A visit to the nonprofit MESCO left me impressed – truly impressed – in more ways than one. From the variety of programmes being implemented to the manner of selecting beneficiaries, to the meticulous processes followed, to the compassion and patience of the staff shown towards the beneficiaries that approached them – where do I begin to explain how MESCO stands out both  professionally and in the impact that it makes?

This is an organisation that:
– has all its processes down to the tee. From their unique Kidney Dialysis lottery, to their educational and rations programme. All programmes can boast of meticulous systems. These systems have been devised to ensure that their programmes benefit the most needy; and given their limited resources, to also ensure that the selection of beneficiaries is truly objective and no staff member is able to influence the same.

– does surprise home visits as verification checks for everyone who approaches them for funds. This is also done periodically, every two years, to those already supported by them, to understand if the same people/families still require aid from them.

– has a large chunk of its donations still coming in from their founding idea i.e. using money from the sale of old newspapers to help the needy. From a meager Rs. 3,000 in its first year, the selling of old newspapers now brings in Rs. 25 lacs a year!

– instills the value of “giving back to the needy” in all – even the beneficiaries whom they support. This is done by giving interest-free loans rather than donations to students – so that they are encouraged to pay the same back one day, helping MESCO reach out to more needy students. (and almost all  students pay these loans back over time too!)

– receives a fair amount of its funding from beneficiaries who are now financially well-off – having gotten good jobs after graduating from MESCO’s schools and other programmes. What’s also notable about the organisation is the fact that many ex-beneficiaries opt to work here – as a way to help other people in need.

– meets every SUNDAY morning to discuss the week gone by as well as plans for the week ahead. Since the managing team is involved in different aspects and is thus at different locations during the week. The clearly shows their dedication and passion towards the cause.

Pay a visit, donate your old newspapers, support them financially – this is an organisation truly worthy of your money.

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