Guest blog by Tim Schottman, CEO, SVP International
“Before I thought there was birth then death and now with Lighthouse I have hopes for life in between” – trainee at Lighthouse, October 2016.
I’ve visited India many times in recent years with my global health work and I have seen hundreds of people get their eye sight restored. What I observed in October and later in January with SVP investees was something I’ll, likewise, remember for years to come. Your ability as partners to enable others to provide for themselves and their families is powerful. Maybe even more powerful is that the training has given so many hope and empowerment.
In Pune, the potential for community impact with Jagruti and Lighthouse is high. I also believe that the impact of SVP on partners and their philanthropic journey is equally important. After visiting Anjuman-I-Islam, the conversation that followed among partners on the lack of empowerment of Muslim women and the state of Hindu-Muslim relations in Pune and Mumbai was a very honest insightful conversation. This demonstrated to me that our work, helping to solve the root issues of our society, takes us on our own path of self-discovery, and that creates its own set of ripples across our society.
The Million Job Mission Convening, in many ways, was an example of both the community empowerment of SVP India’s investees and partner development coming together. It was impressive for gathering a set of design partners, each capable of scaling rapidly to creating or training for 150,000 jobs. Impressive for attracting a key set of leaders from across the sector. But perhaps most impressive was the sense of creating history in the room. Never have I been in a convening where, as the long day wore on, no one left! If you left for a break you would lose your chair!
I was equally impressed the next day when SVP India Partners met and took the conversation from “What” to “How”. How do we organize around this mission? How do we measure success? How do we invest in our partners and staff to enable this mission? The right questions were being asked. Answering those questions, and others, will move SVP India closer to their bold one million job goal.
I love to tell the story of SVP India across the network and beyond. The audacious goal, the talented and committed partners, and the focus on impact make for a powerful story. I hope you are equally inspired. I believe you can do so much for India and for yourself, and be a shining example for the rest of the world! I look forward to our paths crossing again soon!