Posts tagged ‘human rights’

October 11, 2018

Happy National Coming Out Day!

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) Logo created and donated by Keith Haring to the Human Rights Campaign. DLCS

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) Logo created and donated by Keith Haring to the Human Rights Campaign. DLCS

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an annual LGBTQIA+ awareness day observed on October 11 and 12 in some parts of the world. Founded in the United States in 1988, the initial idea was grounded in the feminist and gay liberation spirit of the personal being political, and the emphasis on the most basic form of activism being coming out to family, friends and colleagues, and living life as an openly lesbian or gay person. They believe the foundational belief is that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance, and that once people know that they have loved ones who are lesbian or gay, they are far less likely to maintain homophobic or oppressive views.

In more recent years, the idea of the “lesbian and gay community” has been largely subsumed into the idea of the LGBT community, and the idea of “coming out” expanded to not only include the voluntary self-disclosure of a lesbian, gay, or bisexual sexual orientation, but also transgender, genderqueer, or other non-mainstream gender identity.

Coming-Out Day has (also) been held in The Netherlands since 2009. Even in a country like The Netherlands, that is incredibly safe and very tolerant and open compared to many other countries, it is necessary to pay attention to creating more awareness for this topic. 

Unlike the Gay Pride and Roze Zaterdag in The Netherlands and The Belgian Pride in Belgium, there is no big central celebration on Coming-Out Day, but in several places smaller activities are organized by local gay and youth organizations, whether or not in cooperation with heterosexual sympathizers. Some information about activities in  The Netherlands today:

I wish you a Happy and safe (inter-) national coming out day, because I believe it is very important that YOU can be yourself. I hope agression and ignorance will one day be minimised.


And.. ThX Wikipedia.

March 11, 2014

Mumbai Smiles – Life Skills Education: Clarity on Thought and Knowledge

As mentioned in my previous blog an introduction on Mumbai Smiles , I’ll help out this non for profit organisation, by creating some exposure and publishing some of their articles.

Here’s a report on their last event:


Life Skills Education: Clarity on Thought and Knowledge

On the 31st of January 2014, Mumbai Smiles organized an evening event on Life Skills Education: Clarity on Thought and Knowledge. This event was held in one of its partner schools, Mapkhan School and Jr. College of Arts and Science, Andheri East.

With the growing importance of developing skills to combat life’s various challenges among children and young people, having a strong control over ones choices and behaviour is imperative. With this objective in mind, Mumbai Smiles launched its first such initiative based on the importance of Life Skills Education for 50 children of the Mapkhan School. The event had the presence of Ms. Kiran Mehra-Kerpelman, the Director of the UNIC India and Bhutan as Chief Guest of Honor, Ms. Mohini Mathur, The Executive Chairperson of Maharashtra United Nations Association (MUNA) and Vice President of Indian Federation of United Nations Associations (IFUNA), New Delhi, Mr Ashraf Ahmed Shaikh, Hon. Secretary and Founder President of Maharashtra United Nations Youth Association (MUNYA) and Mr A.A Syed, Secretary General – Maharashtra United Nations Association, (MUNA) and Secretary- Indian Federation of United Nations Associations, (IFUNA), New Delhi. Joining in the inaugural ceremony was also Mr. Narendra Kumar Dundu, the Executive Director India, Mumbai Smiles, who elucidated the work carried out by the organization since 2005 in 5 major slum areas of Andheri (East) of Mumbai , thus having a total reach out to 30,000 families in these slums.

Mumbai Smiles-Life Skills Education: Clarity on Thought and Knowledge

Mumbai Smiles-Life Skills Education: Clarity on Thought and Knowledge

The event began with an opening prayer in Arabic by one of the students of the school, followed by an astounding, prize-winning performance by young students of the school with a message on Child Labour which truly left an indelible impression in the minds of the audience.

The Chief Guest Ms. Kiran Mehra –Kerpelman, addressed the audience stating about the work of UN agencies linked to Millennium Development Goals with a special emphasis on Human Rights, Education and Development. She appreciated the work of Mumbai Smiles in providing qualitative education and health to the underprivileged children in slums of Mumbai.

Mumbai Smiles-Life Skills Education: Clarity on Thought and Knowledge

Mumbai Smiles-Life Skills Education: Clarity on Thought and Knowledge

The session on Life Skills Education was facilitated by Ms. Vasanti Godkhindi, an individual with 22 years of rich knowledge and experience with community level projects, adolescents and children. The session was an interactive session helping the children and parents in recognizing various life skills and the need for young children to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.

It included the students participating in the session that added to interest of the students and the people present at the event. The session showed the children the importance of recognizing their strengths to bring out the best results in group activities, and also helped the children understand, assimilate and grasp some very essential life skills.

The event was followed by a Scholarship distribution for 21 girls of whom 6 belonged to the Mapkhan School and Junior College, for the academic year of 2013-14. Certificate distribution to 15 Livelihood Project Beneficiaries was conducted and these women were felicitated upon their completion of their training courses with Mumbai Smiles under its SEED Project.

This event will be one of many such events and sessions held in the future on Life Skills Education for our children in various partnering schools.

Thus, with a remarkable opening act on Child Labour by young students, the presence of children who were greatly benefited by the session and the motivation to continue our efforts from our special guests, it truly was an evening to remember for all of us.

Mumbai Smiles-Life Skills Education: Clarity on Thought and Knowledge

Mumbai Smiles-Life Skills Education: Clarity on Thought and Knowledge

March 11, 2014

An introduction to Mumbai Smiles

A very dear friend of mine, Laia, recently visited India and got in touch with the organisation Mumbai Smiles. She told me she was impressed by their work and would like to help them out. From Europe the easiest way to help them is to get them exposure. I offered my blog for that, so from now one you can expect articles on Mumbai Smiles and their work regularly. 

Who they are:

Mumbai Smiles is a non profit organisation founded by a Spanish journalist, Jaume Sanllorente in the year 2005. He was on vacation to Mumbai which happened to be a life changing experience for him. He started what he calls a “peaceful struggle against poverty”, a struggle that has today been taken up by a growing team of dedicated professionals. It engages with thousands of people with multiple projects focused on Education, Health and Livelihood.

Mumbai Smiles operates through their projects in and around the slums of Andheri East area, Mumbai. Mumbai Smiles believes in delivering quality services to its beneficiaries and hence has strategically chosen to work in a specified area for holistic development of the community.

Their target population is the children, women and youths in the slum communities of the operational area. Their projects on education, health and livelihood are interlinked with each other and aligned with the MDG goals to contribute largely in the overall socio- economic development of the area.

What they do:

This integrated program aims to end poverty and the violation of the most fundamental human rights in the poorest communities in Bombay.

Their education program includes:

  • Balwadi project focused on Cultivating a Healthy Lifestyle through Education to children in below 6 years of age.
  • Future Smiles project focused on adolescent youths above 14 years of age providing financial support to underprivileged youths to continue their education and build a bright future.
  • Girl Child Education project focused on adolescent girls by providing them scholarship support to continue their education thus alleviating the gender disparities existing in society and giving equal opportunity to girls to continue their education.

 Their health program includes:

  • HOPE project which gives psychosocial and financial support to children with cancer.
  • Eye check up and health camps.

 Their Livelihood project includes:

SEED Project: This project on vocational training rolled out in the year 2012. It was initiated with the vision to connect with ongoing education programs and provide a link to those left out youths who were not covered under the Future Smiles project. Thus it aims to provide marketable tangible skills to underprivileged youth in the age group of 18 – 29 years and women above the age group of 29 years providing them meaningful employment to lead a dignified life. The larger objective of the project is to promote gender equality by empowering women financially. Mumbai Smiles believes that a woman is a foundation to a healthy society and plays a central role to development as a whole.

 Those interested in visiting Mumbai Smiles Projects can do so by simply writing them  on:, and they will organise a one day visit for you to all their projects.

You can also visit their Blog: to learn more about them.

Thank you!