History of RAAH Foundation
Raah Foundation has had a very interesting history about its birth. The founders were running a successful ITES company when they realised that the company has a huge potential and needed to scale up. For scaling people were needed who were difficult to come by. It was then decided to experiment with employing school dropout kids from the nearby villages. These kids being drop outs had very little exposure to English language "needless to say the three month training program had to be expanded to six months to accommodate them. The training for the first badge of 10 kids started with a lot of enthusiasm. On the first day a funny thing happened which had a deep imprint on their minds. After about two hours of training session, the kids started turning and fidgeting, clearly showing their discomfort. On further probing they confessed that they wanted to use the toilet but the problem was that they had never seen a toilet in their life and did not know how to use it and hence wanted to go out in the open to defecate. This was a wakeup call for the trainers and it was clear that the first lessons have to be in toilet training and making them become a part of this new society that they were becoming a part of. Subsequently all the training programs began with toilet training. This not only made them comfortable but helped them quickly mingle with the group. By the time the owners decided to sell the company, there were over 150 school drop outs in the organisation. This was the most humbling experience which completely changed not only the lives of the beneficiaries but also the owners. The transformation that took place in not only their lives but their personalities was a humbling experience.
When the owners sold the ITES Company, the affection and the commitment with these school dropout kids, their families and their villages, Raah Foundation was started. Raah is a Hindi word for path and the idea was to create RAAH Foundation as a platform for handholding the youths, women and show them the path towards sustainability. This involved facilitating a permanent change in their lives through appropriate skilling and training. Raah Foundation started with a batch of 30 school dropout kids in Umrer, near Nagpur; soon the work was expanded to the slums of Mumbai and subsequently with the Tribals of Jawhar/ Mokhada. While the work at Umrer and Mumbai have expanded and consolidated; Raah Foundation.
Birth of YANA:
YANA is a Sanskrit word for method of arriving which is our way of fast forwarding our beneficiaries towards sustainability. YANA is also an acronym for You Are Not Alone which is the message we wish to give to our beneficiaries, they are not alone in their endeavour to change their lives; we are there with them, for them, along with them. YANA is the Brand Name of the products made by the beneficiaries trained by RAAH Foundation. YANA came into existence in late 2014. An impact study in late 2013 revealed that the women and tribals although trained well by Raah Foundation were struggling with their micro enterprises and they needed the much needed retail push. It was then decided to support in all the departments - designing the product, making the product, as also selling the product. These products are made and sold under the name YANA. For further information on the products do visit our site yanaindia.com