God the creator has created every person uniquely and blessed them with specific skill sets and capacities. The primary motto of KSSS is: “Awareness Enabling Development.” This motto is followed at KSSS through empowering individuals and groups to explore their potentials and capacities in order to ensure their well-being along with enhancing a sense of community care. KSSS recognizes the vital role that institutions play in the development of society, and therefore has initiated several programs with the support of government and non-government organizations along with KSSS’s own resources.
- Training and Capacity Building Programmes for Staff:
- 1. Training to animators
Training is provided to animators, as they are valued as the grassroots staff who involve directly with the target group members. The trainings aim to enhance their abilities to run, or animate, activities in an effective manner for the development of the society.
- 2. Refresher & Capacity-building trainings to office staff
KSSS organizes four-day skills training programs for its 30 professionally qualified office staff. These programs are refresher courses as well as capacity-building courses containing latest information and methods that have been introduced in the field of development and social work. Previous training programs have been based on: work-based planning, communication, efficiency, community leadership, documentation, participatory approaches in development, advocacy, lobbying, micro-finance, current government schemes of development, the social worker’s role in community, community enterprise organization, rights based approaches, gender issues, and assessing cultural sensitivities.
- 3. Regional meeting
There are eight regions in the operational areas of KSSS. Regional coordinators discharge responsibilities at the regional level, same as animators run KSSS programs at the village level. Regional coordinators and animators have meetings once a week to discuss the weekly programs and any problems or issues that may have arose in the field. The purpose of these meetings is for planning, monitoring, and evaluation –all to ensure quality programming.
- 4. Coordinators meeting
Regional coordinators meet twice in a month to discuss entire programs with KSSS staff and its implementation. The meetings also include discussions of regional level activities and group discussions on specific methodologies, experiences and policies to be adopted for programme implementation.
- 5. Monthly Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation meeting
Executive bodies are called once in a month for planning, monitoring and evaluating the KSSS activities. Active discussions are being conducted in this meeting as they are planning various programs to achieve the real needs of the community.
- B. Training and Awareness to SHG members
- 1. SHG leaders training
With a primary objective to bring resourceful leaders to the community, every year we organized two-day residential leadership trainings to the leaders of various Women Self Help Groups in the project villages. The training enables the group leaders to develop their leadership and organizational skills to handle the affairs of the group after a few years.
- 2. Skill Training to Self-help Group Members with the support of FVTRS
We have organized different Skills Training to the young school dropout members in the self groups in association with the Functional Vocational Training and Research Society (FVTRS),Bangalore. Listed Below:
- Garden designing
- Curtain designing
- Screen printing
- Beautician course
- Plumbing and wiring
- Coconut climbing
- Ornament making
- Drum beating
- Flower Arrangement
- Value addition
- Foot mat making
- Interior designing
- Tiles laying training
- Multi-skill training
- Front office management training
- Training on catering
- Mushroom cultivation
- Rubber tapping training
- Organic farming training
- Saree painting
- Computer hardware and mobile phone repairing
- Four wheeler driving
- Ayurvedic treatment training
3. Awareness programme for Farm Club members
Knowledge-Skills sessions were organized for the farmers in 20 villages that are members of KSSS farm clubs. Each farm club consists of 25 plus members and are given the responsibility to organize village level programming by experts focused on the needs of the farmers.
Training to the farm club leaders
Yearly Residential Leadership Trainings are organized for the selected farm club leaders. The primary objective of the leadership trainings is to enrich and refresh the elected leaders and other office bearers of the farm clubs with new innovative ideas and skills. One of the main outcomes of the leaders’ trainings in the previous years was that 8-farm club leaders contested and won in the Local Panchayath elections.
4. Specific training to “lead farmers”
Lead farmers are the model farmers in the village and play a vital role in the timely implementation of the programme. To capacitate and upgrade the skills and knowledge, every year we conducted residential trainings for the selected lead farmers from the project villages.
The residential trainings helped the lead farmers:
- To develop replicable models in Sustainable agricultural practices
- To update their knowledge in agriculture, natural resource management and animal husbandry
- To produce bio compost through the management of solid wastes within the premises of house
- To organize collective movements against the use of pesticides that are banned and highly harmful to humanity
- To come into groups and share their indigenous knowledge, which inturn equipped them with a major cost-effective solutions to many problems they face in the agriculture field
- To get exposure on advanced machinery used in the agricultural sector.
- To visit other SHGs in the non-project villages and impart their acquired knowledge in natural resource management.
- 5. Training to Friends Group (Staff Networking Programme)
To build healthy relationships among the staff team, KSSS formed Friend’s Teams. Staff and their spouses are invited twice a year for celebrating the friend’s team day. Office bearers are selected from the staff members for their effective functioning. Spiritual guidance and picnics are also done for them.
- 6. Federation Leaders’ Training
Ensuring the total participation of the people and as a step towards cecentralisation KSSS has a federation set up for the self help groups. Every SHG has its own office bearers elected in democratic manner. These elected members of different groups elect their representatives in the village level and the village level leaders elect their representatives in the regional level. KSSS has eight regions. The elected representatives of region elect the central level office bearers. Kottayam social service society has a section committee in every region, consisting of the regional director, regional coordinator and the regional presidents of self help groups. The federation leaders are invited twice a year and gives training for them to empower the SHGs and also to make them better leaders.