulness and work ethic are truly inspirational.

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Thank you Prayasam for including me as part of your family!

See more photos at flickr.com/jilldaffodil.

#ibmcsc India

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