This season, Mumbai Smiles took a step ahead and collaborated with Mumbai’s most ‘iconic’ college festival: Kaleidoscope, organized by one of the leading colleges of the city- Sophia’s College for Women, the annual cultural fest that ran from the September 9 to 14, 2014.
The theme of Kaleidoscope 2014, Be Iconic, is guaranteed to not just showcase the crème de la crème of all fields that ever were – be it music, fine arts or sports, but also to leave one inspired to take actions worthy of joining ranks with the ones in the hallowed halls of fame. In its 29th year, the festival was larger than ever: with new events, more participants and the ever-enthusiastic workforce. One of the biggest and most awaited college festivals of Mumbai city, Kaleidoscope was a riot of colours and patterns, a synthesis of art and movement, and quite simply, a visual treat.
With just so much happening around, Mumbai Smiles just had to be a part of this eventful college fest. It’s collaboration all started by going out to the streets on the 27th of August, where a rally was conducted to spread awareness of the Project SEED of the organization and also gain visibility of the work carried out by the organization. More than 200 students of the college along with few beneficiaries of the SEED Project came forward to participate and join hands in this rally, a rally that highlighted the importance of guaranteeing the rights of the women in the society through slogans, chants, posters and eventually a flash mob that only added to the visibility of the Mumbai Smiles among by-standers.
To those of you who are wondering what exactly is Project SEED? It is one of the projects of Mumbai Smiles that seeks to empower women from slum communities with skills that will make them employable and enable them to join the workforce in order to earn a livelihood. Under this program, groups of women receive basic training in a variety of skills such as beautician skills, crafts, retail management marketing, tailoring, and many more. The programs ultimately help in making these women independent, gain confidence and become an agent of social change in the society. Among the other activities of this eventful collaboration was an initiative taken by young students to come forward and organize a handicraft activity for the women beneficiaries of the SEED Project. In this activity they learnt to make souvenirs that could be sold during the college fest, the proceeds of which would benefit the women who made it.
Moreover, at the festival itself, Mumbai Smiles had the opportunity to set up their own stall to spread awareness about their work and initiatives. Products made by SEED women such as candles, flowers, bags, bookmarks were among some items that were exhibited at the stall. Such a presence in this fest opened up a way to motivate the young students to come forward and engage with the NGO and lastly, create a market for the SEED products.
Mumbai Smiles’ association with Sophia College has truly been unforgettable in many ways. It opened up a way to motivate young students of the college to come forward and engage with the NGO, created a market for the products of SEED and lastly opened doors to looking into other ways of collaboration between the college and the organization. Now that is what you call a huge success!
“There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women” – Kofi Annan
There are many more pictures of the event! Check them out on Facebook (click)