Founded in 2011, U&I, besides being our favorite name for a non-profit, is an organization that aims to provide education and training to underserved communities in India. They aim to empower individuals with the tools they need to succeed, and their programs often involve one-on-one or one-on-two teaching sessions, and they cover a range of subjects (not to mention their spirit of collaboration has been so aptly captured in just three letters).
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, with people being confined to their homes with their entire lives shifting into a virtual format—from work to social gatherings to education—many who didn’t have those resources were left scrambling for a way to acquire these resources and learn how to use them.
To combat this, U&I began a "Donate Your Device" campaign, which aimed to address the digital divide in underserved communities. Through the campaign, they collected over four hundred donated devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones, and distributed them to participants without access to technology in order to reduce the struggles they were already facing.
Suchet, an engineer by education and a member of the social service community, sat with us to discuss his involvement with U&I over the last two and a half years. He leads the training and community teams, and is part of the largest chapter—Bangalore. He works tirelessly to make sure that volunteers are able to work with students from underserved communities, and ensures that both parties have any necessary access to the tools and resources needed.
StreamAlive is a key part of U&I’s arsenal of tools to boost online engagement. In every U&I meeting, they start by mentioning good things, and their focus on community engagement and inspiration is clear. In these meetings, participants are encouraged to share good news and inspirational moments. To enhance this aspect of their events, U&I uses StreamAlive’s Wonder Words and Magic Maps interactions, which allow participants to share their experiences and see them visually represented on screen.
U&I’s meetings often are designed to promote one singular message—whether that be regarding education or community service. To consider all aspects of an event’s flow, breaks, and message, they make use of a design document to ensure that people are picking up what they’re putting down. This includes preparing their interactions and questions to their audience in advance. Watch as StreamAlive helps U&I create a very special moment as volunteers come together to describe their tribe:
As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
At the end of the day, U&I embodies this message as a community organization who is committed to make an impact, and to have fun doing it.