Could You Start Your Own Social Enterprise?
Tanya Bakshi, one of our Leadership alumni, started her own social enterprise in 2017. Find out more about her journey, the mission of her organisation and perhaps start thinking about how you can make a difference in your community as well.
As a young teenager, I worked with various schools and organizations catering to different needs for young and super amazing children, like working to improve education standards, empowering sports and extra- curricular activities for the girls, also one where I focused on understanding mental health of children who were booked under criminal offence and only after working and understanding all of these missions and needs of the society, did I truly notice a common connection in all of them. I noticed a strong sense of void in most of these children as I saw them growing up.
I saw this unfilled need in the world we live in, in terms of hope, happiness, motivation, success, and a sense of positivity. I realized that every child, and every teenager or adult was going through something difficult and all they needed was love and a sense of empathy first, before anything else - which was severely lacking as most people before me overlooked the struggles, emotional reactions, stress and lack of optimism in the youth.
This need is as common for a child in India, as much as it is for a child in America. Who teaches us to be happy, when things fall apart? Who teaches us how to deal with pain? Who reminds us to be strong when we fail in our endeavours?
Ideally, a childhood should be rooted in love, compassion, and understanding- practices which should never be forgotten post-childhood, but should become a lifetime practice. In a time where so many young and bright students like us are tormented by depression and anxiety, it’s more important, now than ever to be kinder to others.
So, what did I do about it?
I started working on this individually, talking to young girls and boys about a positive mental shift and how it can help them cope with changes around them, with more optimism. And, one day I noticed that a young girl battling stress like most of us, came up to me and said, “Thank you for making me realize that my happiness is important, and that it lies in my own hands, I feel more in control of my life", and that’s when I realized it was working, and soon it was time to bring about a big change.
I founded Youniverse in December 2017, with a whole new spirit, a new team, and a mission to create a constructive change within the youth. The mission is to create a strong foundation for positive mental health in children, teenagers and adults and we do this by conducting various workshops for all age groups, right from kindergarten, to high school and various colleges.
It is important for children to be aware of themselves and the changes that affect them as they grow. YOUNIVERSE is mainly concerned with providing great well being, and positive mental growth of our children; we aim to empower their mental health with a positive outlook, emotional self-awareness, gratitude and the right guidance to cultivate happiness by them. We aim to do this by conducting powerful workshops with interactions and engaging activities.
Youniverse is a space that gives young children, youth, and the adults a proper and ethical support system to discuss their biggest emotional regulations, and develop a holistic approach that covers social, emotional, and ethical development.
What We Promote and Work Towards:
- Cultivate Happiness & Strong Minds
- Gratitude, acceptance & Positive affirmations
- Discussions and interactions on solutions for the youth
- Build a strong foundation for future
- Building Confidence and self-esteem
- Dealing with Anxiety, Trauma & Depression
- Creative thinking & Problem solving
- Stress Management
The structure and purpose of Youniverse was designed based on my desire to help people live their happiest life, build their optimism and hope about a fresh and better tomorrow, an understanding that pain can be tackled with just little bit of kindness, and finally a reminder to always spread some love to yourself and others.
I began the organization, with a small picture in mind, to make visible what without ‘you’, might never be seen. The end goal, isn’t to appeal the masses, the goal is to help and awaken the masses to be the biggest and best versions of them, with Youniverse.
Our Goals for the Future
- To help serve a wider audience and impact people of all ages from kindergarten to college, in terms of positive mental health.
- To successfully introduce a youth program for teenagers- a space to discuss, understand and introduce solutions for various issues affecting the youth.
- To make learn and teach each other the wide range of methods, tips, teachings in terms of human capacity and happiness.
- To introduce a Global youth ambassador program for connecting with potential inspiring people who are creating a positive impact in their own way worldwide.
In the future, I hope to build a safe space, like Youniverse in every country, where positive mental health strategies can be implemented, and soon this can be taught as a -class as a part of the education curriculum, powered by Youniverse in every country.
If you would like to know more about Tanya's work, get involved if you are based in India, or want to support Youniverse, visit their website: www.teamyouniverse.com
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Want to know if you could start up your own social enterprise? Read our Oxford Summer Course article by student alumni Tanya to see if it's for you!