Social Innovation Cycle at KISS Foundation

Social Innovation Cycle at KISS Foundation

Social Innovation refers to a novel effective, efficient and sustainable solution to a social problem, the value created benefits society which in turn benefits individuals. KISS is an example of the success of Social Innovation.

KISS is a role model of Social innovation because it seeks to provide holistic free education as the solution to eradicate poverty which is the root cause of all sufferings. It addresses poverty by making children educated and self-sufficient thereby reducing the problem of transmission of poverty to the next generation.

The tribal population that finds nature as their habitat and live primarily on subsistence economy, alienated both by geography and attitude. They accept deprivation as their life’s giving and live with it. But, the indigenous knowledge, practices, rituals, culture makes them stand out and have a distinct identity. KISS  motivates the people to get their children get enrolled and get the benefit of education. It gives the capacity to aspire. 

Because of distress due to development, the children have to be taught in residential schools, but the residential schools in the indigenous pockets lack adequate infrastructure, face severe bottlenecks of teacher absenteeism, no toilets in the school, lack of an adequate number of female teachers to inspire girls to study and the list is endless. They don’t have the basic amenities in spite of all constitutional promises.  These factors lead to drop out in the upper primary level apart from poverty. KISS provides free boarding, lodging, healthcare facilities along with education. The teacher-student ratio is 1:30. Well trained teachers customizing leaning to the indigenous needs make KISS different. The modern state of art infrastructure, pedagogy that blends academics and sports and gives something to each one there achieving zero drop- out rate.

In spite of all modern facilities given to them, there is a definite rooting to their culture. They are taught in mother tongue in early childhood to bridge the language gap. When the students of KISS visit home during vacation, a wave in favor of the power of education to transform lives is created.

The success stories of KISS motivates other stories to be made by their brethren in remote corners. Flawless integration of KIIT, which is a University of professional education and KISS students wipe out the problems of mainstreaming.

Given opportunities, weak can excel. It is a question of opportunities. Life skills training and adolescent education empower the students. The students are given English training keeping in view the needs of the market economy. They are provided coaching for all kinds of entrances,  entrepreneurship development and the meritorious ones get an opportunity to study at KIIT. Thus, all of them end up being independent financially self-sustaining.

60% of the students at KISS are girls. They get special training for reproductive and sexual health. The girls are leaders of change at KISS. There is a safe environment with zero tolerance for sexual violence.

Naxalism is the major menace to the democratic fabric of India. KISS seeks to work with that threat by teaching the power of pen over swords. Most of the students of KISS are from red corridors. There are many children at KISS who are from the family of Naxalites. KISS also did community policing in collaboration with Odisha Government to help police reach those pockets. There has been a decline in the percentage of new recruits for armed insurgency through KISS.

KISS gives a platform to the students to interact and come in contact with national and international dignitaries, academicians, policymakers, leaders, Nobel laureates, journalists, lawyers, bureaucrats, actors, sportspersons, writers and much more. The students develop a role model in them and get an exposure of the world. Sitting in Bhubaneswar, Odisha the students get the exposure equivalent to any premium international university.

The empathy that is created because the Founder of KISS himself had such a harsh past and came all the way to establish a small institution that has today become world’s largest tribal Institute. His success story from a fatherless poor boy in a remote village to providing holistic life to millions gives a vision to students to work for change.

KISS is funded by KIITa sister concern that makes it a stand-alone model in the world. This unique financial model has become the best example of corporate social responsibility by any university.

What stands as a success factor for KISS is that it shows a dream, enables to fulfill those dreams and empowers once weak to weave dreams for the other Underprivileged through passion, dedication and spirit of Art of Giving.