The gap between rich and poor, those who have and those who do not, is growing each day. There are a number of independent studies that highlight that rich are becoming richer and poor, even poorer. Smile Foundation’s Child For Child (CFC) initiative seeks to change the same and is committed to creating value-based learning opportunities for children from the privileged section of the society.
One does not have to look at the data or numbers to understand this. All that we need to do is look around ourselves. On the one hand, there is a family of four members living in a big mansion with a fleet of cars, smart televisions in all rooms, and refrigerators stocked with food and on the other there is a big family living in one room without any amenities and struggling to feed itself, bereft of amenities and hope .
These extremes have created a big chasm in our society and this gap is only growing with time. Smile Foundation, through its multiple initiatives, is committed to working for betterment of this underserved section. At the core of its theory of change is the concept of civic driven change, where people and communities develop empathy and a sense of responsibility to support those in need to make the world a better place.
Children are our future and it is important for them to be aware and responsible towards this reality.
Child for Child reaches the children from privileged section and through various interactions with them, tends to create a value based outlook amongst children. Addressing the morning assembly followed by value-based discussions with children has been an important tool to develop and nurture value based behaviour amongst children, the citizens of tomorrow.
Apart from regular workshops in their respective schools, children are also taken to the Mission Education centres of Smile Foundation. There, they meet their underprivileged counterparts, play with them, teach them, learn something from them among other activities. These personalised visits enable them to see the world around them thoughtfully. The experiences they gain help build empathy and emotional intelligence, which will reflect in their behaviour in times to come.
In addition to the workshops and ME centre visits we have another beautifully designed programme within CFC called, SIFFCY@Schools – the outreach version of the SIFFCY (Smile International Film Festival for Children & Youth). This has been received very well by schools across India. The event boasts of showcasing some of the best value based cinema for children, chosen from a range of movies from all across the world. Internationally acclaimed movies with a deep message on values for children have brought in accolades for this initiative and many Principals have acknowledged the fact that emotive engagement of children is the best tool to develop value based thinking.
The core purpose of CFC is to create empathy in the minds of the children of the privileged section so that they could get sensitised to the pains and sufferings of the underprivileged section and develop a mature and responsible outlook towards them.