People trickled in and conversations formed around various topics. Once it seemed that a fair number of people had arrived we started the session. Somnath walked us through the current state of IT infrastructure in AID.
Balaji shared the story of his journey particularly in the past 5-10 years and the challenges that AID-India has faced.
After lunch we convened for a few minutes of silence and then heard from Kiran about his work with Rythu Swaraj Vedika.
Naga then led a discussion about AID @ 25. We shared a draft logo for AID @ 25 designed by Sai. Naga announced a T-shirt contest and Dr B offered a prize of $1000 to the chapter whose volunteer won the contest. A number of student volunteers also declared that they would like to campaign for people to sign up for dollar-a-day ($365) donations.
Just when we thought we were exhausted volunteers called for a discussion on AID demographics and how to reach out to a new generation of volunteers as well as how to retain older volunteers as they moved into new stages of life.
Younger: Pair an experienced volunteer with a student volunteer. Some such pairings took place on the spot with the students who came to the retreat from Morgantown. A new graduate student at the University of Maryland was also instantly grabbed.
Even Younger: Outreach to high school students seeking volunteer hours or mentoring for a capstone project, and more programs like the youth conference.
Older: Just because someone could not attend CSH, it did not mean that they could not retain close ties with AID and with the other volunteers who were active in their time. Just as schools have alumni organizations AID should have something to encourage loyalty to the organization and lasting friendships among volunteers who can find new ways to support the organization.