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A catalyst in social entrepreneurship reshaping millions of lives

This time we happened to feature the profile of EFICOR, a national relief and development agency, which has been highly involved with the communities affected by the most pressing issues. The core humanitarian standard that the leadership of the establishment believes in addressing issues across communities affected by various societal issues.

In 1967, EFICOR was established in response to a devastating drought in Bihar, triggering a severe famine. Initially named the Evangelical Fellowship of India Committee on Emergency Relief, its formation was prompted by members of EFI responding to the crisis by fundraising through their official magazine, AIM.

To uncover the length and breadth of the institution, we sat down with Mr. M. Ramesh Babu, Executive Director, in a freewheeling conversation. Let’s dive into the narrative based on the excerpt of conversation held with Mr. Babu.

Insight into EFICOR

Founded in 1967, EFICOR emerged in response to a devastating famine that struck Bihar and Jharkhand, claiming numerous lives alongside subjecting people to extreme hardship that stirred a wave of humanitarian initiatives by thought leaders. Driven by a collective of visionary leaders, EFICOR initiated relief operations to aid those in desperate need. Since its inception, the organization has excelled in executing diverse relief initiatives with remarkable efficiency, providing crucial assistance during times of crisis.

EFICOR has cultivated expertise in disaster response and livelihood support, maternal health, food security, supporting disability in people, marginalized section support, modern slavery, etc. Serving the impoverished and marginalized across the nation. EFICOR, supported by a dedicated team of 100+ professionals, extends its operations across 13+ states, our unwavering commitment lies in assisting individuals without discrimination based on caste, creed, or religious affiliation, especially during times of poverty, injustice, and disaster.

Beyond immediate relief efforts, the organization actively engages in participatoryTraining and Capacity Building programs. These initiatives are designed to educate and sensitize individuals, groups, and institutions about the pressing issues of justice and holistic development. Through these programs, EFICOR endeavors to empower communities and foster a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding social justice and comprehensive advancement.

Forte: Offering climate change adaptations solutions

Mr M. Ramesh Babu emphasized the profound impact of climate change on people’s livelihoods, highlighting the harrowing consequences of numerous natural calamities that have struck Indian territories over the past two decades. These disasters have not only resulted in the tragic loss of lives but also inflicted substantial damage on critical infrastructure.

In response to this pressing scenario, EFICOR embarked on a transformative initiative: a community-based adaptation program. This pioneering endeavor aims to empower communities by focusing on essential aspects such as watershed management, disaster preparedness and building Resilience.

The overarching goal is to equip individuals with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to effectively manage and navigate natural calamities. EFICOR worked on District Climate Resilience Plans (DCRP) in collaboration with UNICEF India and CANSA in three districts of Madhya Pradesh – Khandwa, Damoh, and Barwani.

The core principle behind this initiative is to foster resilience among communities. By imparting crucial skills and knowledge, EFICOR seeks to enable individuals to confront and manage unforeseen natural disasters adeptly. The ultimate aspiration is to mitigate the human toll and economic impact of such crises, striving to reduce both the loss of lives and the devastation of livelihoods.

Discussing the aftermath of these events, Ramesh explained that numerous flood-prone regions demonstrated remarkable resilience in the face of calamity. This resilience can be attributed to the invaluable coping mechanisms imparted by EFICOR to the vulnerable local communities dwelling in these areas.

EFICOR’s proactive efforts in educating and preparing these communities have significantly contributed to their ability to withstand and respond to flooding incidents. Through targeted training and preparedness programs, EFICOR equipped locals with practical skills and knowledge essential for mitigating the impact of such disasters.

If we talk of the impact created by them, the initiatives became evident as these flood-affected areas exhibited a commendable ability to cope with the crisis. As per Mr. Ramesh building local capacities for local works, communities are armed with unique strategies and techniques as per their specialized programs that resulted in a resilient spirit. It has effectively increased the success rate of coping mechanisms to minimize the adverse effects of the flooding, safeguard lives, and protect essential infrastructure.

Strategic Roadmap to Serve Communities with Improved Performance

“Our strategic directions are focused on creating an improved community resilience and quality of life in line with Sustainable Development Goals. We would keep striving to make communities informed, equipped, and influenced individuals and organizations/groups engaged with the vulnerable communities to propel them towards a better life. We aspired to offer diversified resource opportunities for the continuity of the organizational work among the communities.

Additionally, in order to implement the plan to reach the last mile, important structural changes have been brought in where our team members will be operating from new zonal offices in Bengaluru, Nagpur, New Delhi and Motihari (Bihar). Resource mobilization is another aspect where we will be developing a roadmap to mobilize new resources from within and outside the country.

Our intrinsic plan is to prominently partner with corporates and business houses to develop innovative interventions benefiting communities and contributing to national progress. All of these represent the combined efforts of all our stakeholders and our organization is immensely grateful for the contribution of all those who supported us during the extensive and inclusive consultation process,” stated Mr M. Ramesh Babu referring to their strategic directions. EFICOR serves the communities with a smile to see the smile on every face of the community.

Milestones achieved

Mr. M. Ramesh Babu walked us through some major highlights of the accomplishments they have received so far:

• 2011: Second Runner-up in CSO Partners’ “Outstanding Annual Report.”
• 2012: Joint Winner of CSO Partners’ “Outstanding Annual Report.”2014: Winner of Project Management Institute (PMI) Award under NGO Category.
• 2015: Winner of Project Management Institute (PMI) Award under NGO Category.
• 2016: Runner-Up in Project Management Institute (PMI) Award under NGO Category.
• 2021, they received PMI award again for exemplary work.
• Accredited by Credibility Alliance under desirable norms.
• GuideStar India Platinum Award valid until March 2018.
• Accredited by Evangelical Financial Accountability Council (EFAC).
• UNFPA Micro Assessment in 2015 rated EFICOR at low risk (valid for 5 years).
• 2023 : Second term Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) certification by HQAI, Switzerland.

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