July 10, 2014

Cooking his way through victory

A parent’s greatest wish is to see his/her child grow up to be a successful person. These little bases of happiness remain unchanged even if parents are unable to support their children. Unimaginable is the plight of those who are compelled to stay away from their families on account of fiscal difficulties. Such is the story of Vijay Singh, a beneficiary of our Future Smiles Project, an education project, who was abandoned very early in his life, yet, who fought against all odds and became successful.

The second son of Seturam Singh, Vijay spent only the first few years of his life at his parents’ house. Bowing down to the dismal socio-economic conditions of their household, Vijay’s parents had to send Vijay away to live at an orphanage as they couldn’t afford the expenses of raising two children. Consequently, Vijay lived at the “Karuna” orphanage for 7 years. The orphanage supported his education during these 7 years. From the very beginning, Vijay was passionate about food and cooking and he wanted to make a career in this field. He, therefore, decided to pursue a diploma in hotel management. But, the orphanage couldn’t support his education any further, as his course of choice cost Rs. 48000. Vijay was under a huge dilemma, as he did not want to bother his financially burdened parents, and at the same time, he needed a professional degree to have a successful career and make his parents proud.

His quest brought him to Mumbai Smiles and this was a turning point in his life. We saw Vijay’s immense determination and perseverance, and realized that his ardour would surely lead him to success in his chosen field. Mumbai Smiles, thus, decided to fund his education. This support not only enabled him to pursue his education, but also allowed him to return to his parents’ house, as they no longer had to bear any monetary burden.

 

Vijay among other students who recieved financial support for their education

Vijay among other students who recieved financial support for their education

 

 

Today, Vijay holds a diploma in Hotel Management. His parents are grateful to Mumbai Smiles, not only for ensuring that their son received a complete education, but also for reuniting their little family and helping to bring home their son, whom they had to unwillingly send away few years ago. We are immensely proud of Vijay for battling all odds and emerging successful.

Vijay has truly set an example for others to follow and we wish him all the luck for the future.

 

Vijay

Vijay

July 5, 2014

Stick

Thank you dear stick for serving me so well for a week and keeping me safe and helping me with my balance.

20140705-110703-40023251.jpg please be as good to someone else as you were to me.

June 5, 2014

Happiness held is the seed, happiness shared is the flower!

And this time the SEED women sure shared happiness through their flowers!

St. Jordi is Barcelona’s and Catalonia’s version of Valentine’s Day and is a one day festival of romance, roses and books, all inspired by the legend of Saint George on 23rd April every year. On Saint Jordi’s Day the men in Barcelona and Catalonia give their partners a red rose, and in recent years a new Saint Jordi tradition is that the ladies give their men a book.  There are bookstalls and book markets all over Barcelona on Saint Jordi’s day. It is a very traditional festivity that combines culture and romanticism. Book and flower stalls are set up along the streets of Barcelona. This curious festival comes from a mixture of traditions from different periods. It coincides, on one hand, with the fact that Saint Jordi has been the patron saint of Catalonia since the 15th century; on the other hand, it comes from the famous legend of St George and the dragon and the old medieval tradition of visiting the Chapel of Saint Jordi in the Government Palace, where a rose fair used to take place. The legend of Saint George is that Saint Jordi slew a dragon to save a princess and then plucked a red rose for the princess from a rose bush, which had sprouted on the exact spot, where the dragon’s red blood had spilled.

SEED women making the roses in India

SEED women making the roses in India

At Mumbai Smiles, a huge order of 1845 roses (400 white and 1445 red) was received from Barcelona for Saint Jordi’s day. The order was received in mid-January and the roses were to be dispatched by 26th-27th of March. The task was to be completed by members of the SEED team.  SEED, a skills development program of Mumbai Smiles, aims to equip women and girls from low-income backgrounds with tangible, marketable skills that can help them earn a proper livelihood. For this purpose, women from nearby areas of Andheri (Mumbai) were enrolled and trained. In all, 14 beneficiaries were trained, of which 5 were our existing SEED beneficiaries and the rest 9 were newly enrolled into the process. It was heartening to see the beneficiaries work day and night to complete the order. The sale proceeds of the roses shall be distributed among the beneficiaries.

 

Jaume's books for sale

Jaume’s books for sale

 

Such training to the SEED beneficiaries ensures their socio economic sustainability and independence. In fact, Pravina Mohite, one of the beneficiaries, gave the following feedback after the training:

“I have undertaken the handicraft training in Mumbai Smiles. Now I get orders for craft flowers. Thanks to the SEED team of Mumbai Smiles for this training!!”

While the flowers were ready to be dispatched to Spain from the Mumbai Office, a whole range of activities was organized by their team members in Spain to sell these roses.

Sonrisas de Bombay volunteers in Spain

Sonrisas de Bombay volunteers in Spain

Some of them were:

  • Preparing stands and stalls at Barcelona and Tarragona where the Spain team members and volunteers sold these solidarity roses made by the beneficiaries of the SEED Project.
  • Jaume Sanllorente (Founder of Mumbai Smiles, and also a writer) was personally present at the stand in Barcelona to sign his latest book-The power of smiles for his fans. His books talk about his experience of starting this organization as also its various Projects.
  • Their new campaign ‘They smile, you can make it happen’ was also launched on the same day of Sant Jordi, the 23rd of April.

 

 Mumbai Smiles founder, Jaume with his fans on Sant Jordi


Mumbai Smiles founder, Jaume with his fans on Sant Jordi

 

The day came to an end with a huge success where about 1300 of those handmade roses were sold!

Mumbai Smiles continue to embark their journey towards creating a model of a just society, which is free of poverty and where people live with equal rights and opportunities.

 

The roses

The roses

Text and photos belong to Mumbai Smiles. 

To know more about Mumbai Smiles: www.mumbaismiles.org

The Spanish website: www.sonrisasdebombay.org

You are always welcome to visit these projects. All you have to do is write on: mumbai@mumbaismiles.org 

June 1, 2014

Soup? A small research for DLCS

On the picture below you see the first “Caldo Gallego” I have ever tried, a typical Galician soup which I ate in Spain.

 

Caldo Gallego by DLCS

Caldo Gallego by DLCS

 

Would you be so kind to do me a favor and post your favorite soup and the country the soup is from below in the comments?

 

Thank you!

May 16, 2014

Consulate General of the United States Amsterdam, Netherlands not so gay

I just spotted a very unusal event;

the Consulate General of the United States Amsterdam, Netherlands sent some (as many as possible it seemed!)  employees to remove Pride flags attached to the Consulate’s fences (as quickly as possible!).

They didn’t seem to be so gay with the GAY flags.

Consulate General United States Amsterdam GAY by DLCS

Consulate General United States Amsterdam GAY by DLCS

 

Consulate General United States Amsterdam GAY by DLCS

Consulate General United States Amsterdam GAY by DLCS

 

Consulate General United States Amsterdam GAY by DLCS

Consulate General United States Amsterdam GAY by DLCS

 

Consulate General United States Amsterdam GAY by DLCS

Consulate General United States Amsterdam GAY by DLCS

May 16, 2014

Home; Beautiful city of Amsterdam.

My home.

Beautiful city of Amsterdam.

During a cycle ride yesterday I made the shots below . I keep on writing about other places I love; Croatia, Slovenia, London, Barcelona and I don’t want you to think I don’t love my city.

 

Beautiful Amsterdam by DLCS

Beautiful Amsterdam by DLCS

Beautiful Amsterdam by DLCS

Beautiful Amsterdam by DLCS

Beautiful Amsterdam by DLCS

Beautiful Amsterdam by DLCS

 

 

Don’t you think Amsterdam is beautiful too?

May 14, 2014

1000 followers & Ball de bastons

I had never expected people to be interested in what I write here. I’m grateful to have so many readers (50.136 so far!) and followers (1003 by now!)!

THANKS DEAR ALL FOR YOUR INTEREST & SUPPORT!   

To celebrate, here’s a short clip I made during one of the festivities in Badalona, Catalunya I attended last week. What you see is the traditional Catalonian Ball de bastons (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈbaʎ də βəsˈtons]stick dance) is the name of a ritual weapon dance spread throughout Europe and the rest of the Iberian area (cossiers in Majorca, Portuguese pauliteiros, Aragonese palotiau, Basque ezpatadantza and Spanish paloteo or troqueado) but mostly in Catalonia. English and Welsh Morris dances are well-known relatives to these traditions. The origins of dance are difficult to reference; first recorded mention dates to 1150, in a banquet of Count Berenguer IV) (with thanks to Wikipedia)

 

As promised a few posts ago HERE , I announced I would thank # 1000 with a personal gift.

Thank you Nikki Lehnert  (http://nikkilehnert.wordpress.comfor being my 1000th follower!!
I think you might be in the crazy city of Amsterdam now, could you let me know how long you are staying?
Perhaps I could meet you and give you my gift personally. Or show you one/some of my favorite hotspots and buy you a drink.

 

May 8, 2014

Mumbai Smiles – Hope

Ankita and Vandana; our Champions

Affordability, accessibility and utilization of the health facilities are directly proportional to the socio-economic status of the family. In India, there is a need to help and psycho-socially support the children suffering from Cancer so that their lives can be saved. It is essential to help them maintain a balance in life and manage the disease condition in holistic manner. Most of the cancers in children are curable. However, many children die due to lack of comprehensive medical care. The social and economic realities prevent a sizeable population from seeking timely treatment and following up on the treatment.

In Mumbai Smiles, the HOPE project and its interventions are designed to address the financial, psycho-social, emotional and diagnostic need of 25 underprivileged children suffering from Cancer, aged 0 to 18 years coming from all over India, admitted at Holy Spirit Hospital, Andheri (East), Mumbai.

This project envisages giving importance to comprehensive and holistic care. It emphasizes on the aspect that is excluded from the medical care in the typical Indian hospital setting.

Among the various activities under this Project, ‘Champion of the month’ is one such activity that recognizes and honours these children who have successfully undergone a surgery or completed the chemotherapy cycle.

This month marked the celebration of consistent fortitude of our beneficiaries, Ankita and Vandana who completed their course of therapy and are determined to stand strong against the adversities of the disease. Ankita, 18 years old, finished her surgery for Brain Tumor and Vandana, 15 years old suffering from Retinoblastoma completed her 8 Chemotherapy cycles and 40 Radiations. Both the champions were given gifts to motivate them to continue their therapy. The hospital staff, nurses, Mumbai Smiles volunteers and other beneficiaries extended their support to both of them. Ankita’s words while she was leaving “I could have never been able to do this without all of you” were filled with immense gratitude and affection towards everybody present there. Vandana was touched by the involvement shown by the other beneficiaries into her treatment and this brought a bright smile on her face.
This effort ensures that the beneficiaries don’t fight the disease alone. A society that supports can make a huge difference just by being there for them. The event was concluded by distributing medical kits to all the beneficiaries.

 Written by Mumbai Smiles volunteer Chiranshu Kumar. Thank you!

 

Mumbai Smiles - Hope

Mumbai Smiles – Hope

Mumbai Smiles - Hope

Mumbai Smiles – Hope

Mumbai Smiles - Hope

Mumbai Smiles – Hope

 

For more info:

www.mumbaismiles.org
mumbai@mumbaismiles.org
www.mumbaiaction.org

May 5, 2014

5 May in The Netherlands

Happy Liberation Day to my fellow Dutchies!

 

Bevrijdingsdag DLCS

Bevrijdingsdag DLCS

 

Today we celebrate we are FREE. Yesterday, 4 May, we thought of those that are not.

 

For this cause there are lots of festivals and parties today, while the country has only just recovered from its first Kingsday.

 

Kingsday 2014 DLCS

Kingsday 2014 DLCS

 

For more information in English about 4 & 5 May in The Netherlands, click HERE

 

For the complete program for all the festivals and parties today (Dutch) CLICK HERE   

 

My tips: Remember the Amsterdam Klezmer Band?  Check: http://dlcsmanagement.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/my-footage-in-amsterdam-klezmer-bands-new-clip-op-een-goppe/ Today @19.00 they play in the Westerpark in Amsterdam and you can listen to them for FREE.

 

Het Vrije Westen

Het Vrije Westen

 

Plus not to forget; for a classic (and one of the best!) FREEDOM party: visit the Homo Monument.

 

Homomo:Bevrijdingsdag DLCS -photo taken from Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/211275962413127/

Homomo:Bevrijdingsdag DLCS -photo taken from Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/211275962413127/

April 15, 2014

Dreamhouse

Often passed by this house, dreaming…

 

Dreamhouse DLCS

Dreamhouse DLCS

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