by Chinmayi Bhavani Shankar
The day started off at 9:00 am with an opening address by Rajesh Haridas about Vibha, the growth of Vibha, and Vibha’s success stories. The Welcome Address focused on the fact that this conference is meant to bring all the volunteers together to address three main areas that Vibha needs to work on for the upcoming year:
- Alignment and balancing action center activities with Vibha’s goals – The Action Centers and Vibha’s Executive board need to be on the same page at all times
- Accountability and leadership – ACCs and volunteers in other roles need to be held accountable for their responsibilities and those responsibilities need to be communicated
- Dreaming big and achieving the dreams – Action centers tend to get overly involved in local fundraising events and move away from understanding and thinking about the big picture and where Vibha is headed and the issues that Vibha is addressing
The volunteers were broken up into four smaller groups to discuss the three issues at hand and come up with a solution and a plan of action to address the issues at hand. Every group had an executive member and volunteers/ ACCs from various action centers. The discussions among each group were long and lively and each volunteer brought a different experience into the discussion and a different perspective.
The delicious and heavy lunch did not slow down the rate of ideas brought up and opinions voiced. Post lunch, the teams are now presenting their solutions to the rest of the volunteers leading to a colorful exchange of questions and clarifications to address how the proposed solutions work. After the presentations, the group will decide on the final strategy.
“It’s not the load that breaks you down; it’s the way you carry it.” – Lena Horne