By James Pereira
The morning of Saturday, 4 January 2014, the sun was shining brightly and the sky was clear and the streets were beginning to wake up. This was a great beginning to the whole day session set aside for the TECH Outreach Strategic Planning Session for 2014. This was the day, we were going to chart the course of our actions for the rest of the year.
We began our meeting at 10 am with 14 people huddled around cozily around a table and as cheerily as the birds outside were chirping, presenting and discussing the plans put forward. Dr. Malar kicked off the session with a historical overview of the organization, since it’s inception in 2004.
2014 is the 10th Anniversary of TECH Outreach!
She also reiterated the Vision, Mission and Core Values of the organization to set the tone for the rest of the day. Malar also got the members to dream. Literally! She encouraged the members to shut their eyes and envision what TECH Outreach would be like in 2024. All the ideas were pasted on the wall and categorized.
Among the big dreams some of us had were:
- To be internationally recognized
- To obtain corporate funders
- To help disadvantaged women beyond Asia into Africa and South America
- To be present in more than 20 countries and improving thousands of lives
- To partner with universities and provide courses to educate students on helping communities
- To share the TECH Outreach Model to other NGOs and NPOs globally
Eventually 5 Strategic Objectives for 2014 – 2018 were created:
1. RM10 Million Cash Reserves in TECH Bank Account.
2. Transparency and Accountability for all funds received with an excellent reporting
3. Replication of the TOM TECH Outreach Model to be on a National and Global Level.
4. Transforming Communities Globally.
5. Achieving sustainability in the transformation.
The drivers of achieving these Objectives are:
- Private-Public partnerships
- Social mobilization
- Public awareness, education and training
- Technology utilization
Heads of specific projects gave status updates. These are the projects currently undertaken by TECH Outreach:
- Malaysian WINs (Women In Need)
- Project Sri Lanka
- Project Nepal
- Fund Raising
- WINs @ College
In the afternoon, we split up into groups and worked on plans for the respective projects above. Interestingly, this exercise was done immediately after a sumptuous lunch that included mouth watering venthiya columbu (onion curry – a Sri Lankan Tamil delicacy). Surprisingly, no one fell asleep.
Each group presented the plans that they developed for each project.
Due to the dedication of all the members, we completed the planning process at 5pm.