iCONGO perseverance philosophy

The iCONGO perseverance philosophy of together we can and we will. (The core value of trying hard against all odds to lead the change)

May be we have come to expect too much too soon in our lives. We microwave our meals, speed dial our phones, zap our TV channels and what not. We have become accustomed to instantaneous results. But instant breakfast is one thing, building up an institution/organisation or concept and going through life is another. I donít believe we can expect instant gratification and instant fulfillment in our lives. In spite of what they show you on TV, there is no quick fix between commercial breaks or get rich quick mantras that a lot of people believe in. One must have patience and engage in persistent action towards making a dream into a reality.

John L Mason in his book ďAn enemy called AverageĒ writes of a tree that grows in parts of Asia called the GIANT BAMBOO that has a particularly hard seed. Itís so hard to grow that you must water and fertilise the seed everyday for 4 years before any portion of it breaks the soil. And then in the fifth year the tree shows itself. But the remarkable thing and consult your National Geographic- to believe it or not- is that once it breaks the surface, this bamboo plant like many of the species is capable of growing at rates as fast as four feet a day to a height of ninety feet in less than a month. You can practically stand there and watch it grow.

Now the cosmic question here is, did the bamboo grow ninety feet in under a month? Or did it grow over 5 years? Over 5 years of course! Most people do not realise that if the grower had stopped watering or fertilizing that seed at any point, the tree would have died.

When one does not see instant results, we become discouraged with the dreams and goals. We become impatient. We lose faith. And many of us walk away from our dreams, just as they are about to break and flourish.

We must have patience. Our time will arrive if we work diligently and meticulously. It does not matter if some or everyone does not recognise that. It matters only that we see it coming and have the patience to wait for it and make it happen.

This learning encompasses the iCONGO perseverance philosophy. We started out with an idea in 2004. We registered the organisation in December 2004. We started mobilising NGO members to form the collective in 2005. There were various hurdles and hardships along the way but we overcame. We facilitated funds for various charities in the Bangalore International Marathon in our very first year of existence. Today we have over 50 NGOs/ Charities as members and over 500 have written to us for becoming members. We have planned various projects, programs, campaigns, movements meticulously and diligently and are waiting for the right time to announce and launch. The initial focus areas are Building the iCONGO institution and iCONGO as the symbol of trust.

  • Executing the RIGHT every WRONG campaign targeting resource of 10 crores.
  • Organising the RIGHT every WRONG social justice & action conclave and awards
  • Facilitating the London Season delegation of major donors (Postponed to 2007 now)
  • Creating a DSA (Direct Selling or Face 2 Face agencies) network
  • Implementing our innovative Re. 1 payroll program.

We had asked for a certain corpus fee to build strength for iCONGO and annual fees for operational costs and overheads while we were consulting with various NGOs/CBOs to create iCONGO. The rationale was simple if we are building a collective infrastructure there is a certain amount required to build the infrastructure and hence we had asked for the amounts based on different levels of membership. We had also asked each NGO member to provide 1 resource person at their end who we could train and empower to work with the collective for mutual interests. Around 10 NGOs did give the corpus amounts and annual fees but various NGOs could not afford it. Hence we refunded the money that the few NGOs had paid as Corpus fee as we wanted to make the process equal for everyone.

However now the task was more daunting and uphill as not only did we not have the money but we also realised that our real mandate should be to empower small NGOs/CBOs doing good work on the ground rather than work with the rich and big brand NGOs as that is where the problem was in terms of credibility, transparency, accountability due to high administration costs and mismanagement. This realization created the challenge of not giving up as the real hope was to create an infrastructure that benefited these small and poor NGOs who are actually doing good work on the ground (Read the Real situation in the NGO sector).

Hence we at iCONGO decided to still continue with our mission and although the task was daunting and at times frustrating we kept going on with our overall vision in mind and our resolve to create the iCONGO collective infrastructure and the symbol of trust was strengthened as it was time to educate individual citizens who want to support credible charities about the smaller NGOs / CBOs who are doing good work on the ground but do not have the wherewithal to reach the individuals who are looking to support credible causes but do not know how.

So without the money that we required to set up the infrastructure and create the symbol of trust AND with a lot of negativity and opposition from the big brand charities (who we did not accept as members even though they had the money to pay) with high administration costs and creative accounting, we embarked on MISSION IMPOSSIBLE as it was dubbed by various gurus. Pray how can we get the NGOs who have selfish interest to work together is what they said? But thatís not true as various charities do believe in working together towards building trust and credibility and creating a collective infrastructure and those are the ones who have come together now. In the past few months we have driven iCONGO purely as volunteers to find the money to get all our concepts and activities going. We have managed to do so and in July this year we hired our first paid employees to streamline the process. From early 2007 is when a whole lot of activities would commence as we are now geared to set the ball rolling and thatís purely because we believe we need to mainstream the few small NGOs who are actually doing the good work on the ground and thus never gave up trying towards building up iCONGO.

The right time is when we are ready a 100%. The faith of all the NGOs that showed initial trust and support is important to us and we need to deliver the collective promise. Thatís our motto and our mantra and we will make it happen together. Help us to keep the faith by keeping the faith. We have the cause at the centre and iCONGO believes in working for our entire member NGOs who transparently work for various causes. All the members NGOs and our supporters are our strength and add strength to our shoulders†