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FROM THE GROUND

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people
can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
"

                                                                                           – Margaret Mead

If there is a word that defines the work philosophy of Smile Foundation in best terms, it has to be the word change.

The word is also reflected in our work mantra – 'Real Work, Real Change'. At Smile, we all strive to be the 'Changemakers' bringing smiles in the lives of the underpriviliged children and their families.

While we continuously strive towards this, it is a great motivation when the good work is endorsed by well respected organizations. Our select projects were evaluated by some of the most reputed Indian and International evaluators including INTRAC London, India Development Foundation, PRIA and KPMG and it was a wow feeling when we came at par with their expectations and standards.

Real change can only be brought by continuously innovating and setting new benchmarks. In the same spirit, we have conceptualized an interesting campaign to address the issue of malnutrition among children and the larger community. In its first leg, the campaign will spread awareness amongst 15000 children and families to enable behavioural change regarding healthy eating habits within existing family budgets. As part of the campaign, a host of activities like Nutrition Demonstration & Exhibition (Low Cost or No Cost food items), Street Plays, Poster/Painting/Slogans/Story Writing/Essay Writing Competition on healthy eating, and Hand-Wash Awareness Demonstration have been planned at pan India level.

 

 

Change is all about reaching where the need is utmost, despite the challenges. In the wake of the devastating Jammu & Kashmir floods, our Disaster Response team rushed to ground zero to aid in relief operations. The floods were the worst ever in the last 109 years and displaced nearly 7 lakh people. In addition to distribution of relief materials, the team also conducted health camps to provide necessary health care on the ground in light of the defunct health machinery. The scars of tragedy will take long to heal and Smile Foundation is committed to work as a change agent in the state during the rehabilitation phase, with special focus on health and education.

Change also signifies being relevant to times. Therefore, all our programmes, whether on education, livelihood, health or women empowerment, are being continuously refined from the perspective of national relevance. The period saw the fructification of scholarship programmes for girl children. Scholarships have been instrumental in helping girls from middle school to degree level continue their education without being handicapped by financial hurdles.

Change is possible when the team is receptive to feedback from the ground so that the programme relevance remains high. Change happens when the team is optimistic in its approach and willing to explore new opportunities. Our biggest strength is an affirmative ground force which believes in the organization's mission and strives towards successful accomplishment of our common goal. We are all lucky to be working in the development sector, where every day at work gives a sense of purpose and constructive direction to our lives and I feel privileged to be among such passion driven professionals. We are the 'Changemakers' as well as the 'Gamechangers'. Being at the helm of affairs is always exciting, but there are (S)miles to go...

 

Training Programme for teachers at Vadodara
ME centre


From the GroundMs. Rachna demonstrates a game to enhance the cognitive ability of children at Mission Education centre, Vadodara

 

A series of Teachers' Training Programme was conducted for teachers in Vadodara, Gujarat at Baroda Citizens Council (BCC), Smile Foundation's Mission Education programme partner. The sessions were facilitated by Ms. Rachna Pathak from Nutan Bal Shikshan Sangh and Mr. Kruti Mankhodi, Child Consultant, UNICEF.

30 teachers attended the first session where numerous teaching & learning materials were used, covering various subjects. Special emphasis was put on languages as well. As a special theme for the new academic session, social, physical and mental development of the children was emphasized.

The second session was held for the Balwadi (pre-school) teachers and helpers which provided training on interactive and innovative games to enhance the cognitive and socio-emotional development of children by triggering different aspects of a child's learning ability like thinking, decision making, grasping information and problem solving.

Two project centres are now operational at Gorwa and Makarpura in Vadodara district which are helping the children dream of a better future with the power of quality education and nutrition.

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