International Women’s Day: Project Gender Save

Celebrating International Women's Day: project Gender Save

Nagpur is the Orange city of the nation & also the summer capital of Maharashtra. It’s a city that I can easily call a sleeping giant. There’s so much development happening there, it’s tough to fathom if you haven’t witnessed it with your own eyes. A city’s development & construction activities are manifested by its pollution level. In Nagpur however, the AQI is a comfortable 58, which implies that despite all the construction, the city has managed to still maintain a pollution free environment.  It’s a city that is happy in its state of being, where a Starbucks or a Uniqlo doesn’t play much role in the lives of the natives.

Education, of course, is very important in the lives of an average Nagpur resident and that makes conversations in this city very healthy & exciting. People are not only knowledgeable but also opinionated. The city is bestowed with many educational institutions and coaching centres, which leads me to have more fathom the huge importance on academic. As a representative of Child for Child division of Smile Foundation, I visited a lot of our partner schools, and interacted with the principals. I realised that each school has a very strong culture that gets embedded in the souls of its students. The value system that is imbued plays a very crucial role in the holistic development of each child and therefore it was but natural that they become our partners in philanthropy. Smile Foundation has always enjoyed working with schools that follow the same spirit of empathy & working towards civic driven change.

International Women’s Day: Project Gender Save

A hug from them is all one needs

My visit to schools all across Nagpur, from Kamptee to Hingda, from Warda to Sambalpuri gave me the opportunity to soak in the true philanthropic dispositions of the people of Nagpur.  The team of CFC in Nagpur has now further spread its wings to Chhattisgarh & Madhya Pradesh. There are people who are travelling extensively to spread Smile in the lives of children studying in schools that are located even in small districts. Such schools have also become our charity partners and we have always helped with them in their times of need.

My visit to Nagpur, coincided with the celebration of International Women’s Day. And, what a celebration it was! New Apostolic English High School, Nagpur is one of our very old CFC associations. Smile Foundation has been working with them for close to 8 years now. The relationship of the school with our Child for Child division has moved to a different level, where we now partner with them for upliftment of women whose children are supported by the school via Smile Foundation. Children and teachers under the guidance of their principal & coordinator put up a beautiful act for celebrating International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day: Project Gender Save

Children welcoming the Smile Foundation team with a prayer.

The school has launched a program with Smile Foundation called Gender Save.  As a part of this initiative, women who come from the family of children supported by the funds raised via New Apostolic school are provided employability assistance by Smile Foundation. This project was initiated with the help of Smile Foundation, in 2016. We awarded them one sewing machine and since then we have been supporting them by giving one sewing machine every year. Now the project has 27 machines since its foundation and more than 100 women have successfully completed a 3 months certified course of sewing. It has empowered more than 100 homemakers and girls, to earn their livelihood by grooming their sewing skills. These women design and stitch clothes for the new born and these clothes are given to the poorest of the poor infants born in the nearby Government Medical College, Nagpur.

International Women’s Day: Project Gender Save

The Sewing Machines that have helped  women regain their self-respect & livelihood

The objective of the project is to empower the home makers and the slum dwellers from nearby the school and the said site of the project. Around 20 home makers who had developed their sewing skills through this centre participated in today’s event, along with the students of the school.

As a mark of gratitude the women beneficiaries and their trainer shared their experiences with the Smile Team. They shared stories of how they felt empowered with the help of the earnings that they generate by stitching clothes. The smiles on their faces and the sense of dignity they carry with them truly made our celebration of International Women’s Day memorable.

To volunteer for Smile Foundation and work for these above mentioned causes visit: https://www.smilefoundationindia.org/volunteer.html

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Author

Monica Mor

Monica has been an educationist for almost 16 of her 19 years of work experience. Her past 4 years has been in the Non profit sector, working with youth as a part of Haryana Skill Development Mission and also with an NGO called Concern India Foundation. She is currently leading the Child for Child program, one of the flagship programs of Smile Foundation. She loves to spend time as a counsellor for youth & children and is involved in many outreach activities for school children, pan India.

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