The 1° Challenge

What

1° Challenge is an intense mentorship program designed for fresh recruits. Participants are divided into groups and taught how to develop and implement a community project. The Challenge is coupled with workshops teaching the participants on nancing the project, designing a proposal, communicating with people, and so on. Participants plan and execute the project within a 3-to-5 week time frame and present it in front of an audience. They are guided by a 1° mentor throughout the program.

Why

One Degree Initiative Foundation holds recruitment process twice a year. Volunteers from different schools, universities and institutions join as 1° volunteer and through our programs develop themselves as more active and aware citizens, starting with the 1° Challenge.

Participants are expected to creatively plan a project and successfully execute it. Through this project individuals are provided with an opportunity to gain experience and develop important real world skills such leadership, time management, diplomacy and teamwork. 1° Initiative intends to use this project as a platform to effectively empower the youth.

How

The 1° Challenge is generally preceded by workshops on how to conduct a project, lectured usually by more experienced 1° Initiative members, as well as capacity/skill building workshops by honorary guest speakers. At the end of the two-week period, each team presents their work in front of an audience, including their plans for follow-ups and suggestions for similar future ventures.

Success

The 1° Challenge started in 2010. So far, there have been two successful programs resulting with projects such as Syllabus’er Baire (quiz competition and promoting interactive learning), Iftar Fun, Gyan Vashkor (library building project), 1° of Sports, Shonar Kathi (support towards cancer affected children) and even one of our flagship projects, Haate Khori (providing basic education to domestic workers).

The outcome was a 40% increase in youth participation in community activities, both at urban and rural settings – as well as the initiation of community service clubs at 85% of the schools that undertook the program. It has reached out to nearly 500 students to date.