Since its launch in 2000, MITRA (Hindi word for ‘friend’) has evolved from focusing on information and communication technologies (ICTs), to mobilizing change in the social sector through peoples' skills and expertise. The decision to undergo this change was to enable MITRA to make a significant difference / impact in meeting India’s social and rural development needs.
MITRA’s initial involvement in volunteerism began in 2002, and this day, continues to show continued progress and promise. Indian cultural traditions have always embraced community volunteerism; however, the recent economic boom has shown a disengaging of volunteerism, which was especially seen in the urban middle class areas and which directly affected the organization's equilibrium. With the financial support of a private bank and the collaboration of local/national non-government organizations (NGOs), MITRA launched an online volunteer matching program. By 2003, MITRA added personal counselling to its repertoire. As a result, Volunteer Relationship centres were established in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai.
Over the years, MITRA has maintained its flagship program - iVolunteer - as a principle provider of volunteer services in India. As well, 60 % of iVolunteer placements are made up of working professionals
By 2007, iVolunteer placed more than 1500 volunteers each year, with the collaboration of over 200 partner organizations involved on a range of development issues across India. MITRA’s employee volunteer program also had a dozen corporate clients which has facilitated more than 100 international volunteer placements in India.Impact:
In 2003, Shalabh and Misha were exposed to emerging international trends in RM and thus began their efforts to diversify souces of funding. To engage its employees to participate in its RM activities, MITRA conducted two workshops for them between from July 2006 and July 2007.
Check out the following sites to learn more about MITRA and its international volunteer service http://www.irmans.org/mitra-friends-deed
and http://www.ivoindia.org/Download the PDF: MITRA case study