Project information

Nirvana Career Development Centre

It is a known fact that underprivileged areas struggle to lift poverty in the local community. The Big Idea is to provide a positive impact to society by understanding the education and employability issues at the grassroots level and build sustainable training-intervention models.

July 2013 - July 2016

Charity information: One Cause Limited

One Cause Limited logo
  • Need


    Poverty. The project will be based in a school in Pondicherry (India) called Nirvana School. Pondicherry has a population of around 675,000 people with just over 20% living below the poverty line. We want to break this vicious poverty circle of life these people live. Many people do not understand the benefits of education and there are many social evils that can take over a person’s life – our project aims to alleviate people from this and introduce a better life to them.


    We are working with one of India’s largest training providers to understand the employability issues that are apparent in Pondicherry. We have been working in Pondicherry for the last 5 years and have a good understanding of the issues and following the field study we aim to devise educational courses that will cater for local employers. We will partner with the employers to place these individual into employment following successful completion of their course.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Understanding local culture and employability issues within the community


    » Field study in Pondicherry by local Partner in India to understand the issues that are evident within Pondicherry
    » Meetings with local employers to understand their needs for employment and any issues they face with recruitment
    » Discussions with local schools to understand what issues they are facing and what type of training they are interested in
    » Discussions with local communities to understand what problems they face when trying to find a job or why they do not wish to find a job

    What success will look like

    Following the study, success will be if we can understand at least 5 critical courses that can be taught at the Career Development Centre

    Aim 2

    Building a Career Development Centre


    » Providing world class training material created specifically for our target community
    » Tie-ups with local corporate organisations for placement
    » Certification program for teachers and the Centre head and Industry recognized Certification for the students
    » Systems and Processes to run the Career Development Centre efficiently

    What success will look like

    If we can build the Career Development Centre within six months of initiating the project

    Aim 3



    » Focuses on building the soft skills and English communication
    » Providing generic technical skills
    » Get the students started with employment options
    » Making learning fun for everyone

    What success will look like

    If we are able to achieve a pass rate of at least 85% for all students and enrol at least 100 people in year one and between 150-200 in year two.

    Aim 4

    Placement into local organisations


    » Tying up with local companies to understand their needs in employees
    » Regular meetings with the companies even after the placement has started to ensure continuous development
    » Building on existing contacts within the local communities to build the reputation of the Career Development Centre amongst organisations.

    What success will look like

    If we can partner with at least five organisations in the first year and achieve a placement rate of at least 65%

    Aim 5



    » Understanding the cost model to achieve partial self sustainability after the third year
    » If placements are successful, requesting sponsorship from organisations to fund the Career Development Centre

    What success will look like

    If we can get the Career Development Centre at least 40% sustainable after year three.

  • Impact


    Over time we will adjust to community demands including employability issues. For example, employers start looking for a particular skills set we will aim to cater for that need. After three years we are able to complete a further field study to reassess the local community and what it requires.


    One of the main risks associated with the project is the cost over 3 years. Funding is difficult and ongoing fund raising is an unknown. We are passionate about what we do and want to raise sufficient funds at least or the first three years to allow us to operate. To mitigate some of this risk, we are seeking funding and the career development centre model is built to achieve a proportionate of self sustainability after three years.


    We will be able to provide details of employers who have agreed to partner with us as well as those students who have been successfully placed in a job as well as those who are not (with clarity on any reasons). We can be flexible in our reporting to donors given are closeness to the school.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £62,350

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      Amount Heading Description
      £5,000 Set up Infrastructure set up of the Career Development Centre
      £5,000 Computers Purchase of computers for the Centre
      £4,350 Hiring Baseline study to understand the community need, job opportunities and Team hiring, training
      £16,000 Ongoing Costs Staff Salary, Community Mobilization, Management and Placement support (year 1)
      £16,000 Ongoing Costs Staff Salary, Community Mobilization, Management and Placement support (year 2)
      £16,000 Ongoing Cost Staff Salary, Community Mobilization, Management and Placement support (year 3)
  • Background


    Pondicherry is a small coastal town in Tamil Nadu, about 2.5 hours from Chennai. Population is 675,000 with around 20% of these people living below the poverty line. The main occupation for these communities is fishing and masonry and many families send their sons to work with the parents and the daughters to help mothers at home. The town is rich in culture and is a very attractive tourist attraction with many different cultures now living in the area.


    The project will be open to everyone within the local community – all men and women aged over 18.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have been working with the school for the last 5years as part of the charity One Cause. We understand the culture and are working with others to get a better understanding of the local communities. We have started discussions with one of the biggest training providers in India and are very passionate about making this project a huge success.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Elumalai Raj

    Elumalai Raj studied at Nirvana school when it first opened in 1985 and has since become the Headmaster of the school in 2012.

    Vinu Samani

    Vinu Samani started the school with her late husband in 1985 and is the main driver behind all projects in the community.

    Rajen Shah

    Rajen is the CEO of One Cause UK and he will be assisting with the coordination and implementation of this project.

    Satanjib Baral

    Satanjib is part of the partner organisation NIIT Foundation and will be assisting with the implementation of this project.