_Social Starters catches up with Madhavi Adimulam from Sattva Lifeskills Centre in Hyderabad, India to discuss the impact the programme has had on their business.

Sattva is a vocational skills centre for young adults with special needs, particularly autism and down sydnrome. Based in Hyderabad, India, the centre works on training these young people in a variety of employability skills, from multimedia to organic farming and baking.

This past year working with _Social Starters, Madhavi has received support in a variety of forms. In the beginning the _SocialStarters volunteers supported the business in terms of finance and ironed out any problems within this department.

Madhavi describes how this helped her take the first step in the right direction:

“We prepared a spreadsheet with projections for the next three years and came up with a proposal to apply for funding with corporates.”  

Madhavi feels strongly that one of the most significant tasks completed with the _SS team was finalising the mission and vision statement:

Vision is to deliver measurable outcomes for children with developmental delays and special needs through integration of specialist therapies, parent support and training. Mission is to identify and evaluate as early as possible those infants and toddlers who have developmental delays and special needs and provide them therapeutic interventions to improve their development. The values are safety, respect, lead with integrity, trustworthy and reliable, team work and performance excellence.

“We were doing a lot of brainstorming, we were meeting many times, spending a lot of hours trying to understand why I started the organisation, and trying to align to the principals of that. I had a lot of clarity in my head but we wanted to break that to the paper so that anybody who works in my organisation should be able to read it and understand why I’m running the organisation” Madhavi explained. She went on to describe the effect this had on the business, and the ease of finalising other policies within the work place now she had a clear vision which everyone was on board with.

Currently, the _SS team and Madhavi are working on Human Resources problems that have been causing a lot of difficulties for the business. A new policy has now been put in place ensuring new employees must sign a contract agreeing to two months leaving notice, meaning Madhavi has plenty of time to find a replacement, resulting in lower stress levels!

Madhavi is very happy with the work that has been done so far, and believes these changes are sustainable in the long term for Sattva Lifeskills Center. “It’s nice to work with an organisation like _SocialStarters and the volunteers we’ve seen come through our door because they come with such variety of experience and they are not limited by the kind of perspective I have because I’m in the middle of the problems… so they gave me that clarity.”


The deadline for the next round of Immersion Programme applications is fast approaching: 

India – Deadline is 15th July 2016

Brazil – Deadline is 27th July 2016

If you would like to #JoinUs on our structured volunteer programme for skilled professionals to work alongside and support social entrepreneurs making a positive impact in their community, then you can do so by applying now HERE.