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About My Organisation, Impulse NGO Network


History of Impulse

Impulse has its beginning in the 1980s. It was at that time when Team Leader Hasina Kharbhih 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 their time to charities on the weekends. Thus, from 1987 onwards, Kharbhih began volunteer work. However, after moving on to Lady Keane College, Kharbhih no longer had LTS to encourage the volunteer work. At that point, Kharbhih and others began an LTS alumni group, headed by Kharbhih 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 organisation’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 organisation re-registered under the Society’s Registration Act XXI of 1860 as Impulse NGO Network after the founding members came together to restructure the organisation and decided to configure the organisation as a conduit for networking to bring about social reforms and economic development. Although the organisation is still following that same configuration, from 2008 onward, the organisation shall be known simply as “Impulse.”

Through the years, the organisation has undertaken a variety of projects including leading courses, organising projects, and producing research and documentation. The earliest projects of the organisation were working 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.

At the same time Impulse’s volunteers were beginning to work on rural livelihood projects, they were also conducting fundraising projects for other organisations. 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 organisation’s growing volunteer base and contacts soon were offered a one-month leadership, communications, and volunteer course led by Hasina Kharbhih. 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 organisation there was a need for youth to have other education, particularly in sexual health and HIV/AIDS. Thus, in 2000 when Kharbhih 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 Commonwealth named her a Commonwealth Youth Programme Ambassador for Positive Living 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.

While Impulse continued to work in HIV/AIDS education, the organisation also conducted a study on the effects on Meghalayans of the government ban on timber, which took place in 1996, and was gradually affecting the communities. Through its livelihood projects and other work, the organisation realised that after the government directive, there was a mass migration of rural persons to urban settings; children were often coming to the cities as domestic maids or working in the tea stalls, and there was also a growth of street children.

Around the same time the organisation was undergoing a restructure — with a decidedly more-focused effort on helping the forces of migration decrease to make social change — Team Leader Kharbhih attended and presented information at a conference organized by North Eastern Council and UNICEF. The conference was held to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) —which the Government of India ratified in December 1992 — and to deliberate on the status of the child in the North East. Representatives from all eight North Eight states were in attendance, and a 10-point three-year agenda was crafted, addressing health and nutrition, education, anganwadi workers, drug abuse and HIV/AIDS, research, peace initiatives, review of laws, water issues, advocacy, and monitoring and regular reporting on child rights.

After the conference, Impulse made a committed effort to present the problems of children in North East and take forward the 10-point agenda as a guiding principle to work on child right issues. This agenda continues to guide the organisation’s work.

Shortly thereafter, the organisation presented its findings at an event in Kolkata, where Impulse became acquainted with ATSEC, who informed those there that the working children and missing children may have been trafficked. Thus in 2001, the organisation launched a letter/e-mail campaign — as part of a larger process — to inform anti-trafficking partners (met via ATSEC) of their willingness to work on the issue of human trafficking, which encompasses the many problems the organisation was seeing such as child labour, sexual exploitation of children, and child marriages. The process, which took place over a year, was developed to meet the needs and challenges Impulse faced at each step. Recognized as a formal process by South Asia Regional Initiative/Equity Support Program, it was also noted as a “good practice”. Now known as the “Meghalaya Model”, the initiative incorporates networking with different stakeholders in the state to ensure successful repatriation and has received further recognition as a “good practice” by UNDP in 2007, Ashoka in 2007, and the Government of India — where it is in draft to become a national model.

Knowing that many trafficked women and children are in the sex industry, the organisation realised their risks for becoming infected with HIV/AIDS. Today, most of the organisation’s focus is thus on child rights and HIV/AIDS education.

You can view our website

We are looking for people from around the world to join hands and support the initiative in any way they can and professional around the world can join us as Volunteers and sponsored trafficked children in education, livelihood and can get in touch with us.



Auma's picture

Welcome Hasina!

It's nice to meet you here Hasina! You are doing a great job! I also live in an area where poverty reigns high,and there is "silent" child labor,since the government is trying to toughen rules for all children to be in school.

Thank you for being here for us,and the world!

Leah Auma.

Hasina Kharbhih's picture

Hi Auma

It great to be connected to each other and I hope we can network in future.


Welcome to PulseWire! It is a joy to see you here.

I have a suggestion and 2 questions:

Did you know you can post for volunteers on our global community bulletin board, Resource ExChange?

Ila Asplund has started a rich dialogue about the meaning of our names.Will you share with us the meaning of your beautiful name?

Over the weekend, another community member and I, Leila, started a group called World AIDS Orphans. As I was reading your post above, I started wondering about the correlation between AIDS orphans and human trafficking. I just started a conversation and would love for you to join it. You'll need to join the group first, but that's simple!

I look forward to learning more about you and your work. I would love to read what a typical day is like for you. Oops. That's 3 questions!


Hasina Kharbhih's picture

Great to hear from you

The meaning of my name is beautiful...
A typical day for me is a hectic scheduled and reaching out to a lot of children who needed help,meeting telephone calls,documentations...but yes at the end of the day I love to cook,write a poem make people around me happy.

The north east India is also very much affected by HIV and AIDS and in one of the eight north eastern states Manipur there is a lot of AIDS orphan,and it does have a co relation to human trafficking,as they are equally vulnerable to exploitation of various form.

Corine Milano's picture


Dear Hasina,

I am so excited to see you on PulseWire! Reading about all the work Impulse does is so inspiring. It is such a holistic model—really innovate and impressive!

I am curious about what inspired you to get involved in anti-trafficking work, and how you came up with you model?

Also—I noticed that you write poetry! I do too—writing is so therapeutic and such a wonderful way to express. On PulseWire, I started a group about Poetry, and I would love it if you would join and post some of your work! This is the link:

What do you mainly write about? Do you ever use poetry to address issues of human trafficking? I've seen some wonder poetry come out of writing workshops for survivors of trafficking. Have you heard of the Daywalka Foundation? They have a magazine—I believe it's called Kalam—for survivors and children at risk of being trafficked. They publish some BEAUTIFUL poetry that is really amazing.

Anyway, I'd be honored if you contributed your thoughts to the poetry group! I look forward to seeing you around the site!


Hi Jennifer and Corine.
I am in Washington DC right now attending The 35 International Conference on Global Health,will also visit New York if you both are around these area it will be great to interact.I will be in Washington till 3 June 2008.


Corine Milano's picture

Hasina, how wonderful that

Hasina, how wonderful that you are in the US for the week. I so wish that I were able to hop a plane to New York or Washington DC to meet you. Unfortunately, Jennifer and I (and World Pulse) are located on the other side of the country in Oregon. If you are ever out this way, please let us know!

Additionally, it would be great if you made a journal entry about the International Conference on Global Health to share your learnings with the community. I know there are many women here who could benefit from hearing the highlights of the conference, or even the main thing you took away from the conference.

Do have a wonderful visit, and I hope to meet you someday!


Jennifer Ruwart's picture



Hi! I finally figured out how to make you my buddy on! Good luck on the competition.

How was your trip to the States?


Hasina Kharbhih's picture


Jennifer and Coriane
My trip to the US was a great experience,and I am posting a write on my experience do have a look.I hope to receive more comments on the Changemakers submission which I have sent,spread the information for voting.


Corine Milano's picture

Your trip

Hello Hasina,

I am also wondering how your trip to the states went. How was the conference you attended?


Attending the Conference held from May 27 to 31 May 2008 in Washington D.C. on behalf of the Commonwealth Foundation, it specially served me as an eye-opener, in terms of understanding community health perspectives and intervention drawn from a larger and wider circle of participants from different countries which included a variety of related subjects.

The point of discussions have created an understanding and impact to gauge the feasibility of certain inputs that can be applied and implemented related to local context in India and spreading out to their Asian countries where I have been inter-acting in places where I have worked.

The varied information that I have gathered had given further insight to dwell upon the findings of many resource groups and from persons having long years experience on the methodologies and strategies concerning global health.

There were three to four sessions in a day starting from 9.A.M. being held separately, each having different subjects and topics. The guide line books and concept notes had enabled participants to select which session to attend. I had chosen subjects related to my work to learn something new and at the same time extend my contributions of my knowledge and experience.


Workshop Facilitators: - Arin Dutta, Ph.D. Associate/Economics. Act Associaciate, International Health Division. Lisa Fleisher, MPH, Senior Analyst, Health System 2020, International Health Division Aby Associate Inc.

Major learning process and outcome around the world, on health delivery system which have expanded over thirty years, The different initiatives taken in the various community health programmes, had given an insight and significant impact in the challenges faced. It has to be ensured therefore that the different programmes are given sufficient support to be able to scaled up and sustained. The best practices of the different NGOs and therefore be initiated and it is possible that some of these can be replicated, in order to achieve a greater impact and given scope to grow to a wider scale.

TUESDAY MAY (afternoon session)
Workshop Facilitator:-Abimbo Idowu, DrPH, Health Educator, African American Heath Program / Global Peace Tiles Nil Navaie, M.SC Director / President, Arts for Global Development, Inc
Lars Hasselblad Torres, Researcher, AmericaSpeaks

This has been visualized, that similar methodology is being used in India, also at Impulse NGO Network and also in other Commonwealth countries, that the use of these innovative ideas, would reach out to the community and bring about a larger participation, so as the target population can be covered.
In the country like India which has a culture of traditional music, theatre, puppetry, can be used as a medium to attract community response, besides music for young people through radio and films.


Mary C. Ellsberg, PhD, PATH

Engaging Local Leaders to End Domestic Violence Against Women
Yassin Ally Sunuku, Acting Director, Kivulini Women’s Rights Organization

A Comprehensive Approach to Gender Violence
Lucy Wanjiku Kiama, MA, Development Manager, Nairobi Women’s Hospital

Sasa! Advocacy and Activism on Violence against Women and HIV / AIDS
Lori Michau, MA, Co- Director, Raising Voices

Walking in Her Shoes: Training for Service Providers
Margarita Quintanilla MD Coordinators, PATH

Ending violence against women is thought provoking. It is important to use the methodology to reach out to the community at all levels and status where women are vulnerable, especially those affected with HIV/AIDS positive status. The women affected are not only Africa-based but also other Asian countries. A powerful tool is being used to address issues where support services are being created. To gain response for women, like Manipur in North East India, especially widows who are HIV/AIDS positive to support them from immediate relatives and families, is indeed an insight of methodology used.


Workshop Leaders:
Jennifer Dunlap, CFRE, President and CEO, Development Resources Inc
Cherryl Scott, Chief Operating Officer, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Mark Shamley, MBA, President, Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals

Main thrust being made basically on methodology involving philanthropists, which is workable in Europe. In the Asian context however some o these methodologies are possible, but not all.


Cathrine McKaig, DrPh, MS, Jhpiego

Integrating Youth Friendly Service into the Government’s Reproductive Health Network
Do Dang Khoi, Senior Programme Officer, Pathfinder International Viet Nam
Life Planning Skills Training and Young Disadvantage, Adolescent’s Well Being
Lisa M. Mueller, MA Program Officer PATH
Community Based Adolescent Reproductive Health Intervention Health Advisors, Save the Children
From Design to Implementation: Bangladesh Youth Reducing Their RH Risks
Shana L. Yansen, MS, Senior Program Officer, Johns Hopkins University, Center for Communication Programs

The subject on adolescent health was a fruitful session, such health programmes are being implemented specially in Asian countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh, the focus being that youth should take the centre-stage in participation, the thrust being the reproductive life style.


Carlos E. Cardenas, MD, MPH, Mercy Corps

Tackling HIV/AIDS through the Power of Sports
Peter James Fleming MS, Chief Executive Officer Kick 4 Life
Children Helping Children: Child Participations to address HIV / AIDS
William Oscar Fleming, MSPH, HIV /AIDS Program Specialist, Christian Children’s Fund, Inc
Football For Hope in Southern Africa
Kirk Friedrich, Managing Director Grassroot Soccer
Sports and HIV Prevention in Liberia and Sudan
J. Matt Streng, MPH, Program Officer: Health, Youth and Sports, Mercy Corps International

Mostly sports is being used as a focus point to reach young people and to gain their response for larger participation and to overcome the limitations, like being practiced in countries in Kenya, Sudan and others. I had offered my views that the sports methodology can be applied and become workable in India. The deliberations on sports as a methodology need follow up measures, in order to sustain initiatives taken in this regard.


Joan Haffey MPH

Catalyzing Change: Result from ARSHI Interventions in India
Anjala Kanesathasan, MPH, Public Health Specialist, International Center for Research on Women
Empowering Adolescent Girls through Peer Education
Piush Kayastha, MS, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager CEDPA / Nepal
Adolescent Take Action
Nancy A Russel MPA, EngenderHealth / ACQUIRE Project
Programming Change: Youth Leaders Implement Action Plans for Community Health
Josphine Pauline Ramos, MA International Health Programs.

Discussion held on projects taken up in India and Nepal on youth leadership on sexual health, giving a chance to young person as a lead point to address.


Miltron Amayun, MD, MPH International AID Vice President, Programs

Home Based Counseling and Testing for HIV in Suba Kenya
Barmak Kusha, MPH, Desk Officer East Africa, International Media Corps
Food: A Prescription in HIV / AIDS Treatment Programs
Roland Orutwa Ondari, Jr. MBA, Project Manager, Highlands Community Assistance Programme (HICAP)
Age at First Sex: When Does it Really Happen
Peter Roach, MA Vice President, Durex Network
Global Efforts to Generate Priority for AIDS, Malaria and Pneumonia
Jeremy Shiffman, PhD, Maxwell School of Syracuse University

Doctors and Research persons discussed at length the various aspects on the issue.

SUMMARY :- The conference dwelt on certain high level policies and the different initiatives taken in different countries, and in varied situation and conditions, including implementation of testing facilities, involving corporate sectors, governments, and non – government organizations, specially that AIDS is affecting other developmental issues. However besides AIDS, other diseases have not been able to surface to reach the attention of policy making levels.

The conference had by and large enabled me in net-working several agencies and making contacts, exchanging ideas in methodology and other relevant materials, which specially can go a long way in helping building up the library located at Impulse NGO Network.

Besides much gain and knowledge was made in the Planetary sessions featuring speakers of repute, to name a few – Margaret Chan, MD Director General, World Health Organisation, Nils Daulaire, MD, MPH, President andf CEO, Global Health Council, Victor Kamanga, Executive Director, Malawi Network for People Living with HIV/AIDs, Mirta Roses Periogo, MD, Director Pan American Health Organisation, Shobha Arole, MBBS.DCHD, Associate Director, Comprehensive Rural Health Project, Jamkhed India, Hernan Garrido Lecca, Ph.D , Minister of Health, Peru and others.

The International Exhibition schedule, special events and other activities have created a meaningful impact on global community health, to me and all the participants.

Clare Muireann's picture

Sharing Stories

Dear Harina Kharbibh

Lovely to find you on here. You write with a wonderful clarity. You wrote me a wee note when you responded to my friend request, and it would seem that there is no direct way to communicate between the members of the Pulse Directory yet so I thought I would post a comment here and leave my email if you wish to discuss working with story together, or anything really.

At the moment my work is centred around my Community Storytelling Initiative which is currently focused on the International Storytelling Project; working with members of the international community that are currently awaiting status in this country (and living in refugee hotels around my city). It is a fabulous project and it will culminate in a performance in a local theatre in March. Exciting stuff!

I hope this finds you well, and I look forward to more conversations!

go n'eiri on bothar leat (may the road rise up to meet you)

in word and deed
Clare Muireann

Clare Muireann Murphy

Urmila Chanam's picture

I wish I could work with you?!

Dear Hasina,

Two years its been and I have often thought of you and how you impacted my life.I am a true account of someone who has come out from hell and made it with my daugther Tamanna to a better and secure life. I am working in a MNC and am stable in every possible way.I am based in Bangalore.

I wish I could work with you and you involve me in the kind of work you do for the sole pupose that I understand how it is to be wronged and I know how you can either come out of it or remain forever.

Wish you and your family a happy new year.

Urmila Chanam

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