“The ideas are really unique.”

Two students from the help alliance’s Sunshine project took part in Impact Week in Delhi at the beginning of October together with Lufthansa Group employees and 140 local students and professors.

The aim of Impact Week is to use the so-called Design Thinking method to develop ideas that will advance the country in the areas of health, fintech, big data, e-commerce, transport, culture, agriculture and education. Prior to this, Lufthansa Group employees will be trained as Design Thinking Coaches in two days. By immediately applying what they have learned and passing it on to the university students, they help to develop business ideas and solutions for current problems. At the same time, the Impact Weeks support young people in developing and emerging countries in acquiring the necessary skills to contribute to the development of sustainable business models or to start their own businesses. In the interview, the former student and current teacher of the Sunshine Project talks about her experiences.

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Sunshine Project Delhi, India

Frankfurter Sparkasse 1822
IBAN: DE89 5005 0201 0200 0292 23

Ms Malik, why did you apply for Impact Week?

Firdaus Malik: I applied for Impact Week because it was something completely new for me and I learned a lot. I learned about it through the Sunshine project. I have been involved there since the third grade. In the beginning I got help from the project myself, now I am one of the teachers.

Were your expectations fulfilled?

Malik: I really liked the approach of helping people and society to solve social problems. I learned not only what teamwork is about and how it works, but also how to identify and tackle problems. Many people here in India do not have access to adequate education. My dream is to help people, especially women, who have no opportunity to work, who have to clean toilets or sewers, who are forced into prostitution and so on. These women do not get a chance. But we can help them. Mainly for girls who are forced to marry and do not receive any education. Girls like Sunita and Savita, or Kamla, whom we interviewed during the project phase.

How well did it harmonize between students on the one hand and Lufthansa Group employees and lecturers as coaches on the other?

Malik: Our trainer Maggy was really great and was always very helpful. She never gave us a solution. Instead, she accompanied us and drove us to find our own solution to the problem. The large group approach was somewhat different from our normal university culture. The warm-up sessions, for example, were something completely new. I wasn’t used to keeping to times so strictly either. We didn’t manage the time so well in the beginning, but in the end everything went very well and we achieved a lot of results in the given times.

What idea did you pursue in your team?

Malik: The basic idea was the self-determination of women in rural areas who have no career opportunities. Their relatives do not let them out of the house, and even if they are allowed to, they have no job opportunities. We wanted to offer them a place where they would initially come for free, such as courses in disinfection methods and self-defence.

Project Location

Delhi, India

But then they would stay because they get the opportunity to work in the institution. Most of these women are uneducated, but they can cook. So one of the businesses in the facility is supposed to be a small catering company offering home-cooked, hygienic food for students. The women should receive the turnover as wages and they can save a part of it in our “Women’s Piggy Bank”, the bank within the institution. This is important for the women because many men take the money away from their wives when they bring it home. This would give them the opportunity to save for the future and get some independence from their husbands. And in addition, they can take out a microloan if needed to start their own business.

How and where will you apply what you have learned in the future?

Malik: The ideas suggested by the participants are really unique. I am very grateful to them and look forward to attending similar seminars and workshops in the future. I will definitely be much more involved with methods like design thinking.I have found that I am very good at finding ideas. Maybe I will apply somewhere at Lufthansa. I may also found a non-governmental organization that really focuses on helping these women, not on profit orientation, as is the case with many NGOs today.

Projekt Coordinator

Julia Hillebrecht, Germany

Julia Profilbild