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Smile Foundation kids in Bilaspur go "On Air"



Girl children from Smile Foundation outside All India Radio Bilaspur
 

All India Radio Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh invited three groups of children from Smile Foundation to its programme 'AAO BACHCHO' to share their experience, while also boosting their self confidence and making them feel very special. The children recited poems, sang their favourite songs, cracked jokes and had lots of fun during the radio programme.

All the children were from Mission Education project in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh which has been operational since 2009 and is being implemented with Shikhar Yuva Manch through four operational centres at Ganesh Nagar, Thetha Debris, Nayapara (a centre exclusively for girls) and Indrapuri.

158 children in the age group of 3-18 years are benefitting from the project. Parents of these children make a living mostly as daily wage earners, plying rickshaw or working as mechanics. But with quality education, basic healthcare with health & hygiene practices, grooming and exposure they are gradually becoming confident of creating a brighter and happier future for themselves.

Infrastructural support from CEIL for 3 STeP centres

Certification Engineers International Limited (CEIL) has extended infrastructural support to Smile Foundation's Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) by providing new computers and furniture as part of its CSR initiative. CEIL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Engineers India Limited (EIL), a Govt. of India Undertaking.

The partnership will benefit three STeP centres in the Delhi NCR region. New sets of personal computers with latest OS and TFT screens, printers, UPS, audio systems and other training accessories have been installed at STeP centres in Paschim Vihar, Madangir and Vinod Nagar. New furniture has also been included in the Madangir centre which has been recently established.

STeP is a national level employability programme of Smile Foundation that trains urban underprivileged youth with market-oriented job skills such as English, basic computer, personality development, retail management and relevant soft skills, making them employed in retail and service sectors across India.

CEIL was represented by Mr. V. K. Jain, Senior Advisor and Mr. Nitendra Dekate, Head HR & A, during the dedication functions.

 




CEIL officials inaugurate the new computer lab at STeP centre in Paschim Vihar, Delhi

Bridging the Gap



Sri Shikshayatan students capture Smile kids on their cameras
 

Students from Sri Shikshayatan School, Kolkata, documented Mission Education Programme's IPER centre in the city. The students have been regular visitors to the centre and have befriended many younger kids there.

The students interviewed the Director of IPER as well as the Mission Education project coordinator, asking them about the challenges faced while providing education to underprivileged kids.

They also captured ongoing lessons in the classrooms, sports, art and other co-curricular activities at the centre. The teachers shared the special teaching methodology they use to make learning easy and fun for the kids.

The children from the centre were interviewed about their interests and dreams and happily posed for the lens. At the end the Smile kids broke into an impromptu dance and were joined by students from Sri Shikshayatan.

Such interactions between the privileged and underprivileged kids are encouraged by Smile Foundation under its Child for Child programme to sensitize the privileged children towards their disadvantaged counterparts.

Uttarakhand Rehabilitation Programme in full force

Smile Foundation's 'Integrated primary healthcare rehabilitation programme' in Uttarakhand is now well accepted in the identified 24 villages of Ukhimath block in Rudraprayag district. The project includes a mobile health clinic, an equipped static clinic and Smile Health Camps model.

After the cloud burst in Uttarakhand last year, Smile Foundation responded to the urgency with immediate relief and an assessment to devise a long-term strategy to join force with the collective efforts of the government and development agencies. Primary health care has been found to be one of the most urgent areas which needed long term intervention.

The project includes mobile health clinic, medical staff, pathological labs, medicine depots, static clinics with healthcare infrastructure, strengthening and effective utilization of the existing health care facilities, promoting health seeking behaviour etc. The villages are situated at an altitude of 7000 – 11000 feet which has made the situation more challenging for the affected survivors.

The project will benefit 10,000 individual directly every year.

 





Villagers line up as the Mobile Health clinic makes a stop at a flood affected area

ME kids in Assam get mainstreamed into formal schools



UTSAH's founder Migueal Queah felicitates a mainstreamed student
 

35 odd children got mainstreamed into formal schools from Mission Education's UTSAH centre at Hafiznagar, in Guwahati, Assam. Their friends and teachers from the centre came together to congratulate the children and celebrate the occasion.

The kids will be joining Chandmari Nimna Buniyadi Vidyalaya and Milanpur Mohammad Shah School in Guwahati. Miguel Queah, founder of UTSAH, felicitated the mainstreamed children.

Most of these children are orphans and runaways or were working as child labour, when they were inducted at the centre. Today, they are each others' strength and walking firmly on the path of education, to realize their dreams.

 

Last year twenty children from the centre had been mainstreamed into nearby government schools. These children continue to come to the centre to get extra lessons and help younger kids. The new batch also plans to follow in their footsteps.

Hospitality training for STeP students at JW Mariott Mumbai

J W Marriott Hotel Mumbai played host to a batch of 18 students from Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) for an exposure visit, practical training and familiarization trip. These youth had shown interest in joining the hospitality industry after completion of the 6-month STeP programme.

Mr. Khaja Ram and Miss Harsha from JW Marriott welcomed the students with training and motivational sessions, followed by a presentation on the history and work of the hotel at Juhu, Mumbai.

The students were further divided into groups and given a guided orientation on various departments and amenities of the hotel. After these long sessions, the students were invited to have lunch with JW Marriott officials and staff.

JW Marriott also offered the students to appear for interviews, promising three years of on-the-job training with stipends. Group discussions and two rounds of interviews were conducted and five students were selected on the spot to join the premier hotel.

 




STeP students get oriented on the basics of hospitality sector at JW Mariott Mumbai

Women and girls cultivate their Garden of Hope



Seeds and potted plants being distributed among the women and girls
 

Not-so-easy living conditions, scarcity of water and rented houses could not stop women of Chhatarpur village on the southern fringe of Delhi, from sowing plants and nurturing gardens in their homes. The inspiration came from the initiative “The Garden of Hope and Sowing”, organised by Navdanya Trust, under Smile Foundation's Swabhiman programme.

The workshop began with seeds being distributed among 40 adolescent girls and women. The participants were made aware about the importance of organic food, followed by a group discussion in which ideas were invited for an ideal garden and interesting topics related to food and community. Thereafter, a sowing session was held, during which the women and girls learnt something new while having fun and strengthening their community bonding.

The women were very interested and curious about the sessions. They also ended the interactive session with another fun activity – by putting their thoughts on paper artistically through drawings and presenting them in groups.

Computer Education at 54 Mission Education centres

Computer Education projects have been set up in 54 select Mission Education programme centres of Smile Foundation. The centres are spread across Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Delhi NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat and Maharashtra, Jammu and Telangana.

In each of the centres, two new desktops with UPS, one printer cum scanner and other accessories have been installed. Teachers from each centre had already been trained by Smile Foundation as part of 3-day residential training programmes in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and New Delhi.

 

 


More than half of Mission Education projects were equipped with computers, but now uniformity has been brought at all centres. This will bring better quality of learning and the children will be aligned with the education system of formal schools after they get mainstreamed.

In many of the remote rural centres, it makes a big difference as children use the latest computers and accessories in augmenting their learning ability, since this also boosts their self confidence.


Children at Mission Education centres across India discover a whole new world at the new computer labs

Health Camp for children and mothers in Madhepura, Bihar



Dr. Jha checks a mother and her new born at the health camp
 

Children and mothers attended a specialized health camp at Pithai village in Madhepura district, Bihar. The series of scheduled camps are in addition to the mobile hospital project operational in the district, with support from Siemens India.

For the health camps, Dr. Mikku Kumar Jha and Dr. Sheema Kumari Jha from the mobile hospital were supported by Dr. Rajeev Kumar. Diagnostic and pathological facilities of the mobile hospital were also made available to the specialized camps.

Families from five nearby villages attended the camp. 97% of the beneficiaries belonged to below poverty line families which also included 48% young mothers and women.

Such complementary health camps are organized regularly under the Smile on Wheels programme to meet the immediate healthcare needs of the marginalized community in remote rural areas and slums, with the belief that adequate awareness, diagnosis and timely care can reduce the incidence of morbidity and mortality, especially among children and women.

Healthcare services for women of Chhatarpur Pahari, Delhi



Women queue up for check-up at the health camp in Chhatarpur
 

Aspecialized mega health camp was conducted for children and women in Chhatarpur Pahari on the southern fringe of Delhi under Swabhiman programme. Over 200 beneficiaries availed of the services at the camp.

Access to healthcare is considered to be one of the major components of women empowerment under the programme, which is based on an innovative 4-S model, meaning Seeking healthcare as a behaviour, Support for education, Supporters in men through male involvement, and Sustaining the change in communities.

The specialists for the health camp included a paediatrician and a gynaecologist, accompanied by a team of paramedics, Swabhiman change agents and volunteers. Diagnosis, counselling, medicines and contraceptives were made available for free.

A specialized mobile hospital under Swabhiman caters to children, young mothers and women in all the adopted communities. However, specialized and customized camps are organized regularly keeping in mind the high susceptibility of women and children to health problems.

Inodai Waldorf School kids visit ME centre in Mumbai

Children from the reputed Inodai Waldorf School came to interact with Smile Foundation kids at its Mission Education SHED centre in Mumbai. The initiative was taken by Ms. Hema, the production head for Boogie Woogie, who had met the kids during the show. Feeling an urge to make her daughter familiar with the lives of less privileged children, she arranged a visit for kids from her daughter's school, Inodai Waldorf, to the centre.

The teachers introduced the students to each other and a prayer was chanted by children from both the schools. A number of fun learning activities were conducted such as poem recitation in different variations, storytelling through a puppet show and a beautiful recitation of the story 'Manu and the Fish' by the Inodai kids.

Later in the day, the children took to craft activity in groups and learnt innovative craft techniques like creating designs with fingerprints, art on craft sheets, shapes of fishes and animals.

 


Inodai Waldorf students narrate a story through puppet show to Smile kids

Volunteer engagement introduced in STeP programme



A volunteer conducts personality development session at a STeP centre in Mumbai
 

Anew aspect has been introduced under the Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP), in the form of volunteer engagement sessions, where privileged youth from reputed colleges and universities take the onus of adding value to the learning process of their less privileged counterparts inducted at STeP centres across India.

These young dedicated volunteers not only score high with STeP students by bringing a more interactive approach in the classrooms, but being of the same age group, are also able to understand better and resolve the various challenges that the students face.

Innovative techniques, games and puzzles are being used by these volunteers to increase student participation at the STeP centres. Mostly these volunteers help enhance the communication, vocal and interpersonal skills of the students. The volunteers consider this a two way learning process, which also augments their own knowledge and skills.

Smile kids in Ayapakkam village, Tamil Nadu celebrate Pongal



Smile kids are treated to delicious traditional fare during the Pongal celebrations
 

Children from Mission Education’s IUCT centre at Ayapakkam village in Tamil Nadu celebrated Pongal, a festival celebrating the end of the harvest season and dedicated to the agricultural workers. Parents of these children, many of them also coming from the nearby villages of Konambedu, Reddipalayam, Annanur and Narayanapuram, work as small time farmers or vegetable and fish sellers.

Eminent personalities like former Revenue Minister, BV Ramanna; Minister of Minority Welfare, Abdul Rahim; Member of Parliament, P Venugopal; Asst. Registrar – Human Rights Commission, BC Gopinath and faculty from the reputed Mar Gregorios Arts & Science College became part of the celebrations, besides members from the community.

The programme began with the auspicious lighting of the lamp and recitation of the song “Anbe Sivam” by the kids, followed by dance performances by children from the centre as well as volunteers of Mar Gregorios College. The day was wrapped up with a traditional meal being served to the children.

20,000 benefit through mega health camp in Bhilwara, Rajasthan

Smile Foundation's annual multi-disciplinary free mega health camp at Shahpura in Bhilwara district, Rajasthan entered its 9th year. 20,000 individuals from about 100 villages of Bhilwara benefited directly from the 10-day mega health camp.

The camp had a make-shift hospital with 500 beds. More than 100 specialist doctors and paramedical staff from surgery, ophthalmology, gynaecology, dentistry, orthopaedics, medicine, ENT, anaesthesia, radiology, paediatrics and pathology provided voluntary service at the camp.

Local doctors and Govt. of Rajasthan's Mobile Surgical Unit also added strength to the endeavour like every year. Volunteers from Sadbhavana Seva Trust and Jain Conference, which also included hundreds of housewives, rendered selfless services during the annual mega health event in the region.

Mega Smile Health Camps provide free diagnosis, medicines, food, accommodation and surgical care through make-shift hospital environs by dedicated teams of medical experts. These are instrumental in offering a wide range of medical services to communities residing in remote rural and tribal areas.

 


Villagers line up for eye check up at the multi speciality mega health camp

Children and women lead the change in Ashoknagar, MP

Six months into operation, the Smile on Wheels mobile hospital project initiated in 20 villages of Chanderi block in Ashokanagar district, Madhya Pradesh, has began showing encouraging results.

Children along with women are leading in seeking healthcare services, besides promoting it. Women form 56% of the total beneficiaries who came forward and received the services at their doorsteps. Health talks and school health programmes are carried out regularly to increase awareness about health related issues. School children have taken up the responsibility to spread the word and are taking out rallies in the all the villages, mouthing slogans like “Jan jan ki yahi pukar - Swastha rahe ghar parivar”.

None of the households has toilets. Besides sanitation and hygiene issues, cases of severe malnutrition among children have been observed. Special interventions on model hygiene practices and remedies for child malnutrition have been launched in 11 villages, which will be replicated in all the villages gradually.

 


Girl students make the rounds of villages with Smile on Wheels, both rallying for health awareness

Anti-child labour campaign in West India



Children take to streets to protest against child labour
 

On the eve of World Labour Day, privileged children and volunteers came out in large numbers to take part in a multi-city public awareness campaign and draw attention to the issue of 'lost childhood'. The campaign titled 'Say NO to child labour, say YES to school' was conducted at Bhavnagar in Gujarat, Panaji in Goa, and Mumbai and Nagpur in Maharashtra.

Statistics reveal that India has 17 million child workers, the highest in the world owing to poverty, lack of equipped schools and growth of informal economy. Lack of awareness about the basic rights of a child leads to easy violation of laws meant to protect and empower children.

Smile Foundation strongly believes that there is no better tool than education to end child labour in the country and works towards providing basic education to the less privileged children while also creating awareness about the vulnerability of underprivileged children in our society through such sensitization campaigns.



Employment engagement programme at STeP centres

In an attempt to bring together employers and prospective employees by involving them through an informal dialogue and an exchange of experience, three activities were organized under employment engagement programme at Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centres in Chennai and Vishakhapatnam.

ALN Consultancy was the organization which came on board to provide employment opportunities to the underprivileged youth. Mr. Joe, HR Head and Mr. Suresh, HR Manager, explained the importance of choosing the right career to the students, while also explaining the recruitment process and major selection criteria that most of the multinational organizations follow.

The guest employers were impressed with the confidence showcased by the candidates and congratulated the trainers at the centre to have imbibed the employability skills that are necessary, but lacking in the current crop of fresh graduates and high school pass-outs.

 


STeP students listen attentively to the HR Manager from ALN Consultancy

Career counselling by Westside for Smile children in Jammu



Senior students at ME centre in Jammu get career counselling from a Westside official
 

Westside Retail Store invited the senior students of Ankur Vidyalya, Smile Foundation's Mission Education centre in Jammu, for a career counseling session. The session was facilitated by KC Public School. Students of KC Public School have been visiting Smile Foundation kids at the centre for interactive sessions and had befriended them during the fun visits.

The session proved to be enriching for the children as they got to discuss various career possibilities in the retail and service industry. The team from Westside, led by Assistant Manager, Mr. Rohit Sharma, was also impressed with the confidence of the kids and pledged to support them in all possible ways.

Ms. Sonia Thakur, Creative Head of KC Public School, attended the session, along with Mr. Kulvir Kumar, Manager, Child for Child Programme, Smile Foundation. Talking about the relationship shared by students of KC Public School with Smile kids, Kulvir said, “It is inspiring to see the bond that has developed between the children over time. Now we intend to reach out to other schools in the area.”

Special Health Camps for daily wage labour across India

Smile Foundation conducted a series of specialized health camps exclusively for casual/daily wage labourers and workers from unorganized sectors across 26 locations in 11 states of India. The camps directly benefitted over 2000 workers.

Multiple camps were conducted at Ahmednagar, Mumbai, Ratnagiri and Solapur in Maharashtra; Tirupati and Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh; Kolkata in West Bengal; Ghaziabad, Noida and Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh; Delhi; Gurgaon and Ambala in Haryana; Ludhiana and Jalandhar in Punjab; Muzaffarpur and Patna in Bihar; Jamshedpur and Ranchi in Jharkhand; Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur in Rajasthan; and Jammu (J&K) in the months of February, March and April.

Besides providing primary health care and promoting health seeking behaviour, the beneficiaries were oriented on numerous health hazards they face during their work. In addition, counselling and referral services; health supplements such as fruits, packed juice, cakes, biscuits and Chyawanprash etc. Were made available free of cost.

Kansai Nerolac Paints Ltd. supported Smile Foundation for this special series of health camps.

 

Daily wage earners engaged in casual labour attend the special Smile Health Camps across India

Relief for Masoodpur fire victims

Over 4000 people lost their homes and belongings as a massive fire destroyed more than 700 jhuggis (shanties) in a slum cluster in Masoodpur area, near Vasant Kunj in South Delhi. The slum cluster, spread across five acres, houses over 4,000 people, most of them hailing from West Bengal and working in nearby areas as domestic helps or scrap dealers.

Smile Foundation, acting with urgency in the face of this disaster, conducted a day-long intensive health camp at Masoodpur.

 



Children and women were the focus of the camp owing to their vulnerability in such a situation. Following up with the health camp, one of the Smile on Wheels mobile hospital units operational in Delhi, was also pressed into service in the area.

In addition to Smile Foundation's efforts, various wings of the Delhi Govt., a few other non-profit organisations, civil society groups, volunteers and responsible citizens also worked tirelessly on the ground to help the victims.

Building “change agents” from community women in Bangalore

Women and adolescent girls from the community have now taken ownership of the Swabhiman programme which was launched last year in Bangalore. The initiative which benefits six slum clusters in the Hegnahalli and Ramanna Badavane areas has now been strengthened by a dedicated team of Community Health Educators (CHEs) and Swabhiman Health Volunteers (SHVs).

14 women and girls have been identified from the community and trained in issues varying from reproductive health and nutrition to life skills development and personality enhancement. Experts on the subjects are invited to conduct these training workshops. These “change agents” further educate and spread awareness among their peers in the community.

Door to door as well as group meetings are also conducted with women, girls, mother in laws, men and newly married couples on topics such as family planning and child spacing, menstrual health, healthy eating and anaemia, immunization and child health, to develop a health-seeking behaviour in the community.

 


The cadre of Swabhiman change agents at Bangalore holds its head high

Smile kids in Tripura visit Shipahijala Wildlife Sanctuary



The children are all smiles posing for a photo-op at Shipahijala
 

An exposure trip was conducted for children studying at Mission Education centre in Agartala, Tripura, to the Shipahijala Wildlife Sanctuary. 80 excited kids from the centre went on the trip and got to discover many little secrets of nature.

The main purpose of the trip was to bring the children closer to nature and to impart knowledge on the varied flora and fauna conserved at the sanctuary. The kids were asked to notice the sounds, colours and habits of the animals and birds. Concepts like ecosystem balance and food chain were also demonstrated to the kids in a simple way and they all pledged to help preserve environment.

The children were full of curiosity and took great interest in observing the animals, asking a lot of questions. They could not hold back their excitement and talked about the trip so much to their parents that all the parents visited the centre specially to thank the teachers for organizing such a wonderful trip for their children.

Smile Health Camp in Chainpura village, Guna

The mothers studying at the special education centre of Smile Foundation at Chainpura village in Guna, Madhya Pradesh took the lead in planning and spreading awareness about the scheduled Smile Health Camp for their village. The venue was selected and pamphlets were distributed in the whole village.

Key government officials such as BEO, BAC, BPM, BMO and CDPO ICDS were personally invited and they joined the camp. Doctors, pharmacists and lab technicians from the district head quarters Guna joined the empanelled doctors and health camp staff.
205 children, expectant mothers and others villagers benefited from the camp which included free medicines and provisions for follow-ups. A few detected cases such malnutrition and malaria were referred to the govt. hospitals, keeping the officials properly informed. The camp also aimed at spreading awareness among the villagers on seasonal diseases and their prevention.

Smile Foundation has been carrying out an integrated education and healthcare programme in the rural Guna district with support from GAIL.

 



Women and children were the focus of the health camp at Guna

Annual Day celebrations for ME centre in Goa

Children at Mission Education centre Bahujan Hitaya Trust in Dhuler Mapusa, Goa, celebrated Annual Day with lots of enthusiasm. The kids had been preparing for the celebrations well in advance and gave wonderful cultural performances, complete with dance and song sequences.

Prizes were distributed to children who had performed exceptionally well during the year in studies as well as co-curricular activities. Parents, teachers and people from the community gathered to show their support for the children and encourage them. The children were also treated to a special lunch at the end.

84 children from five villages in north and south Goa are nurturing their dreams with the tailor-made education projects under Mission Education programme in their villages. Children in the age group of 3 – 16 years in the villages of Chopde, Pende, Thane, Korgaon, and Porascade are provided education at the centres.

 


Kids perform a folk dance from Goa during the Annual Day celebrations

STeP students in Mumbai visit Hypercity



STeP students on their industry exposure visit to Hypercity
 

Twenty-three youth from Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre were taken to Hypercity at Malad (West), Mumbai on an exposure visit to understand Retail and Inventory Management in real life.

The youth got practical exposure and basic understanding of Atmospherics, Layout, Visual Merchandising, and efficient use of available resources. Also Hypercity has an extremely credible Inventory Management System (IMS) which proved to be a great learning experience for the students.

Students were shown how various items are classified and displayed so as to grab as many number of eyeballs as possible. They were shown the placements of different categories of items and were also explained the reason behind the same.

The Store Manager at Hypercity acted as an ideal guide for the students who kept explaining and highlighting the most important areas. The entire staff at Hypercity was highly co-operative during the visit. Soon the students will join the retail and service sector brands and begin a dignified livelihood.

Self Defense Workshop for KV Rajokri girls

Kendriya Vidyalaya, Rajokri (Air Force Station) invited Smile Foundation to conduct a 'Safety and Self-Defense' workshop for its girl students.

The trainers taught the girls many self-defense tricks and techniques to develop confidence in them. Orientation and discussion were held on safety precautions at road, home, school, public places and also while using internet. The topic of prevention of child abuse was also discussed in detail so that the students could guide their younger siblings and classmates.

Ms. Indu Goswami, principal, KV Rajokri (AFS) thanked Smile Foundation's Child for Child (CFC) team for sensitizing the girl students about their safety and training them on self-defense techniques.

Smile Foundation visits various reputed schools across India and conducts engaging sessions, orientation workshops and training programmes for the young minds under its national level programme Child for Child. Currently CFC reaches out to nearly 1 million privileged children in 900 schools spread across 417 districts of India.

 


A girl practises a self-defence move with the trainer at KV Rajokri

Smile children participate in Rajya Shishu Kishore Utsav

Children from Smile Foundation's Mission Education programme centre Sabuj Sangha at Uttarpara in Kolkata, West Bengal, participated in Rajya Shishu Kishore Utsav, held at Bishnapur in Bankura district.

15 kids from the centre were chosen to participate at the fest in the performative arts category and did a mime act on Tagore's play – “Jutor Abiskar”. The children had chosen the subject of the play themselves after much deliberation and had worked hard for their performance, which won the hearts of many at the festival. They were also awarded with certificates of appreciation and mementos.

The Rajya Shishu Kishore Utsav is an annual event organized by the Shishu Kishore Akademi, an autonomous body under the department of Information & Cultural Affairs, Government of West Bengal, to promote cultural activities and literature among children and instil in them a sense of human values and respect towards their cultural and national heritage. Every year more than 2000 children take part in the festival.

 


Smile kids perform a mime act at the Rajya Shishu Kishore Utsav

Workshop on reproductive health for women in Delhi



Women from a slum cluster near Dhaula Kuan attend the workshop
 

Aseries of workshops on reproductive health for community women were conducted in Shashi Garden, Dhaula Kuan and Chhatarpur localities in east and south Delhi under Swabhiman programme. Community women between 11 and 40 years of age participated in the workshops.

Subjects such as STI, RTI, personal and menstrual hygiene were covered during the workshops and awareness was spread about HIV-AIDS. Ms. Shabista Khan from Parivar Seva Sansthan; Ms. Rajni Rani from Aruna Asaf Ali Hospital and Ms. Manisha Pal from Aditi Mahavidyalaya brought in valuable expertise by joining the Swabhiman team as expert trainers.

Creating awareness about vital health issues and subsequently facilitating access to quality healthcare are the objectives behind conducting these special workshops under Swabhiman. The programme intends to promote a health seeking behaviour among women from disadvantaged sections of society which will further have a cascading effect in making their children and families healthier.

Building a health seeking next generation

Realizing the potential of children as forbearers of change in their families and the larger community, School Health Programme has been initiated under the Smile on Wheels project at Mumbai. The awareness programme sensitizes students about vital health issues, the importance of maintaining personal hygiene and nutritious diet.

Children are explained about the significance of healthy routine habits like hand washing and brushing their teeth and that many diseases can be avoided by practicing these simple habits. They are also encouraged to come neatly dressed to the school.

To make the programme interesting and educate the students in an entertaining way, audio-visual documentaries have been made an integral part of the programme. Further to assess the understanding of the students, engaging activities like essay writing, painting and slogan writing competitions are also conducted.

 


School children get a lesson in hand washing during a School Health Programme activity

Walkathon for women empowerment in Bangalore



The whole community voices its support for women empowerment at Peenya, Bangalore
 

Community men, women and children in Peenya area of Bangalore took out a walkathon to spread awareness on the cause of girl child and women empowerment, on International Women's Day.

The walkathon was flagged off by adolescent girls from the community as they released balloons. Awareness songs on women empowerment were sung and placards developed within the community were carried during the walkathon. Kumkum, turmeric, roses and bangles were gifted to girl children and women as a token of respect.

Sowbhagya EG, President, DANI; Christopher M S Secretary, DANI; Satnam Singh, Chief Manager – Programmes, Smile Foundation and M Radkakrishna Pradeep, Regional Manager – Karnataka and Kerala, Smile Foundation also participated in the walkathon.

Smile Foundation introduced Swabhiman programme last year in Hegganahalli and Ramanna Badavane settlements in Bangalore, with support from Shankara Infrastructure Materials Limited, in association with DANI Development and Social Action.


Teachers' Training and Capacity Building Programmes across India




Teachers step in the shoes of their students as they attend the training sessions

 

An innovative series of Teachers' Training and Capacity Building programmes is being conducted across India. Education of children, when they are first generation learners, depends solely on the levels of training and passion of teachers. It helps the children stay in the education centres, increase their learning, prepares them to get mainstreamed in reputed schools and also helps them cope with the teaching methodologies prevalent there.

Each of the three-day training programmes is residential in nature and scheduled for all four regions of India. The modules include Pedagogical Skills, Library Management and Computer Teaching.
The first programme for North India was held in New Delhi which included 37 teachers and instructors from 23 grassroots NGOs from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Chandigarh & Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi NCR. The training programme for West India was held in Mumbai which included teachers from 23 NGOs from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa.

In East, 43 teachers from 26 NGOs from Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Tripura and West Bengal and in South teachers and instructors from 18 NGOs from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu participated in the programme.

Wilde Ganzen, the Dutch international development agency, supported Smile Foundation in conducting this first series of teachers' training and capacity building programmes.

Celebrating the Spirit of Womanhood



Young girls draw out their interpretation of women empowerment during the celebrations
 

More than 100 women and girls from Sriram J.J. Camp, near Dhaula Kuan in Delhi, came together to celebrate International Women's Day. These women, having lived a life of poverty and hardships, have been gradually moving towards a silent but resolute change, by becoming a part of Smile Foundation's Swabhiman programme.

The celebration began with an interactive and informative session where the participants were made aware about significant issues pertaining to their reproductive and menstrual health. This was followed by a group activity where each group was given craft material and asked to create something innovative on women empowerment. Later, all the works of art were discussed and appreciated openly.

The last session was motivational to the core and stories of inspirational women figures from daily life were showcased. As recognition of womenhood, the women and girls were asked to mark a canvas with their hands and pink bangles were distributed among them. The celebration ended with a roar that women should participate equally whether in home or at local and national platforms. Swabhiman aims at realization of both individual and collective self-esteem and inner strength for marginalised women and girls through innovative community practices.

Counselling sessions on health in Bangalore, Karnataka

Three awareness and counselling sessions on vital health and hygiene issues were conducted for the underprivileged population living in the rural areas of Kuntigrama, Doddigunta and Channarayapatna in Bangalore, Karnataka.

The topics discussed during the sessions were decided by identifying the specific needs of the community people. While the first two sessions concentrated on maintaining personal hygiene and prevention of common skin diseases like scabies, the third session was on the ill effects of alcohol consumption and other harmful addictions related to health.

Resource persons like Dr. Prof. Leelavathy, reputed dermatologist from the city and Mr. Madhu, presided over the sessions. After a general talk, personal counselling sessions were also held for those who needed further assistance.

The health awareness and counselling sessions were part of the Smile on Wheels mobile hospital programme benefiting people from 12 slums and 26 villages in and around Bangalore. Bangalore Baptist Hospital is the implementing partner for this project.

 


Children attend a counselling session on personal hygiene at Doddigunta

Value Education Workshops for young minds



Mr. Jitender Deshmukh from Smile Foundation conducts a
Value Education Workshop
 

Smile Foundation visits various reputed schools across India and conducts engaging sessions for the young minds under its Child for Child (CFC) programme. Children are sensitized to various causes, value systems and ushered to realize their importance in growing up as responsible citizens of the country.

St. Joseph Convent School, Saket Convent and Sainath Vidyamandir in Nagpur and Ashoka Universal School in Nashik, Maharsahtra, and Kendriya Vidyalaya in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, were some of the schools which invited Smile Foundation to conduct Value Education workshops for their students. The workshops were based on stories and lessons from the lives of inspiring change-makers, pioneers and leaders of India who had dedicated their lives to the betterment of society.

During 2013, Smile Foundation reached out to nearly 1 million privileged children in 900 schools spread across 417 districts of India, through CFC. In addition, their parents and teachers were also involved in the process. The programme has today reached out to every region of India except Lakshadweep.

Summer Fun for kids at ME centre in Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Children at Mission Education programme's Samvedana centre in Ahmedabad, Gujarat enthusiastically participated in the Summer Camp organized at the centre. The camp was a unique blend of fun activities and learning for the children.

Children were taken on Fun Days for interesting excursions. One of the trips that the kids remember fondly was to the Children Traffic Park where 40 children were accompanied by five teachers and two volunteers.

Interesting workshops were organised on various themes such as storytelling and puppetry by Kathanika, creative arts, sports, pictionary, reading, public speaking, music and dance are usually organised for the children. Young volunteers play a crucial role in organizing and implementing the workshops, besides experts from outside.

Mission Education focuses on the holistic development of children beyond just classroom learning and helps discover and nurture their hidden talents. This becomes very significant for these children who are unable to get a conducive environment at home, with their parents struggling to meet every day needs.

 


Children enjoy a dance session during the Summer Camp

Health awareness campaign in slum clusters of Delhi



A street play on immunization in progress at Shastri Nagar resettlement area
 

Aseries of health awareness activities were conducted as part of a rigorous campaign under the Smile on Wheels programme at various slum clusters in Delhi at Yamuna Pushta, Mansarovar Park, Shastri Park, Rani Garden, Kalyanvas, Mori gate, Motiya Khan, Majnu ka Tila, Shastri Nagar, Dilshad Garden and Nandnagri.

Group discussions, demonstrations, street plays and interactive activities were organized on issues like hygiene and sanitation, maternal and child health and nutrition which benefitted more than 2400 people. Special vaccination camps were also set up for children. Children, along with women, comprised more than 80% of the total beneficiaries.

Health has never been a priority for this marginalized population and lack of awareness, coupled with poverty and unhygienic living conditions, means they are always exposed to numerous health hazards. Thus preventive healthcare and spreading awareness about health related issues is as important as providing curative healthcare for the underprivileged.

STeP students in Kolkata celebrate National Youth Day

Youth from Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre in Budge Budge, Kolkata, celebrated the National Youth Day, which marks the birthday of Swami Vivekananda. They discussed the ideas of this great philosopher who continues to inspire generation after generation of the country's young population.

An elocution contest was also held, on the topic 'Role of Youth in today's time'. The students came up with remarkable thoughts and displayed a clear understanding of their responsibilities. The results were declared on the basis of peer review.

The alumni from the centre who had been successfully placed with reputed organizations like Future Group and Spencer's joined the celebrations. They shared their experience of the job market with their friends and gave them handy tips for getting their dream job.

STeP is Smile Foundation's national level livelihood programme which trains the urban underprivileged youth in relevant market-oriented skills, while also facilitating their employment in the service and retail sector.

 


STeP students at the Budge Budge centre in Kolkata say cheers on
National Youth Day

Mission Education sets up libraries in 100 centres across India

Smile Foundation has set up new libraries in 100 education centres across 19 states of India under its Mission Education programme. This will help children discover a whole new world of learning beyond textbooks, inculcate the habit of reading in them and widen their horizon through the world of books.

Promoting the habits of learning and reading become very significant as a significant number of these children are first generation learners. This also makes the children familiar with the teaching learning atmosphere at formal private and government schools, to which they are subsequently mainstreamed.

 

 


The Library period has been built into the class-wise timetable and teachers have been trained to create interest among the children about reading and to manage the libraries efficiently.

The states and UTs covered under the library programme include Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, NCT of Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.


Children engrossed in reading and storytelling sessions through their new books at education centres in different parts of India

Students of KC Gandhi School visit ME kids in Thane



KC Gandhi kids and Smile children cool off after their friendly cricket match
 

Students of Smt. KC Gandhi English School, Kalyan, visited Smile Foundation's Mission Education centre Bahujan Hitaya Trust in Thane, Maharashtra. The children spent a long time interacting with the Smile kids, while also taking a tour of the centre.

KC Gandhi students also proposed to play a friendly cricket match with the kids at the centre where mixed teams were formed and the game was played in the sportsman spirit. After enjoying a cricket match, a few lessons were shared between the children in rhymes and stories.

Such interactions are encouraged and facilitated by Smile Foundation under its Child for Child programme, which seeks to sensitize privileged children and inculcate in them a responsibility towards the less privileged sections of society, particularly children like themselves.

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