Why Leadership and Teamwork Constitute a Big Part of Haiyya’s Fellowship

Haiyya Fellow while at door to door canvassion

Haiyya Fellow while at door to door canvassing

In today’s scenario, organizations prefer people who are go-getter and team-players, than the ones who are lone wolves. While working alone certainly has its benefits, it is left far behind in terms of developing a learning graph when it comes to more versatile members of a group. The idea of “one for all and all for one” is fast gaining practice in the sphere of organizational work structures where strategy and out-of-the-box thinking go hand in hand. Team-workers, therefore, often exhibit signs that not only create a significant ambit of creative approaches to a conventional problem, but also help to solve them easier and quicker. Haiyya’s focal point in formulating any program – Fellowship, Campaigns or Training is leadership and teamwork.

Haiyya works on a model that enables leadership of it’s Team members, Interns, Fellows or the community- and we call it Snow-flaking! When I first got acquainted with the Fellowship Manager at Haiyya, the snowflake structure was explained to me. Everyone has their own self-interest, skills, capacity and time – the idea is to capitalize on the uniqueness of each member in a team and work collectively towards accomplishing a common goal. A single Fellow or a group of Fellows can find their calling in anything, from starting their own campaigns, to working on existing ones, to working towards new goals. For example Fellows are working towards sanitation and cleanliness of a particular locality or towards public safety or for enrollment of children in schools etc.  So far Haiyya has a list of successful Campaigns running in different neighborhoods around, all thanks to the well trained Fellows who remain ever dedicated and devoted to the cause.

For those of us like me, who remain clueless about how to make a difference but want to do something about a lot of things, Haiyya Fellowship is a boon. Each Cohort of Fellows comes with their own bunch of unconventional thinkers and doers brimming with potential. Rigorous fieldwork, communication with the people around, skill-developing exercises, community organizing tools and practices – bring out the Fellows from their shells. The Fellowship teaches you the basics of planning and execution, two elements of paramount importance to a campaign. You learn to address and work with the common crowd in your local neighborhood and oftentimes address delicate issues with exemplary sensitivity – all attributes of a great leader. Learning at Haiyya is at the site and interactive – the Fellows graduate as individuals with distinguished and beautifully honed personalities.

Door knocks, community meetings called “people sabhas”, engaging with the local government authorities, an empathetic outlook towards people’s struggles or problems, inspiring other people to join your campaign and give them real roles and responsibilities; all are extremely vital components of the thorough leadership and team-building experiences the Fellows encounter. Together, the commitment and accountability of the Fellows remains with the task at hand. The members of a Cohort are driven by motivation and aspire to make a difference with whatever they take up.

As Louisa May Alcott said, “It takes two flints to make a fire,” the fire within a Haiyya Fellow to create change is based on a shared objective and purpose to bring tangible change as a group at the end of the Fellowship. At Haiyya, you don’t just learn campaigning and organizing; you become your campaign and convert your ideas into action. You become an Organizer- and we say, once an organizer, always an organizer.

Author’s Bio-

Soumya-Communicatiosn and documentation experts

Soumya Raj, Communication Strategist

Soumya closely observed people, their personal and collective struggle and get a chance to write, photograph and participate in them. This coupled with a commendable creative margin is a workplace paradise for her. A third year student of  English Hons at Indraprastha College of Women, University of Delhi, she is driven by story-telling and using it as a tool for change, She can be contacted at mailsoumyaraj@gmail.com


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