Impulse works toward ensuring equal human rights are provided for all, particularly women and children. This mission is two-fold: to provide direct provisions for those in need of care, protection, and empowerment; and to create networks with the community, other NGOs/CBOs, and government bodies to ensure a rights-based approach is used by all, as well as sustainable livelihoods are available for those who need them.
To enable the creation of a just and equitable social order, Impulse is committed to the goal of enabling individuals to live a life of dignity and respect.
History of Impulse
Impulse has its beginning in the 1980s. It was at that time when Team Leader Hasina attended St. Joseph’s Convent School in Shillong. One of the school’s activities was the Leadership Training Service (LTS), which encouraged the students to volunteer for charities during the weekend. Thus, from 1987 onwards, Hasina began volunteer work. However, after moving on to Lady Keane College, Hasina no longer had LTS to encourage the volunteer work. At that point, Hasina and others began an LTS alumni group, headed by Hasina and Cynthia Chu. The group began meeting informally and visiting local institutions working with Shillong’s poor and destitute groups. As the group began analysing the situations of the institutions, they began to see needs that were not being met.The organization’s more formal work began in 1993 with rural livelihood projects, and in 1996 it officially registered as Impulse Inc. the name “Impulse” coming from Bobby Dutt, a founding board member, to describe the original founders’ usually impulsive, resistive, and eager-to-change-things nature. Later, in 1999, the organization re-registered under the Society’s Registration Act XXI of 1860 as Impulse NGO Network after the founding members came together to restructure the organization and decided to configure the organization as a conduit for networking to bring about social reforms and economic development. Although the organization is still following that same configuration, from 2008 onward, the organization shall be known simply as “Impulse.”
Through the years, the organization has undertaken a variety of projects including leading courses, organizing projects, and producing research and documentation. The earliest projects of the organization worked with rural women. The volunteers began working with women living in villages and looking at ways to help them use their traditional skills to create a sustainable livelihood. Projects in this field continued for over a decade.While Impulse’s volunteers were beginning to work on sustainable rural livelihood projects, they were also conducting fundraising projects for other organizations. The first of which was the “Charity cum Fashion Show” on 4th June 1995 that raised Rs. 23,000 for the Charitable Dispensaries and the Society for the Welfare of the Disabled. Fashion shows continued, and soon rock concerts began as well. The Lighthouse Concert on 23rd November 1996 raised Rs. 95, 867 for the Integrated Educational Centre for Visually Impaired.
The organization’s growing volunteer base and contacts soon were offered a one-month leadership, communications, and volunteer course led by Hasina. Soon after, due to Rosanna Lyngdoh (now Project Manager at Impulse) and her passion for trekking and the outdoors, a new element was added to the course: one-day trekking programmes. The innovative outdoors sports programme provided a feeling of privacy for the trekking break/sessions, and the discussion groups of the course soon showed the organization there was a need for youth to have other education, particularly in sexual health and HIV/AIDS. Thus, in 2000 when Hasina was awarded the Commonwealth Youth Programme Asia Award for Excellence in Youth Work — for the development of Impulse NGO Network, the youth course and her previous recognition from the Government of India — she approached the Commonwealth Youth Programme Asia with the idea of supporting an adolescent health programme. They agreed, and the Training of Trainers programme began — and later the in 2004 Commonwealth named her a Commonwealth Youth Programme Ambassador for Positive Living (CYAPL) to carry forward the innovations to other countries. Eventually the programme was noted in BBC World Service Trust’s Haath Se Haath Milaa, which documented the innovations in a television serial featuring people campaigning for issues surrounding HIV/AIDS.