The Blue Ribbon Movement creates and nurtures leaders.
The Blue Ribbon Movement (BRM) is a service-oriented social enterprise that delivers leadership and community service training to youth through workshops and conferences. BRM v1.0 was founded in 2000 by a group of youngsters passionate about making a difference in India. Its founding principle wasTogether We are Stronger, and a motto of ‘Green India, Great India’. We organized Khoj, Mumbai’s biggest inter-school festival from 2000 to 2005. Starting with 1,500 students from 20 schools in 2000 to over 5,000 students from 45 schools was a journey to remember. The first Khoj was supported by Rotary Club of Dahisar and Rustomjee.
At this time, we additionally organized several projects, including Prayaas (a week of intense community service – donation and cleanliness drives, integration walks, visits to orphanages and old age homes), TREES (tree plantation and awareness project), Model UN Assembly, BlueTal (a talent competition) and weekly meetings with projects.
After going into hibernation in 2005, we revived BRM in 2009 with informal weekly meetings at the Prithvi Cafe. Our initial projects were the BRM Mentoring Program and The Change-makers JAM.
At the end of 2010, we incorporated BRM v2.0 into a formal social enterprise, and are currently comprised of 10 staff members who conduct four different leadership services, the Avanti Young Womens Leadership Program, the annual South Asian Youth Conference, the annual Relead conference and the NSS Community Connect Fellowship, in addition to consulting on multiple projects. Our aim is to empower the next generation of leaders in India, South East Asia and the world to be the social change-makers of tomorrow. Through our collective work, we have reached out to over 10,000 individuals in the Mumbai region and are working daily to expand this reach.
BRM has been involved in international activities through its participation in various forums including
- Road to Rio+20 coalition : As a regional partner of the global mobilization, BRM conducted Mumbai+20, a simulation of the UN conference and participated in the partners’ meeting.
- United Nations @ New York: BRM was a part of a team that presented the outcomes of the coalition to the UN Dy General Secretary particularly focusing on demands of global youth.
- IYCAN summit in China : BRM participated and presented its work at the IYCAN summit in Bejing, China
- Rio+20 @ Brazil: BRM participated in Rio+20
- UnAoC regional consultations @ Shanghai: BRM was invited to participate in the Asia-Pacific Consultation of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, particularly to share its experiences in working with youth in the region.
- Submissions to the SDG Process: BRM’s work with youth in Mumbai and South Asia is to be submitted as inputs to the UN SDG process.
- Major Group of Children and Youth : BRM participates in activities of the MGCY on a case-to-case basis. It is also accredited by UNEP.
- Partnership with Global Power Shift: BRM is a regional partner for 350.org’s Global Power Shift in Turkey.
Social Leaders Program
The Social Leaders Program is a flagship program of the Blue Ribbon Movement. It is dedicated to developing the next generation of social leaders; well-rounded youngsters equipped with leadership skills to solve the challenges faced by their communities and immediate contexts. SLP delivers leadership education through service learning.
The NSS CCF (NSS Community Connect Fellowships) is a 1 year free-of-cost leadership development program for the best and brightest students of the National Service Scheme (NSS)- the largest Indian government-sponsored public service program for Indian youth.
The purpose of this program is to build leadership skills, knowledge about civic issues and employability amongst high potential youth. The larger purpose is also nation building through solving community problems.
The Avanti Young Women Leadership Program (AYWLP) is aimed at building leadership among young women by engaging them in addressing prevalent social issues. The program helps young women cultivate qualities that a good leader requires. The AYWLP has been successful in empowering thousands of school and college girls.
Why leadership education?
Because we believe that Leadership is the gap between social problems and the solutions they need. We do that through our effective, specially designed workshops
What is service learning?
Doing a social project to apply and hone a certain skill. And through this mode, social transformation and leadership knowledge happen simultaneously.
The SAYC was born when a group of South Asian youth came together at the 5th World Youth Congress in Turkey. They felt the deep connection of shared culture and history but they also found several unresolved issues and possibilities of partnership. Hence, the need for a space where young leaders converge, discuss and collaborate led to Blue Ribbon Movement organizing the South Asian Youth Conference (SAYC) Series.