We utilise cross-cultural empathy to understand, empower and overcome challenges with partner rural communities.
Drishtee Immersion, a not-for-profit social business, seeks to be a catalyst for social change by bringing together similarly motivated people from around the world, to create new understanding and actions towards the unmet needs of rural communities. Our impact measurement efforts are kindly supported by Centre for Social Justice & Inclusion & UTS Business School.
We seek three key impacts:
Enable global grassroots partnerships to create community-driven solutions for important issues in rural communities. We measure number of community members participating in impact projects; implementation/delivery of impact projects; community impact fund utilisation; community satisfaction; application of student degree areas.
Enable empathic young leaders; significantly enhanced abilities to understand others from all walks of life. We measure student participant trait empathy, community interaction state empathy, and cognitive empathy between students and community partners.
Enable personal transformations that activate self-efficacy to tackle important challenges. We measure self-efficacy and perceptions in partner communities.
We see a world where…
Many rural communities face challenges and have unmet needs due to a lack of opportunity and meaningful, empowered support mechanisms. Communities tell us that traditional top-down approaches disempower and rarely lead to sustainable development.
A holistic understanding of empathy (with a suitable programme of applied methods) has the potential to bring forth local knowledge, foster momentum to tackle engrained issues and self-efficacy amongst communities.
Yet, empathy is declining (both trait & state empathy). Despite this, we see that humans are innately social beings. In technology-advanced societies we see declines in empathy matched by increasing rates of social isolation, narcissism and depression.
Despite all of these challenges, we find many young leaders (e.g. university students) care greatly about others and recognise the need for meaningful actions that can spark positive transformations. Empathy, if holistically understood, can be a bridge that brings people together for sustainable positive change.
Impact Case Study:
Securing Sonoshi’s Water Future
Drishtee Immersion in collaboration with the people of Sonoshi has undertaken a series of projects to overcome severe water related challenges in the community. In early 2019 the community launched “Sonoshi Paani Filter”; accessible clean drinking water along with a water-health awareness program to improve health outcomes.
Read more here.