Posts tagged ‘Mumbai Smiles’

October 5, 2015

Sports, a way of life! – A Mumbai Smiles article

Sports, apart from being just a medium of fun, also impart life skills that come in handy throughout the journey of life. It’s a way of bringing everyone together towards a common goal. To respect this level of union, Mumbai Smiles started Life Skills Empowerment project for boys using sports as a channel to bring about a unanimous approach towards comrade and loyalty.

This project was done in collaboration with OSCAR (Organisation for Social Change, Awareness & Responsibility) Foundation and their team. The core idea behind introducing this project is to empower adolescent boys through sports.

The most important aspect of indulging these boys in sports is for them to learn ways of life while on the field. Sports teaches us how to be a good team member, to respect rules and boundaries, to have an eye towards the goal but at the same time making sure that no one is harmed in order to reach that goal. After giving them these ground rules of not pushing anybody, taking care of themselves and their team members; the games had begun.

The OSCAR Foundation divided the boys into three teams and off they were. They started off with an interactive and a lively warm up session followed by an induction on the games. The boys played dodgeball, football and handball. This is because the team of Mumbai Smiles noticed that these boys have played sports like Kabbadi, Kho Kho and Cricket but football et al, not so much. During the breaks the Field Coordinator of Mumbai Smiles made sure to check on each and every boy for if they were facing any challenges or troubles. A first aid kit is always kept in handy by the Mumbai Smiles team for in case of any injury on the field, which is sure, the fun of all the sports, but safety is also crucial.

After the games came to an end, a review was conducted to get a feedback from the boys. One of them said, “This was our first experience in playing football and it was awesome. We want to continue under Life Skills Empowerment Project and play these sports that were so new and exhilarating”.  One thing we’d like to add is that none of these activities could have been possible without the incredible support of the Animators, the community members and most importantly the parents of our beneficiaries.

Post session feedback -Mumbai Smiles

Post session feedback -Mumbai Smiles

Our beneficiaries during the session-Mumbai Smiles

Our beneficiaries during the session-Mumbai Smiles

First round of interaction with the students -Mumbai Smiles

First round of interaction with the students -Mumbai Smiles

This was a Mumbai Smiles article. “Mumbai Smiles works closely with its beneficiaries and develops bottom up strategies in order to end the vicious cycle of poverty.”
More info: http://www.mumbaismiles.org 

July 29, 2015

A Mumbai Smiles article- Spread a Smile Campaign

Spread a Smile Campaign

In collaboration with Rotaract Club of Churchgate, 19th of July 2015

Mumbai smiles, Rotaract Club of Churchgate

Mumbai smiles, Rotaract Club of Churchgate



Event Name:
  Spread a Smile

Date and Time: 19th of July 2015, 4.00pm to 6.30pm

Venue: Marine Drive

In association with: Rotaract Club of Churchgate

Beneficiaries of Project: LSE Project Beneficiaries (8 participants)

Purpose of the event: To celebrate International Nelson Mandela Day

On a rainy cool evening of 19th July, 8 LSE beneficiaries of Mumbai Smiles and a bunch of volunteers from the Rotaract Club of Churchgate clubbed together to celebrate International Nelson Mandela Day through a simple yet very effective campaign of spreading happiness and joyfulness among the people of Mumbai.

The 18th of July is more than a celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy. It’s a global movement to honour his life’s work and act to change the world for the better. Hence it was for this very purpose that Mumbai Smiles collaborated with the Rotaract club of Churchgate to spread awareness about the importance of promoting human rights and what better way than observing the life example of Nelson Mandela. He gave 67 years of his life to the struggle for human rights and social justice. Being a leader who acted with a steadfast belief in justice and human equality believed that it is in our hands to create a better world for all who live in it, and what better way to promote his thoughts by reminding the people that a smile has the power to change the world, enhance your business and build better and faster relationships.

This day was celebrated by distributing colourful pamphlets among random people present on that evening in Marine Drive. These pamphlets contained the message, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile”. It was a message that encouraged people to put behind their worries and sorrows and take each day as an opportunity to be joyful and spread that happiness around. Along with the colourful sheets of paper, big sign boards that read “cheer-up, high-five, smile” etc were also displayed as the volunteers walked on the streets. The people watching these signboards would inevitably have a smile on their face and were curious to know more about the campaign. Many of them came forward to participate by holding these boards and promoting it themselves.

Mumbai smiles, Rotaract Club of Churchgate

Mumbai smiles, Rotaract Club of Churchgate

The Rotaract Club volunteers also distributed free coupons of eating joints and vouchers of salons for the people. This was another reason for the people to be happy and interested in the campaign. The volunteers made people sing songs, express a few words of joy, take photographs and share with everyone the thing that makes them smile.

The campaign brought an unexpected result. The outcome was tremendous as in a span of just 2 hours more than 200 people were made aware of the campaign and thus the true objective and aim of the campaign was achieved, which was ‘spreading smiles’.

On hearing the feedback from the people with whom we interacted that evening, the team realized that many appreciated the campaign and expressed their desire that more of such campaigns should be organized to alleviate the stress and anxiety that many face today in this city.

Thus, the overwhelming response to the colourful smiley faces and attractive sign boards truly helped in making people spread their contagious smiles around. No wonder they say, “Smile at the world and the world will smile back at you”

Mumbai smiles, Rotaract Club of Churchgate

Mumbai smiles, Rotaract Club of Churchgate

DSC07651

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.mumbaismiles.org
mumbai@mumbaismiles.org
http://www.mumbaiaction.org

 

May 26, 2015

10 years of Mumbai Smiles!

A video impression.

http://www.mumbaismiles.org

http://www.mumbaiaction.org

March 5, 2015

Dream Run and the dreams attached…. about Mumbai Smiles

Mumbai smiles

Mumbai smiles

Mumbai Smiles, a name resounding in the city of Mumbai from the last 10 years, is committed to serve the disempowered in improving the quality of lives through its various projects. They have been involved with children, adolescents and women to help them lead a healthier, happier and more sustainable life. Their focus is to provide underprivileged children with a chance to quality education, disempowered women with a meaningful skill to participate in the household, adolescent girls and boys with the resources to engage in educational activities and pregnant and lactating mothers an opportunity to deliver safely. Their various projects like Balwadi, Future Smiles, SEED, HOPE, Life Skills Empowerment and mMitra reach out to fulfil these goals in the community.

2015, is a very special year for Mumbai Smiles. It was in April 2005, that Jaume Sanllorente the founder of the organization began to build the scaffoldings of this organization and on May 20th the organization was officially founded and registered. 10 years of passionate involvement began with a dream to make Mumbai a socially just place to live. After a journey of 10 years, Mumbai Smiles has reached out to more than 6000 beneficiaries in the year 2014 and look forward to achieve greater heights to build a better society.

As they complete their 10 years of service in the communities of Mumbai, a series of events have been planned to share their experiences and the social realities that they have discovered during our journey. These events will speak the stories of struggle, courage, determination and success of the several faces that are lost in the fast lives of Mumbai.

On the 8th of February, Mumbai Smiles raised the curtain to welcome its ambitious 10th Year! It was a mini Marathon Run called the Dream run for the people of the city!

Celebrating 10 years of transforming futures!

Celebrating 10 years of transforming futures!

 

The Dream Run was a 3km long run for all the ones who believe in running for a cause. In collaboration with a school that it supports, Mumbai Smiles organized this run to cater to the educational needs of the students in the community. Mumbai Smiles Executive Director, Mr. Narendra Kumar Dundu said “Seeing so many people gather to support a cause was indeed inspirational. Completing 10 years of Mumbai Smiles in 2015, it was symbolic to have started off the celebrations with a run, to mark the ambitious run we look forward to have from here to uplift the community.”

 

Some of the beneficiaries at the run

Some of the beneficiaries at the run

 

The event gave a platform to spread various social messages, where a small girl was seen holding a banner saying “Bati Bacho, Beti Padhao” i.e. save the girl child and educate them for a better future.

 

A girl carrying a social message about educating girls

A girl carrying a social message about educating girls

 

The event was a great success for Mumbai Smiles since they reached out to so many people in the community and among their partners. The Dream Run marked their entry into a new decade and they surely look forward to further scale up and enhance their impact in the society.

 http://www.mumbaismiles.org 

 

 

January 20, 2015

A Mumbai Smiles article- Celebrating Learning!

Education is not all about studying and getting good marks. It goes beyond reading, writing and arithmetic. It is one of the most important investments a country can make in its people and its future and is critical to reducing poverty and inequality. It provides people with critical skills and tools to help them better provide for themselves and their children. If all students in low income countries left school with basic skills 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty!!

Keeping this in mind, an Education Fair was organized by Mumbai Smiles in collaboration with Deloitte Co. for the students of the Future Smiles Project- a Mumbai Smiles project that aims at empowering disadvantaged students through education.

Deloitte employees interacting with the students-Mumbai Smiles

Deloitte employees interacting with the students-Mumbai Smiles

It all began by believing and creating this idea of promoting an educational and intellectual talk among the children for the students of class 5th to 10th grade at St. Rock’s School, in Mumbai, (a school with whom Mumbai Smiles collaborates)

Students enjoying themselves during the fair- Mumbai Smiles

Students enjoying themselves during the fair- Mumbai Smiles

The idea germinated from the need to give more exposure to children in order to help them make informed career choices, know about scientific inventions, improve general knowledge and develop creative thinking skills through competitions and interactions.

Educational game with the students-Mumbai Smiles

Educational game with the students-Mumbai Smiles

The event was organized at St. Rocks’ School ground and was inaugurated by the Executive Director of Mumbai Smiles, Mr. Narendra Dundu, Trustee of St. Rock’s School Mr. Elvis and Principal of St. Rock’s School Mr. Arun Singh. They interacted with the students and encouraged them to take advantage of such events and benefit their careers. The Fair included several stalls like, a Science Stall that gave information about various science projects and first discoveries and inventions, Map Reading Stall that invigorated students to learn about the geographical location of various states and arrange them, General Knowledge Stall where students were given an opportunity to test their general knowledge, Maths Puzzle Game Stall where a variety of math games were arranged for children to learn math in a fun way and finally a Career Counselling stall where various career options were displayed.

Inaugurating the education fair-Mumbai Smiles

Inaugurating the education fair-Mumbai Smiles

Deloitte employees played an important role in implementing the entire event too. As a part of their ‘Impact day’ that is celebrated every year, they engaged 40 of their employees to help Mumbai Smiles conduct this event at the School.

Science Stall at the Education Fair-Mumbai Smiles

Science Stall at the Education Fair-Mumbai Smiles

All these events ensured that the students got a platform to interact, imagine and question about several things and get the right information from reliable source. The school authorities observed that the children were extremely happy to learn as they played. They said that “it was an excellent opportunity for them to involve with learning in a manner that is creative. It felt great to see them be so enthusiastic about participating in various competitions and learn through the models exhibited at the Fair.”

Students exploring the stalls at the fair-Mumbai Smiles

Students exploring the stalls at the fair-Mumbai Smiles

Let’s all continue to promote the idea that education truly has the power to make the world a better place!

More info about Mumbai Smiles: http://www.mumbaismiles.org 

December 7, 2014

Cell phone tips to pregnant mothers! -A Mumbai Smiles article

Mumbai smiles

Mumbai smiles

Globally, more than one third of under-five deaths are attributable to under-nutrition. About 20 per cent of children under-age five in India are wasted (acute malnutrition), 43 per cent underweight and 48 per cent stunted (chronic malnutrition). In terms of numbers about 54 million children under five years in India are underweight which constitutes about 37% of the total underweight children in the world. In India, 25 million children under five years are wasted and 61 million are stunted, which constitutes 31 per cent and 28 per cent of wasted and stunted children respectively in the world.

It is clear that India is not likely to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), (eight international development goals that were established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000) on child malnutrition, which uses children underweight as the indicator.

Since the MDGs were adopted in the year 2000, knowledge on causes and consequences of under-nutrition has greatly improved. Research shows that the most critical cause of malnutrition emerges from nutritional deficiencies during the periods of mother’s pregnancy. Hence intervention at this stage is an opportunity to prevent under-nutrition among children and ensure that they reach appropriate growth levels.

Mumbai Smiles’ vision and mission to alleviate poverty is closely aligned with the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). It aims to achieve their goals through these MDG’s. With this vision Mumbai Smiles has collaborated with Armman foundation and international body MAMA (Mobile Alliance for maternal action) to provide voice-call health advice service for pregnant women and lactating mothers through a project called ‘mMitra’

So how does this work?

The women who register for delivery in this project are called on the phone twice a week and a health message is played to them. Mobiles being ubiquitous in India, it becomes very easy to deliver vital health information directly to the Indian women in the slums.

This project aims at improving the well-being of 7900 pregnant & lactating mothers. Mumbai Smiles will be covering the communities in the slum areas of Andheri East in Mumbai. They will be registering the beneficiaries and then begin the voice call services. So far, 1200 mothers have been registered. The project will attempt to raise awareness about government schemes and services on maternal and child health.

Mumbai Smiles hopes to contribute towards the larger goal of reducing child malnutrition and develop healthy practices among pregnant women.

 

Registering a beneficiary from the community M-mitra team member explaining a community woman about the project M-mitra beneficiaries M-Mitra beneficiaries with members of Armman foundation and MAMA. Alice Lin Fabiano, Director of Worldwide Corporate Contributions, Johnson  & Johnson (partner in M-Mitra project) interacting with the beneficiaries

 

October 28, 2014

Mentoring the young minds for a greener future!

Mumbai smiles

Mumbai smiles

Anchoring the young minds is as important as educating them. In this era of technology and information, children are often faced with the stress of not knowing what to accept and what to reject.

Integrating this in the Future Smiles project of Mumbai Smiles, a scholarship distribution project, recently launched a one on one mentoring program by the name of Green Batti, a program that will pair 150 trained professional mentors to 150 underprivileged mentees through a collaboration between Mumbai Smiles and Thincquisitive Foundation. The objective behind this program being to bring together mentors and mentees from various backgrounds that will develop and nurture a relationship that provides the mentees with an exposure and experience beyond their immediate means as well as the mentors with an opportunity to learn and gain insight from the program as a whole.

The impact areas of the project will be health, life skills, social skills, and will also focus on developing social perspectives. The mentors will generally be working professionals in the age group of 21-29 years and will mentor children from under resourced communities in the age group of 10-12 years.

With a specialized process that will involve selecting the mentor and the mentee, the program will be more fruitful, effective and productive.

A total of 24 meetings have been scheduled for a period of 4 months for one on one interaction and group meetings. These sessions will include confidence building activities, special workshops, movie screenings and many more valuable activities!

It is through such initiatives that Mumbai Smiles hopes to provide the right guidance to the people from the underprivileged backgrounds and ensures their holistic development.

 

Pre-session meetings with the beneficiaries and their parents

Pre-session meetings with the beneficiaries and their parents 

Co-founder of Thincquisitive Foundation interacting with the beneficiaries

Co-founder of Thincquisitive Foundation interacting with the beneficiaries

September 24, 2014

Mumbai Smiles: Kaleidoscope 2014 Rally – Hey, Womania!

Hey Womania!

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.

 

Mumbai Smiles Kaleidoscope 2014 Rally -DLCS

Mumbai Smiles Kaleidoscope 2014 Rally -DLCS

 

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.

 

Mumbai Smiles Kaleidoscope 2014  -DLCS

Mumbai Smiles Kaleidoscope 2014 -DLCS

 

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.

 

Mumbai Smiles Kaleidoscope 2014  -DLCS

Mumbai Smiles Kaleidoscope 2014 -DLCS

 

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.

 

Mumbai Smiles Kaleidoscope 2014  -DLCS

Mumbai Smiles Kaleidoscope 2014 -DLCS

 

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 Kaleidoscope 2014  -DLCS

Mumbai Smiles Kaleidoscope 2014 -DLCS

 

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!

 

Mumbai Smiles Kaleidoscope 2014  -DLCS

Mumbai Smiles Kaleidoscope 2014 -DLCS

 

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) 

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

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