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Ijaz Ahamed - - Champion - Social Volunteer Awards 2020

Ijaz Ahamed is a young volunteer and a passionate changemaker from Kerala, India. He is a family man who holds firmly morals and values in his life. He loves to travel, volunteer, having fun with children, experience the life of people, various cultures, and having a meaningful conversation. And also extremely passionate about social empowerment and environmental sustainability and hopes to make a difference in those areas. If someone else is happy because of him, that makes Ijaz most alive. His nature and focus on community collaboration are fledging him to lead several volunteering opportunities and community leadership roles. He is the co-curator of the organization The Gulmohar Foundation(TGF), working with the objective of creating future leaders and social entrepreneurs through Capacity Development, Volunteering, and Global Citizenship Education. And he was coordinating 10+ initiatives under TGF. He is a member of the Kerala Voluntary Youth Action Force and actively worked in the devastating Kerala flood of the last two years. He was a participant of two national camps named Tarunai Camp and Gramya Manthan that was held in Maharashtra and Gujarat for exploring and understanding rural life. And also, he worked with the i-LAB organization for the educational empowerment of coastal area students. He was taken the role of Lead Community Trainer during these lockdown times. He is a fellow believing that pouring human kindness will be rewarded here and hereafter.


VOLUNTEERING STORY

I would like to introduce myself as a Family man because from where I got the basics of knowledge and values. I was always happy to help others. I don’t expect anything returns because I volunteer because of my satisfaction and that makes me a happy better human. From my school days, I actively participate and volunteer in youth festivals and I was a part of Family Meet that was held in 2015 and which is a grand party with 2000+ peoples. I was happy and proud of myself because I am also take a good role in that event. After that, I was elected as a secretary of SKSBV (Samastha Kerala Sunni Balavedi) in my madrassa (2015) because I have good participation in my institute's event and also shown my organizing skills in the events. In school days I lead a duff muttu team and got the first prize in Kerala School Kalolsavam that was held in Thiruvananthapuram in 2016. In the time Kerala Flood 2018, I got a good opportunity to work with Kerala Youth Welfare Board at Aluva cleaning drive from where I start my official volunteering journey. It's a great life-changing opportunity for me. After that, I got a great network and that leads to various volunteering opportunities. I got a selection for national camps that named Tarunai camp (2018) and Gramya Manthan (2019) that held in Maharashtra and Gujarat respectively those places are tribal area, from where I get a grass root level reality of India and it is a great chance to interacts with various volunteers whose comes from various part of India. In 2019 we the 5 people gather for a good cause and that ends with a camp for the orphan that designed by our team, that was held in Darunnajath Islamic center, karuvarakundu, During that camp we give School kits for all students (100+), conducted games and entertainments for the orphan students. I was worked with an NGO named iLab that is working in the educational field. I was joined in The Gulmohar Foundation (TGF) that to create young social leaders and social entrepreneurs through capacity development, volunteering, and global citizenship education. I have started my volunteering with TGF in 2018 and still continue, it's a life-changing decision. And I get the reality of volunteerism, the importance of sustainable volunteering, and personal development through volunteering. As a result of my commitment and sincere work, I was selected as a Malabar Regional Coordinator. After that, I also am a coordinator of various programs of The Gulmohar Foundation named FaceBook NGO Day, Bottles Up Challenge, Donate-A-Toy, Global Climate Ride, Book Review, Online SDG Courses, TYPL (TGF- Youth Peer Learning), Plant-A-Tree, etc. In 2020 take the role of Lead Community Trainer under Volunteer For India. I am a BDK (blood donation Kerala) volunteer also, where promote blood donation. Through this volunteering journey, I found myself and my passion in the field of working towards humanity and sustainability, And now I am looking forward to youth fellowships and social entrepreneur. As of now, I have been volunteering with different organizations, undertaken 15+ initiatives with the involvement of 10,000+ young volunteers. I had volunteered in the field of Education, Health, and Environment Conservation; focusing on Volunteer Management and Programme Coordination.

VOLUNTEERING JOURNEY

I think I was born a volunteer Because I was raised in a family that encourages volunteering, helping the poor, caring the others, Congratulating every good deed, and guiding with moral values and lessons. So I started volunteering at a younger age and it turns into professional volunteering at my schooldays. Now I am at the age of 22 and have volunteered in many organizations since 2015. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” this is the reason why I am a volunteer, Where I found myself. Volunteering connects me with the people who are also looking towards a better tomorrow so I found my people. I connect with social problems as well as solutions. When I am volunteering I understood I am helping and saw my time is worth it and believe I am capable of inciting change and making progress. Volunteering helps me to make friends, learn new skills, advancing my career, and even feel happier and healthier. My role as a volunteer can also give me confidence and identity, more likely to have a positive view of life and future goal.


VOLUNTEERING FOR ME

It's a way of helping/serving without expecting anything in return, and it gives happiness and self-satisfaction to the volunteer. All volunteering must have good intentions .its a great act of kindness also. Nowadays we can see so many volunteering activities are going around the world and some things are not sustainable that's why the result is not lasting and all the effort is not going to fruitful so the volunteering must be in a sustainable way. Volunteering Should for personal development. PROJECT

BottlesUp Campaign


ORGANISATION

The Gulmohar Foundation


MISSION & VISSION

The BottlesUp Campaign is an initiative to reduce the use of plastic in Schools. The campaign brings together the Youth, local government, students, and other stakeholders to take action against plastic. Single-use plastic bottles used by students will be replaced by Steel bottles. And followed by a program named Kelala Climate Ride

Objectives:

1. Reduce the use of plastic bottle in Schools

2. Organize anti-plastic campaigns in Schools

3. Mobilize the youth of Kerala for action against plastic

4. Awareness of climate change and biodiversity conservation

5. Encourage collaboration among various networks to achieve the above objectives


PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The BottlesUp Campaign is an initiative to reduce the use of plastic in Schools. The campaign brings together the Youth, local government, students, and other stakeholders to take action against plastic. Single-use plastic bottles used by students will be replaced by Steel bottles.

And followed by a program named Kelala Climate Ride


Objectives:

1. Reduce the use of plastic bottle in Schools

2. Organize anti-plastic campaigns in Schools

3. Mobilize the youth of Kerala for action against plastic

4. Awareness of climate change and biodiversity conservation

5. Encourage collaboration among various networks to achieve the above objectives



18. Describe the project in Detail? Let us know about the innovation/creativity/sustainability of the project. The number of volunteers involved and how you

had engaged them. (Maximum characters: 2500)



Look around and see how single-use plastics like straws, plastic sacks, and plastic water containers are harming the earth. Often, single-use plastic can be replaced with non-plastic alternatives. The bottles-up campaign is an initiative to reduce the use of plastic in Schools and to raise awareness on reusable bottle consumption. The campaign brings together the Youth, local government, students, and other stakeholders to take action against plastic and encourage collaboration among various networks on Environmental Education and Education for Sustainable Development. Single-use plastic bottles used by students will be replaced by Steel bottles. As a part of spread the message we conducted the Kerala Climate Ride, It is a week-long strike with massive participation of youth. The strike happened in all the 14 Districts of Kerala and also in Lakshadweep. Volunteers from different areas along with college and school students with the support of locals rallied along the coasts of Kerala, trying to spread awareness about the increasing climate change and the importance of Ocean Conservation.



A recent study by the scientists of the University of Exeter found that 86 percent of teenagers have traces of Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical compound used to make plastics, in their body. The chemical can be found in plastic containers and water bottles. Through this campaign, we are trying to encourage the use of plastic-free materials. We focus on students and youth because we believe that it is they who have the will and capacity to bring long term sustainable changes.


Methodology

1. Creating communities: Create teams of young people interested to work for the campaign. And find the people who are ready for working towards this goal. All these things are mostly done by Social Media and person to person interaction. And 100+ Volunteers who gather for this cause.

(Teams of Youth)

2. Designing Strategies: These teams hold a meeting with the guidance and mentorship of TGF. They learn about the problems of single-use plastics. Create advocacy materials and design Strategies for awareness. Find the underprivileged area where we can do the campaign. All the volunteers who are really helping with the designing part.

(Connect with society)

3. Campaigning: Gathering more people, Awareness through Social Media, People to People conversation, Fundraising, Reach out to stakeholders of the community. Study well about the community that we selected.

(Collaboration)

4. Education for Sustainable Development: A day-long activities and awareness campaigns will mark the day of distribution of steel bottles. Activities like poster making, film screening, Pledge against plastic, awareness classes, etc can be organized. LENGTH OF SERVICE

The background work of the campaign starts in the month of July 2019 and the campaign is done on September 26. And as a part of the Environmental citizenship, Kerala climate ride is also done in the month of October. The projects take 4 months of working through social media as well as the ground. The whole 4 months I personally spent an average of 3 hours per day and it’s 360+ hours. And I create a team with 100+ members they also dedicate themselves to the campaign that’s over 1000+Hours minimum.


ROLE IN PROJECT

I had undertaken the campaign with my organization - The Gulmohar Foundation. I was the main organizer of the Bottles-Up-Challenge that was held in the G.W.U.P Nediyiruppu Colony. And also I was the mentor and supporter of the 10+ Campaign of BottlesUp and Kerala Climate Ride that was held in the Malabar Region with The Gulmohar Foundation Volunteers. I am a volunteer who extremely passionate about working towards sustainable development so here also I put my full skills and values. Mainly here I am working towards achieving my passion so it’s never depressing me, that’s why I put my full energy and use 1000+ personal contacts and start creating community through the convincing that the importance of environmental sustainability and find the people who are ready for working towards this goal. Through my successful Communication 500+ who also get bothered about the environmental problems that facing these days and 100+ people who join for the Fundraising with an amount of 10₹ - 2000₹. That’s a good opportunity for them also because they are happy & proud to be part of the Campaign which working toward environmental sustainability. This Campaign makes me I better person who is responsible pro-environmental behavior of citizens who act and participate in society as agents of change in the private and public sphere, on a local, national and global scale, through individual and collective actions (Environmental Citizenship). Before I am going to do this project teach myself about environmental issues & the importance of sustainability. The campaigning part also helps me more because I enjoy all the parts like Gathering more people, Giving Awareness through Social Media, People to People conversation, Fundraising, Reach out to stakeholders of the community. Study well about the community that we selected. That is a great experience for me that addressing the whole students of the school, government authority, teachers, and non-teaching staff. Where I deliver a good speech that made them more aware of the importance of environmental sustainability. We the team spend that day with students.

IMPACT OF PROJECT

I was able to inspire and motivate more volunteers through BottlesUp Campaign and Kerala Climate Ride. The students and youth get to inspire and take action for sustainable development and biodiversity conservation. The campaign brought together youth, local self-government, students, and other stakeholders to take initiatives to fight against plastic pollution. Spread awareness about the increasing climate change and the importance of Ocean Conservation. More than 500+ volunteers took part in these glorious events, where they pledged to minimize the use of plastic and other substances harmful to the earth. Brainstorming sessions and group discussions were organized to discuss the issue and find possible solutions, as well as alternative options. We strictly make sure that the Community involvement, Any change will be effective only if the community is involved in all stages from planning to execution. The planning and development approach is based on vision and priorities by the people who live in the community, but local voices in the lead, and give leadership roles to the youth. As a part of it, a cycle ride was planned from Kasargod to Trivandrum, which covers a distance of 777+ Kilometer. 66 Cycle Riders from different parts of Kerala came forward to support the ride, by riding a small distance and handing over the cycle to the next rider. It took 4 days for the cycle to reach the destination, traveling through all the districts in Kerala. Along the way, volunteers interacted with people and had started campaigns in colleges to create awareness of climate change. More volunteers took part in these events, where they pledged to minimize the use of plastic and other substances harmful to the earth. The strike resulted in forming - TGF Youth Climate Network, a community of Environment enthusiastic volunteers to create awareness on climate change. As a part of the campaign, 100+ Youth groups were formed in different parts of Kerala. 1500+ Steel Water Bottles were distributed and created 13 Plastic Bottle Free Schools.

The impact of the campaign is analyzed by the number of youth involved in the initiatives. The effectiveness of our advocacy and capacity building can be analyzed based on the feedbacks of the participants. We would keep a regular check on the activities and future works to be implemented for the successful completion of our project. We would make sure that the policies and new methods adopted over there may not end up in this project alone and should remain being executed forever. We will ensure the educational awareness of the environment to the youth. We will initiate more activities that promote environmental citizenship and commence creative spaces that provoke climate awareness to extend the project into the reach of future days.

The main indicators of the impacts of our campaigns are

- 100 plus Youth groups formed all across Kerala

- 7 Schools involved, 3 schools made plastic bottle free

- Four organizations decided to replicate the BottlesUp campaign

- Number of People contributed to a campaigner - 100+ SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

  • GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being,

  • GOAL 4: Quality Education,

  • GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation,

  • GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production,

  • GOAL 13: Climate Action,

  • GOAL 14: Life Below Water,

  • GOAL 15: Life on Land


ACHIEVEMENTS

Social Achievements

- Student Facilitator at iLab (2018)

- Participant at Tarunai Camp (2018)

- Volunteer at The Gulmohar Foundation (2018)

- Online Volunteer of United Nations Volunteers India (2019)

- Trainee at Kerala Voluntary Youth Action Force (2019)

- Communication Head at The Gulmohar Foundation (2019)

- Community Lead Trainer at Volunteer For India (2020)

- Fellow at The Gulmohar Foundation (2020)

- Facilitator at TGF Youth Peer Learning (2020)

- Volunteer at COVID-19 Sannadhasena (2020)

- Executive Member at Institute of Social Volunteering (2020)


Cultural Achievements

- District level First Prize in Duff-Muttu at Kerala School Kalolsavam (2014)

- State-level First Prize in Duff-Muttu at Kerala State School Kalolsavam (2016)

- College-level Winner in Duff-Muttu at Sahridhaya College of Advance Studies (2017, 2018, 2019)

- College-level Winner in Arbana-Muttu at Sahridhaya College of Advance Studies (2017, 2018, 2019)

- Management Fest Winner of Mind-Game at Sahridhaya College of Advance Studies (2018)


Academics

Full A+ in SSLC Examination under Kerala State Board (2014)

First Class in 10th Examination under Samastha Kerala Islam Matha Vidyabhyasa Board

75% in 12th (Science) Examination under Kerala State Board (2016)

Completed B.Sc Geology from Calicut University

Pursuing M.Sc Applied Geology at GOA University FUTURE PLANS

My vision for humanity is that we can live in peace, Harmony, and be in peaceful Co-existence with nature, A Ideal sustainable world. I work towards the goal of Social Empowerment with my valuable time and volunteering skills invested in the development of youth to take up roles in Volunteering, Leadership, and global citizenship education. And that will make them as Social Entrepreneurs. We will organize capacity development workshops and awareness sessions amongst youth to promote sustainable development goals. I strongly believe that The Gulmohar Foundation and Institute of social volunteering is the right platform to be used and to be part of making a better world.

REFERENCE:


Are you an aspiring volunteer, creating impact in your community?Apply now for Social Volunteer Awards 2021www.socialsolutionsindia.in/social-volunteer-awards


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