Rebuild’s 5th Partner Workshop: Reflections and Celebrations!

Richa Pant and Suveera Malhotra

For the Rebuild team, March’24 started with a manifestation of hope and excitement as we witnessed our growing community of over 100 leaders from across the country come together under one roof. What was once an audacious goal, was now a reality and many of us found ourselves pausing for a moment to process that we have indeed crossed the milestone of partnering with 100+ community-based organizations. And while the Rebuild community has miles to go before we sleep, we took this day to reflect, celebrate and get energized to amplify our collective impact.

But, let’s take a step back and reflect on this journey. When we thought about conducting partner workshops initially, we started with a simple objective- to create an open, safe space for community-based leaders to get to know their peers, Dasra team and build foundational knowledge across key themes of organizational development. This would be as we had imagined, a space where they could step back, breathe, engage and learn.

Five workshops and 1.5 years in, we have gained invaluable insights that have shaped our approach. Here are some key lessons we have learnt along the way:

The diverse feedback that we received from our partners, funders, and team members has enabled us to modify and enhance our workshops and has been instrumental in shaping the direction of our workshops. At the end of every day, we have a detailed feedback form that is filled in by our partners and shared with facilitators. With feedback, we have been able to tailor the curriculum, customize the facilitation style, and provide translation support according to the needs of the partner NGOs and understand what is most useful and interesting to our partners while analyzing the overall delivery of each session.

Pushpa Aman Singh from GuideStar India facilitating Why Compliance session

In its true essence, the Rebuild India portfolio represents the rich diversity of our country and presents us with an opportunity to create an inclusive space for every leader. With 74% proximate leaders representing 21 states and 5 Union Territories, the portfolio embodies a diverse range of perspectives. So be it active context setting, in-person translations or declaring a strong stand against any form of harassment at workplace, we have learned that a GEDI intentional approach contributes significantly to creating a safe and open space for our leaders.

Neelamji from Jharkhand Mahila Uthan while creating her organization’s collateral

Our workshops are not just about imparting knowledge; they are about fostering a culture of shared learning and collaboration. By intentionally creating spaces for community-based organization leaders to take the lead in shaping the agenda and sharing their expertise, we’ve been able to facilitate participatory and engaging experiences. For instance, the session on ‘Wellbeing’ in the previous workshop was led by Ayesha Sinha, Executive Director of Talash Society, our portfolio organization, as they have expertise in this area of work. The sessions led by leaders have always been well-received as they encourage peer learning and collaboration.

Leaders interacting during the survey of a session

With a mixed bag of experiences, we realized that choosing the right location is critical to the overall uptake of the workshop. We typically choose venues set in nature that inspire reflection and dialogue. For our recent workshop, we welcomed leaders to our Dasra office which instilled a strong sense of togetherness and an early sense of trust building.

Today, the Rebuild movement is stronger than ever, fueled by the passion and dedication of our growing community of changemakers. The annual gathering that brought together 150+ stakeholders, all working together towards the shared vision of strengthening community-based organizations, is a testament to the power of this community! Together, we are ready to embark on the next chapter of our journey.

“Rebuild India fund will enable us to build negotiating power with funders. As a community, we can build a narrative and engage with donors sharing Rebuild as an example of a new way of funding.”

 Suganya Sankaran, Viswa Bharathi Vidyodaya Trust (VBVT)