ACT For Health brings Adagio VR on board in collaboration with MITR Trust

In India, research indicates that almost 50% of the prevalence of mental disorders are observed in transgender communities and that there is a visible reluctance to access support due to the real as well as perceived inaccessibility and stigma. In fact, transgender people face a 4x higher risk of mental illness along with unhealthy coping mechanisms due to:

• Stigmatization, oppression, cis-sexism, discrimination, violence, poverty as well as issues such as gender dysphoria and trauma
• Lack of spaces that are sensitive to the needs of the community
There’s a clear need for comprehensive and targeted mental health support for trans communities that is effective, preventative, private, and accessible.

ACT For Health has partnered with MITR Trust to support Adagio VR in delivering a 4-week program for the LGBTQI+ community in India. Adagio VR, an innovative startup co-founded by a British psychiatrist and a serial entrepreneur, offers a preventive wellbeing and behavioural change solution that leverages Virtual Reality (VR) to create impact. The program integrates this technology with cutting-edge clinical techniques, with a 97% success rate in addressing issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, addiction, and more. With researchers from renowned institutions like Cambridge University, PGI Chandigarh, and the London School of Economics, the solution’s design is backed by expertise and empirical evidence.

Adagio’s users are able to identify and overcome the root cognitive processes that create stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, psychological addiction, sleep issues etc. quicker and more effectively than any other non-clinical intervention in the world. With immediate relief in the first 30-minute session, there is observed systematic transformation in just 4 weeks of regular use. Delivered in Virtual Reality, the user experience is powerfully immersive, uniquely private (does not require users to disclose the details of the issue they are experiencing) and highly engaging.

Our grant will impact 70 individuals, with an additional 70 acting as a control group for research. Participants will be those dealing with distress, mild-moderate trauma, and chronic issues, excluding severe mental illnesses. A community member will be recruited to ensure program delivery is rooted in lived experience, trust, and empowerment. Beneficiaries will receive specialist consultations, VR program tests, educational workshops, access to VR programs, self-led and community exercises, and online support if needed. This research aims to help Adagio VR in establishing clear outcomes for the program to enable scalability in the future.

Overall, this collaboration hopes to bridge the gap in mental health support for transgender communities in India. By leveraging VR technology and expertise, the program strives to provide effective and accessible solutions that address the root causes of distress and disorders resulting from successive trauma.

Enabling a one-stop shop ed-tech solution for low-income children with VOPA

We are excited to announce the next leg of our journey with VOPA! As we renew our partnership for a second year, we continue to support our shared mission of enhancing education for disadvantaged students in the most rural and remote parts of Maharashtra. VOPA, with its innovative approach and pioneering spirit, is on its way to becoming the ultimate tech-led educational resource in India.

Founded by Prafulla Shashikant, VOPA is an ed-tech non-profit that’s making a significant difference in the education of the most marginalised students in Maharashtra. Their mission is to democratise digital learning and they’re doing it by leveraging technology and the network of government school teachers to create vernacular educational content in local languages.

Their V-School app is not just a regular app – it’s a super app with use cases for students, teachers, and district officials. It hosts educational content in Marathi, semi-English, and Urdu languages; covering all chapters, multiple choice questions, automatic assessments, and even scholarship exams for students in grades 1 to 10. The app has been used by more than 1.6 million students and teachers since its launch in 2021.

VOPA has integrated cutting-edge technology into V-School, including the ChatGPT API – thus enabling AI to generate revision questions and word meanings automatically. This tech prowess has been instrumental in reaching and engaging with students and making their learning accessible and impactful.

In addition to their tech innovations, VOPA has worked closely with more than 2500 Zila Parishad teachers to create over 10,000 educational videos. They have established partnerships with 6 different districts in Maharashtra – training teachers to use the app in the classroom and encouraging students to use it at home. The data from app usage is collected automatically and the dashboards with insights are shared with district government officials; enabling them to address any issues promptly.

At ACT, we are excited about VOPA’s vision to reach 10 lakh monthly active users on their platform by 2024. Their goal to become the super app of education, serving as a comprehensive resource for students, teachers, and district officials, aligns perfectly with our mission. We are here to support their vision and are eager to see the transformative impact of our continued partnership.

ACT For Education doubles down on early childhood education with Rocket Learning

We are thrilled to announce the next chapter in our exciting journey with Rocket Learning! As we renew our partnership for a third consecutive year, we continue to fuel our shared mission of transforming early childhood education in India.

Rocket Learning is an ed-tech enterprise that aims to play a key role in enabling India to become the world’s largest, most effective early childhood development system that’s anchored with the government. Their innovative approach involves two WhatsApp-powered solutions – one that engages parents in their children’s learning and another that transforms Anganwadi workers into educators – and aims to impact over 20 million early learners annually.

Rocket Learning’s journey has been nothing short of inspiring. From a team of 20 members two years ago, they have expanded to become a robust team of 150+, reaching nearly 2 million children directly across India. They have created more than 70,000 dynamic digital communities on WhatsApp, that provide easy-to-do content for children in their homes or learning centres, and developed 2,000+ audiovisual pieces and worksheets, which are shared with parents and teachers to enhance their learning experience. This progress has led to a huge impact on parents who are part of the Rocket Learning program. “We have seen significant behaviour change in parents who are part of our program. Parents engage twice the number of times, spend a lot more time with their children, and are a lot more confident in their abilities.” says Azeez Gupta, Rocket Learning’s co-founder.

Rocket Learning has also empowered over 50K Anganwadi workers across the country, transforming them into educators and providing them with the support they need to do better in their classrooms. They are a leading voice in changing the way we see the 1.3Mn Anganwadi workers in India – from caretakers to educationists – through their “Poshan Bhi, Padhai Bhi” campaign, which was recently launched by Smriti Irani (Minister of Women & Child Development).

At ACT, we are excited about Rocket Learning’s vision to help more than 10 million impoverished children achieve foundational learning and life readiness over the next three years. As Rocket Learning transitions from a new tech non-profit organisation to one of the more established players in the country, ACT’s support becomes even more crucial. We are committed to supporting Rocket Learning in their endeavour, and look forward to seeing the transformative impact of our continued partnership.

ACT Capital Foundation For Social Impact is a not-for-profit company incorporated and registered under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013. All donations made to ACT Capital Foundation are eligible for income tax deduction under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act.

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