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Workshop for Principals on Child Abuse in Chennai


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30 select principals and educationists from schools and institutions in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, attended a workshop on the pertinent issue of child abuse. With new cases coming to light every day and its often lifelong impact, child abuse has become a subject of great community concern.

Smile Foundation, as an organisation working for children, understands the need to promote and ensure a safe, secure and healthy environment to grow up in. Hence it has come up with a series of workshops across India to address the issue. The first workshop in the series was organized at Bengaluru in August last year.

Ms. Musrath Begum, Smile Foundation's Regional Director – Child for Child programme, along with three MEG Counselors – Ms. Chitra Ananthan, Ms. Purnima Ganesh and Ms. Radhika Chhabria, spearheaded the Chennai workshop.

The workshop covered different parameters of child abuse, throwing insights on how and when we can know whether the child has been abused and how to safeguard children from such incidents. This was followed by an interactive session in which the attendees shared incidents of child abuse they had encountered and discussed possible solutions.

SoW in Barmer felicitated by the Indian Academy of Pediatrics

The Indian Academy of Paediatrics felicitated Smile Foundation for promotion of breast feeding in the region. Dr. R. K. Maheshwary, President Indian Academy of Pediatrics, Barmer branch, handed over the certificate of appreciation and citation to Smile Foundation's project coordinator for Barmer district, Mr. Sitaram Nain.

The value of breastfeeding for mothers as well as children has since long been emphasized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). It is recommended that exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and then supplemented breastfeeding for at least one year and up to two years or more could be a lifetime help for a child.

Smile Foundation has facilitated training of 85 doctors working in rural Barmer with a focus on promotion and enhancement of the practice of breastfeeding. Awareness rallies, village level meetings, training of nursing students, engaging doctors and young parents etc. have been done under special programme in the district during the World Breastfeeding Week 2014.

 



Programmes

Children in Guna adopt health-seeking behaviour


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300 children from Ahmedapur, Bablikheda, Padarkhedi, Chainpura and Bhumlakhedi villages in Guna district, Madhya Pradesh, now begin their day at 7 am sharp with morning exercises, just before they start school at Smile Foundation's Mission Education centres.

A volunteer has taken up the task to ensure that children do some basic physical activity every morning to keep fit and energetic throughout the day. The children have responded with equal enthusiasm and look forward to the session.

“Children are now more active in class and there is a general positive vibe in the class. The exercises also help the children stay healthy and mentally sharp”, shares a teacher.

Change had been initiated in the five villages when Smile Foundation started an integrated education and health project with support from GAIL. The mothers matched steps with their children in getting education and demanded opening of special literacy classes for them. Besides education, the project provides healthcare to the villagers through regular Smile Health Camps.

Capacity building of teachers from across India on Mathematics

A two-day Teacher's Training and Capacity Building Workshop was organized for grassroots organizations from across India. A step further in ensuring quality education and accessible learning for children from marginalized sections of the society under Mission Education, the workshop was specifically designed to make Mathematics a teaching and learning friendly subject.

It was observed that children from most centres found Mathematics to be a problem area and had developed a fear of the subject. This was also affecting their overall academic performance and self confidence adversely.

The workshop broadly focused on thematic issues such as introduction to the utilisation of Mathematical Tool Kits, enhancing the mathematical skills of the children and generating their interest in learning mathematics.

Over 50 teachers and instructors from grassroots organizations in Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana, West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Tripura, Odisha and Chhattisgarh participated in the training.

Engaging and innovative Mathematical Tool Kits, facilitated by Jodo Gyan, have been provided in Mission Education centres for the practical application of the workshop, and the results have been encouraging.

 




Programmes

12th Annual Mega Health Camp in Bhilwara, Rajasthan

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Smile Foundation's annual multi-disciplinary free mega health camp in Shahpura in Bhilwara district, Rajasthan entered its 12th year. 20, 000 people from about 100 villages in Bhilwara district 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, anesthesia, radiology, paediatrics and pathology provided voluntary service at the camp.

Prosthetics, tri-cycles and crutches were also distributed to the specially-abled.

Special arrangements were made to provide free accommodation and food for the patients as well as the visitors. 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 rendered selfless services during the annual mega health event.

Smile children in Fatuha, Bihar form Bal Panchayat

Children from Smile Foundation's Mission Education centre DVAS at Ram Chander Nagar in Fatuha, Patna district, Bihar, celebrated Children's Day by electing members of the newly formed Bal Panchayat. The kids had great fun participating first in the campaigning and then in the election process.

Jyoti Kumari was elected the Sarpanch while Anju Kumari, Dharmraj Kumar, Ramesh Kumar and Ramanti Kumari were the other children elected to be part of the Bal Panchayat. Competitions, games and quizzes like word puzzles, debate, declamation, painting, music and dance contests were organized as part of the celebrations.

Later in the day, all the children, led by the Panch members, took out a rally in the community to spread awareness about the importance of education and protest against child labour.

The idea of Bal Panchayat was adopted to help instill democratic values, tolerance and a sense of achievement in the kids. But it has gone further and led to better camaraderie among the children, resulting in joy of learning and increased attendance in classes.

 



Programmes

On-job training for STeP students in Budge Budge



 

Youth from Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre Bitan in Budge Budge of South 24 Parganas district, West Bengal, went on an exposure vist to the South City Mall, where they exchanged roles with the sales excutives and were given hands - on training in retail management and customer interaction.

The visit was aimed at familiarizing the students with the practical aspects of different responsibilities and challenges they would face during their job, through observation, role play and question-answer sessions. Students not only eagerly participated in the activity, but also provided their own inputs to achieve better customer satisfaction, based on their experiences.

Industry exposure visits have been made an integral part of the six month STeP course in order to equip the youth with first-hand industry knowledge and to increase their employment opportunities in the service, retail and ITES sectors.

Women from Bengaluru slums lead rally on World AIDS Day

Programmes

 

An awareness session cum rally was organized on World AIDS Day in the slum clusters of Heganahalli in Bengaluru, Karnataka, under Smile Foundation's Swabhiman programme. Women and young girls led the rally and were joined by many others from the community.

Street plays were also conducted during the rally at Mayuranagar, Shivanandanagar, Saneswaranagar and Friends Colony, to sensitize the community about HIV/AIDS, its symptoms and precautions.

Dr. Rajender from Sushruthi Hospital; Dr. Shradha, Director, Ekta Trust; Mrs. Sugandhi Saaliyana, prominent social worker from the region and Mr. Venkatesh from DANI Development and Social Action also participated in the session.

Dedicated to the welfare of women and the girl child, Smile Foundation's Swabhiman programme works through an innovative and highly effective approach called the '4 S Model', which stands for Seeking Healthcare as a Behaviour, Support for Education, Supporters in Men through Male Involvement, and Sustaining the Change in Communities.

Youth in Mumbai benefit from “on-campus placement”



 

Representatives from Godrej Green Basket Company visited Smile Foundation's Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre Prayog, in Mumbai, to brief the students about prospective job opportunities in the company and conducted a preliminary round of interviews.
Having placed 63 students last year, the centre is currently busy providing career counselling and placement support to its newly passed-out students this year. Most of these youth will be the first generation of white-collar workers in their families, joining the mainstream organized job market.

The shortlisted candidates will now be attending their last round of interview at the Godrej Head Office.
Smile Twin e-Learning Programme is a national level livelihood programme that trains urban underprivileged youth with market-oriented job skills, making them employed in retail and service sectors across India.

Smile on Wheels launched in Himachal Pradesh



 

A Smile on Wheels mobile healthcare project has been launched in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh, with support from IL&FS Transportation. This is also the maiden welfare project of Smile Foundation in the state.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. M.L. Kaushal, Superintendent of Police Shri Ashok Kumar, Block Medical Officer Dr. Chandel, Shri Alok Bhargava, COO - Social Inclusion and over a 100 villagers came together to welcome the new Smile on Wheels.

The project will be providing preventive and curative healthcare services at the doorsteps of people in 42 villages of Sadar, Naina Devi, Jhandutta and Ghumarwin Blocks of Bilaspur district, besides promoting a health-seeking behaviour in the community.

With focus on women and children, the project will complement the existing government facilities, form linkages with community health workers and help make quality healthcare accessible to the villagers.

Smile kids in Chhattisgarh board the Science Express

Children from Smile Foundation's Mission Education centre Mitwa in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, had an amazing experience as they went on board the Science Express Biodiversity Special (SEBS), which had made a stop at the Bilaspur Station. An initiative of the Government of India, SEBS is a unique science exhibition mounted on a 16-coach AC train.

Thrilled to visit the “knowledge train”, the children enthusiastically participated in the JOS Lab, the Kids Zone and the Platform Activity. While at the JOS Lab, the children were guided to conduct interesting mathematical and scientific experiments; in the Kids Zone they had lots of fun creating models like Flying Fish, Pin Balance and Toy Car.

At the Platform, the SEBS team members showcased demonstration of concepts like Acid-Base Reaction, Magic of Sea Water, Acid Rain, Global Warming and Newton's Laws of Motion, which was thoroughly enjoyed and applauded by the children.

 

“Gruhini” – Livelihood Skill Training project for girls

Alivelihood skill training project for adolescent girls, titled “Gruhini”, was initiated at Kanakal village of the Basavana Bagewadi taluk in Bijapur district, Karnataka, under the Swabhiman programme. The nine-month residential programme aimed at providing vocational skills such as stitching and craft making to the socio-economically disadvantaged girls from the community, enabling them to have an independent identity and dignified livelihood.

Implemented in partnership with Sisters of Charity, the project inducted girls between 14-24 years of age, mainly school drop-outs, illiterates, child laborers, children of devadasi, children with single parent, and child widows. Lack of opportunities, social barriers, low self-confidence and bare minimum participation in social spheres had stifled the talents and dreams of these young girls.

Besides providing vocational training, the Gruhini project was also designed to ensure holistic development of the girls and covered various aspects including nutrition and health awareness, life skills development, social awareness, value education, basic literacy, social adaptability and personality development. Efforts were also made to engage and sensitize the community towards the aspirations of the girl children.

At the closing ceremony of the project, the girls put up an exhibition of their clothes and craft work, which was highly appreciated by the community members and dignitaries, including the Bijapur District Commissioner's wife, the President and Coordinator of the Centre for Non-formal Education, the Tehesildar of the Taluk, the Lady Excise officer and the Circle Officer.

Screening of value-based films for school children across India

Smile Foundation had joined hands with Children's Film Society of India (CFSI) to screen value-based films for school children across India. 10 films, namely – Chutkan ki Mahabharat; Halo; Krish, Trish & Baltiboy – I; Sunshine Barry & the Disco Worms; Karamati Coat; Heda Hoda; Kabhi Pass Kabhi Fail; Baaja; Keshu; and Yeh Hai Chakkad Bakkad Bambe Bo, were handpicked for the festival.

Each film highlighted a different value – ranging from friendship and family bonding, to animal love and cultural harmony. The film festival was well received by not only school children across India, but also highly appreciated by their parents, teachers and principals.

Every screening was followed by discussions and interactive sessions where representatives from the Child for Child team discussed how the children could implement learnings from the films in their own lives.

The film screening was an effort towards making school children aware and sensitized about vital social issues, and inculcating in them strong values that they can uphold throughout their lives, growing up to be responsible citizens and change makers.

Smile Foundation visits various privileged schools across India and conducts such engaging sessions for the young minds, under its Child for Child programme.

 

Computer education for school children in Paradsingha, MP

370 children studying at the Government school in Paradsingha village, Madhya Pradesh, have another reason to come to school now. A new computer literacy centre has been set up at the school, under Smile Foundation's Chid for Child (CFC) programme.

These children, most of them first generation learners, had never been introduced to computers before. Their joy was evident as they explored the newly installed systems and started learning how to use them.

The District Education officer Mr. Wanode, Dy. Education officer Mrs. Rita Tandaiyy, Panch members and Sarpanch of the village, Principal from the supporting school for CFC, local media and many other villagers were present on the occasion, giving full security and support to the project.

This was a step towards bridging the existing gaps and inequalities between the privileged and underprivileged children, which is one of the major objectives of the Child for Child programme.

 

Special healthcare project for auto, cab, bus and truck drivers

Smile Foundation, in association with St. Stephens Hospital and Indraprastha Gas Ltd., initiated a special project dedicated to the healthcare needs of auto, taxi, bus and truck drivers. Under the project, a series of mega health camps was conducted across Delhi, at various Indraprastha Gas Stations frequented by these drivers.

The services included routine medical check-up, lab tests, height-weight and blood pressure check-up, and distribution of free medicines. A Smile on Wheels mobile hospital was also deployed to supplement the health camps. Counseling of the drivers on pertinent issues affecting their physical and mental health, such as temper management and road rage, was an integral part of the project.

Always on the move, exposed to imminent health risks and unaware of the consequences, these drivers often keep suffering to avoid losing a day's wage by visiting the doctor. The project aims to take preventive and curative healthcare services to them.

 

Felicitation ceremony for youth in Bhubaneswar, Odisha



 

The felicitation ceremony of youth who have successfully completed their training under the Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) from the OVHA centre at Balakati village in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, was held. The ceremony was special as it was clubbed with the orientation programme of a fresh badge of youth, to bring them on the same platform with their alumni.

After a few fun ice-breaking activities and round of introductions, the students who had completed the course were handed their certificates. Many of them have already been placed at good positions in reputed brands and shared their experience, giving handy tips to the new students on the do's and don'ts of job interviews.

Mr. Yudhistre Behera, who is a prominent social activist from the area and is leading many commendable social initiatives, was invited as a guest on the occasion. Mr. Behera talked with the students on motivation, confidence, success and self help.


Republic Day celebration at ME centre in Hyderabad

Children, parents, teachers and community members from Saket Colony in Hyderabad, Telangana, came together to celebrate Republic Day at Smile Foundation's Mission Education centre Karuna.

Cultural activities and talent competitions were organized for the children to add fervor to the celebrations. Keeping nationalism as the theme, the children displayed their talents and received much deserved appreciation and encouragement by all present.

The teachers explained the importance of Republic Day, and were joined by volunteers from the community and the children in highlighting the various incidents which led to its inception. Children, along with elders, together hoisted the national flag ceremonially.

Children from migrant families, with their parents working as daily wage labour, who either have never been to school or are school drop-outs, are inducted at the centre, and provided education, coupled with nutrition and shelter.

 


Capacity building and training session for CHEs and SHVs


Acapacity building and training session on advanced knowledge of Reproductive & Child Health (RCH), Adolescent Reproductive & Sexual Health (ARSH), and the new Government

 

schemes on these issues, was conducted under Swabhiman, Smile Foundation's women and girl child empowerment programme.

More than 26 women and girls including Community Health Educators (CHEs), Smile Health Volunteers (SHVs) and Smile Foundation coordinators participated in the session. Besides RCH and ARSH, the volunteers were also trained in developing skills in community mobilization, communication and networking, and provided with illustrated IEC (Information, Education and Communication) material.

The training was an initiative to help these Change Agents mobilise communities more effectively and communicate the right knowledge in an engaging manner, so that their families and community members can develop a conscious awareness towards such sensitive issues.

SoW renders service at Arogya Mela in Ahmedabad, Gujarat

The Smile on Wheels mobile hospital unit operational in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, along with the project team, rendered their services during the Arogya Mela, organized by St. Xavier Social Society at the Loyala Hall campus in Memnagar.

The main objective behind the two-day camp was to provide specialized healthcare services, along with spreading awareness about vital health issues and beneficial government schemes, in the community.

More than 200 people availed of free health services and medicines through the Smile on Wheels during the initiative. The doctors also provided guidance and counselling on prevention of common diseases, healthy eating and routine hygienic practices.

This Smile on Wheels project has been operational since 2009 and is providing preventive, curative and referral healthcare services to children and their families in eight slum clusters in Ahmedabad. With a special focus on maternal and child healthcare, the project also works towards promoting a health seeking behaviour in the community.

 

Smile kids celebrate Children's Day with Rajhans Vidyalaya students

Rajhans Vidyalaya, Mumbai, invited children from Smile Foundation's Mission Education centre SHED to celebrate Children's Day in a unique way. 600 students from the school as well as kids from the centre took part in a walkathon, as an effort to encourage the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which began from the school and covered all the neighbourhood areas.

The children were joined by teachers from the school, the Principal, Mrs. Deepshikha Srivastava, and representatives from Smile Foundation, as everyone enthusiastically pledged to make India clean and green.

Later, the Principal personally distributed gifts like cricket bats, badminton kits, carom boards, chess boards and many other games to the Smile kids, along with beautifully created recycled notebooks.
One of the youngest girls from the Mission Education centre cut a symbolic cake to mark Children's Day, which was enjoyed by all the children. The Rajhans Vidyalaya students also shared lunch with the Smile kids at their school mess.

 



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Orientation Meeting for parents in Burdwan, West Bengal

At Ranisayer village in Burdwan, West Bengal, while teachers and parents actively participated in group discussions, the children enthusiastically showed interest in games and interactive activities during the Orientation Meeting at Smile Foundation's Mission Education centre, SERVE.

The main objective of the meeting was to find out the strengths and areas of improvement of each child and provide a solution so as to get the best out of the children. The plan for the next quarter was made with a strong focus on, and streamlining of, routine activities like TLM presentation, Lesson Planning, PTMs and house visits.

The parents appreciated the initiation of the orientation session and promised to give full cooperation and support the children in their studies.
Children from tribal and socially marginalised communities are getting priority in receiving education and healthcare at the centre, many of them becoming the first generation learners in their families.

 

Three new STeP centres launched in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh



 

A new Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre was inaugurated for underprivileged youth in NOIDA, Uttar Pradesh. The centre will be implemented by SETU, and is being supported by SIDBI, which is also supporting two other new STEP centres in Delhi and Lucknow.

SIDBI is a non-independent financial institution aimed to aid the growth and development of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises in India. Mr. Manoj Mittal, General Manager, SIDBI, represented the organization during the ceremony and inaugurated the centre.

More than 300 youth will be benefitted through these three new STeP centres.

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

So far, over 16,000 youth have been trained and 11,500 have been placed in more than 140 brands across India under STeP.

Awareness campaign on Swine Flu in slum clusters of Delhi

The H1N1 virus, commonly known as Swine Flu, took a dangerous shape as the year dawned, claiming over 2000 lives and affecting more than 35,000 people in the country.

Being an airborne virus, H1N1 puts people living in poor hygienic conditions and crowded places at a high risk of contracting the flu. If we add to that lack of literacy, awareness, means and access to healthcare, those living in the slum clusters of an overcrowded metro like Delhi become extremely vulnerable.

Realizing this, Smile Foundation initiated a series of awareness camps on Swine Flu in these communities, focused on sensitizing people to the symptoms, prevention methods and nearest facility centres for treatment of the deadly virus.

Promoting a health seeking behaviour, along with spreading timely awareness on seasonal and viral diseases, is an integral part of the Smile Foundation's healthcare programme, besides providing preventive and curative services.

 



Smile kids in Ahmedabad learn through group study sessions

Group study sessions, led by volunteers from the community, have been initiated at Smile Foundation's Mission Education centre Samvedana in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The children are particularly happy with this new methodology and taking great joy in helping each other learn.

The idea developed when the volunteers saw the children play together and noticed their coordination skills and rapport. They thought of applying this camaraderie to the learning process of the children as well. Now the children are divided into random groups and given lessons to prepare, followed by presentations from each group.

For these children, living in the slum clusters of Vadaj in Ahmedabad, the Mission Education centre is a second home and the teachers and volunteers are an extended family. Each one of them nurtures a dream that goes beyond becoming a doctor or an engineer – to becoming a pilot, an artist or an explorer.

 

Special health camp for women and girls in Bengaluru



 

A special health camp was organized for women, adolescent girls and children at the Ramanna Badavane settlement in Bengaluru, Karnataka, under Smile Foundation's Swabhiman programme.

More than 150 people benefitted from the camp, including 10 expecting mothers for whom ante-natal check-ups and one-on-one counselling sessions were held.

The health camp, facilitated by a team of medical professionals, Swabhiman Health Volunteers (SHVs) and Community Health Educators (CHEs), provided preventive and curative health services as well as free medicines. The community women were also made aware of hygienic practices and healthy eating habits that they should adopt in their daily lives.

Dedicated to the welfare of women and the girl child, Swabhiman functions with the belief that when women are empowered, the whole society benefits – families are healthier, children go to school, income levels improve and communities become more prosperous.

Smile kids in Odisha participate in District Level Sports

Children from Smile Foundation's Mission Education programme centre Orysed, participated in Subarnapur District Level Sports and brought laurels.

Bikash Charan Dehuri from Class 8th won the first prize in 200m race, Sanat Pradhan from Class 10th won the first prize in 400m race, while Mohesh Prasad Mishra from Class 10th won the second prize in shotput and first in long jump.

The children's efforts were appreciated by the audience, which included the likes of Mr. Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo, MP, Bolangir, Odisha; Mr. Uttara Patra, Zilla Parishad member; Ranjit Kumar Ratha, Block Chairman; and Mr. Laxman Kumar Bhoi, District Education Officer.

The Orysed centre has been creating first generation learners from marginalized communities in the remote villages of Bir Maharajpur in Subarnapur, Odisha, by providing them holistic education and encouraging them to take up extra-curricular activities like sports, music, art and dance.

 

STeP students get hands on experience in food retailing

Students from Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre SHED in Mumbai, visited a popular outlet of 'Ammi's Biriyani', a multi-city restaurant chain, to get a hands-on experience of the food retail industry.

The outlet's manager introduced the youth to the basics of the food retail sector such as the classification and display of food items, customer service and quality check. He also demonstrated how the food items could be displayed in a manner to attract the maximum eyeballs. The entire team at Ammi's Biryani, led by the manger himself, was co-operative and helpful.

The youth got practical exposure and industry insight into the retailing of food items, and were also introduced to the various positions and career opportunities they can explore in the sector. The outlet manager highlighted the requirements for each position as the students put up their queries.

 

Workshop on healthy lifestyle for DPS Jalandhar students



 

A workshop on healthy lifestyle was conducted at DPS, Jalandhar in Punjab under Smile Foundation's Child for Child (CFC) programme. More than 200 students from Class 8th to 12th participated actively in the workshop, along with school principal Ms. Asha Kumar, child counsellor Ms. Vandana Sondhi and teachers.

Four sessions, each of one hour, covered issues pertaining to health, such as the harmful effects of tobacco consumption, the reasons why to slow down intake of junk food, and negative fallouts of modern day technology and the ways to tackle them. The sessions were highly interactive, enabling and encouraging the students to answer various questions and find solutions too.

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

After relief camps, Smile on Wheels initiated in Masoodpur slum

A Smile on Wheels mobile hospital project has been initiated in the Masoodpur slum cluster in Delhi, where a massive fire had left more than 4000 people homeless, destroying their shanties and belongings, in April last year.

Smile Foundation had joined hands with the local government bodies, civil society groups, volunteers and a few other organizations then, working continuously for days, to address the immediate healthcare needs of the affected people. The slum cluster is home to migrant population, mostly hailing from West Bengal, working in nearby areas as domestic helps, hawkers or scrap dealers.

But realizing that a long term intervention was necessary to help the people rebuild their lives post the disaster, a dedicated healthcare project has now been deployed in the area. The Smile on Wheels is providing preventive, curative and referral healthcare services to people at their doorsteps, besides promoting a health-seeking behaviour in the community.

The project will be covering seven other slum clusters in the area and is being supported by the United Health Group.

 



Women attend awareness meeting on immunization and healthy eating



 

A rooftop in Indira Camp, Malviya Nagar was converted to a makeshift classroom, as 30 women-mothers and expecting mothers, gathered for a community awareness meeting on immunization and healthy eating.

The meeting, conducted by a Community Health Educator under Smile Foundation's Swabhiman programme, started with an interactive quiz to assess the knowledge of the women on relevant subjects. Most of the women admitted that they had only a vague idea about these issues and depended wholly on advice from elders, neighbours and relatives.

This was followed by detailed discussions on age-wise vaccinations for new-born children, nutritious supplements and balanced diet for both mothers and kids, and dietary precautions for lactating mothers. Charts, pictures, games and activities were used to help the women understand better.

The participating women responded with eager questions and were happy to learn so much in a fun and easy way.

Self Defense programme initiated for girl children in Bengaluru




 

A self-defense programme has been initiated for girl children at Smile Foundation's Mission Education centre NBI, in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The programme was launched on International Day for the Girl Child last year and is now taking wings with over 50 girl children participating in it regularly.

Karate and quick self-defence techniques are taught to the girls by Master Mouiddeen, a Karate teacher. The centre also counsels the girl children regarding safety and conducts awareness sessions and discussions on prevention of child abuse with the help of experts.

NBI is currently providing education, shelter, nutrition and primary healthcare facilities to 50 orphaned, abandoned and runaway girl children, helping them get a new start in life. The girls are actively encouraged to participate in such cultural and co-curricular activities to work towards their holistic development.

Presently, 51% of the total children enrolled in Mission Education centres across India are girls.

Community sensitization on maternal and child health in Rae Bareli



 

A community awareness session was conducted on vital issues pertaining to mother and child health at Seonthi village in Rae Bareli district of Uttar Pradesh. Topics like family planning, proper dietary habits, nutrition, hygiene and sanitation were discussed during the session.

The session was presided over by Dr. P N Mishra, who is also supervising the medical team of the Smile on Wheels mobile hospital project in the district. With a special focus on maternal and child healthcare, the project is providing curative and preventive services at the doorsteps of people in 10 villages of Harchandpur Block, besides promoting a health seeking behaviour among them.

More than 50 people, including 27 mothers, from the village attended the session and promised to share the learnings with their neighbours and friends in the community. In only a year, people have started taking ownership of the project and have become the driving force behind the change that is gradually unfolding in these remote villages.

Lancer International students visit Smile kids in Gurgaon

A group of 30 students from Lancers International School Gurgaon visited Smile Foundation's Mission Education centre Mera Parivar to spend time with the children. From Class 11th and 12th, the students have volunteered to take special classes for kids at the centre every Tuesday.

Representatives from Smile Foundation's Child for Child (CFC) programme had conducted a value education session at the school, which inspired many students to take active part in bringing change in the society.

As a response to their willingness, the students were invited to the Mera Parivar centre where they interacted for a whole day with Smile children – telling stories, teaching and sharing their experiences. It was a fun and learning experience for kids from both the worlds.

Such interactions are encouraged and facilitated under the 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.

 

Swabhiman scholars on exposure visit in Delhi

It was a day-out and exposure visit for 20 Swabhiman Scholars, accompanied by their mentors namely, six Community Health Educators (CHEs).

The Swabhiman Scholars visited the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Nehru Planetarium and the Rail Museum in New Delhi as part of the regular exposure programme. Curious and eager to learn new things, the girls were full of enthusiasm during the visit and flooded their mentors with questions, which were all patiently answered.

“These 20 meritorious girls are also role models for younger children in their communities. They have been awarded scholarships by Smile Foundation after they completed their primary education with excellence, despite coming from difficult social and economic circumstances. They are either in high schools or colleges and have been receiving the scholarships for three years now,” says Ms. Pooja Rani, Smile Foundation's Programme Officer, Swabhiman.

The scholarship programme is supported by Air France-KLM.

 

Health camp for brick kiln workers in Kalyan

A health camp was conducted at a brick kiln near Smile Foundation's Mission Education centre BHT in Kalyan, Maharashtra. The centre had specially organized this camp to include parents and non-school going younger siblings of the children enrolled at the centre.

Parents of most children from the centre work at several brick kilns in and around the area. Working in hazardous conditions and because of the rise in cases of malaria and viral flu, many of them had been suffering with diseases, but could not lose a day's wage to visit the doctor.

This was also having an impact on the attendance and performance of children at the centre as most of them took leaves to attend to the household chores and take care of their parents. The teachers became concerned and came up with the idea of organizing these special camps at the brick kilns, in addition to the regular monthly camps held at the centre for the children.

A team of doctors, led by Dr. Chavan facilitated the health camp, benefitting more than 150 children and parents.

 

Youth in Bengaluru attend special workshops on Interviews

A series of workshops on honing interviews skills was organized for students of Smile Twin e-Learning programme (STeP) centre Sama Foundation in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The workshops were conducted in association with the HSBC Canara Bank and the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ).

During the workshop, employees and volunteers from both the organizations interacted with the students, sharing their inputs on the first interview, decision making, dressing code, self-confidence and other important aspects of job interviews. Along with this, the youth also got practical experience as mock interview sessions were conducted for them.

This was also having an impact on the attendance and performance of children at the centre as most of them took leaves to attend to the household chores and take care of their parents. The teachers became concerned and came up with the idea of organizing these special camps at the brick kilns, in addition to the regular monthly camps held at the centre for the children.

 


The excited students made the most of the workshops and are now ready to face their actual interviews, facilitated by the placement cell under STeP. They are about to finish their six month employability training and will now be joining the organized job sector as first generation white collar workers in their families.


Mothers in Mumbai slums trained on personal hygiene

After sensitizing children on the importance of hand washing and maintaining personal hygiene under its school health programme, the Smile on Wheels project in Mumbai, Maharashtra, has now taken a step further and included the children's families, specially the mothers, under the initiative.

Realizing that mothers play an important role in inculcating healthy habits among the children, awareness sessions and discussions on health and hygiene are being regularly held for mothers.

This was also having an impact on the attendance and performance of children at the centre as most of them took leaves to attend to the household chores and take care of their parents. The teachers became concerned and came up with the idea of organizing these special camps at the brick kilns, in addition to the regular monthly camps held at the centre for the children.

Women are guided on how by following some basic habits in their day to day routines, they can help their families stay healthy and strong. They are taught the proper techniques of hand washing, brushing their teeth, bathing, so that they can inculcate the same in their children. The community is also encouraged to keep their surroundings clean.
The Smile on Wheels mobile hospital project in Mumbai provides doorstep preventive and curative healthcare services in the slum clusters of Andheri, Malwani, Kalina, Vakhola, Dindoshi, Khardanda, Behramnagar Khar, Hanuman Takeri and Film City, besides promoting a health seeking behaviour among these communities.

 

Five new Mission Education centres in Kalimpong, Darjeeling

Smile Foundation launched five Mission Education centres with Hill Social Welfare Society, especially for the children of daily wagers working in the tea gardens of Kalimpong area in Darjeeling district, West Bengal.

As many as 60 girls and 40 boys in the age groups of 6-17 years are now dreaming of a brighter future. The projects also aim to prevent them from falling into the trap of child labour owing to poverty and from the vulnerability of trafficking.

The new Mission Education centres are located in Tuttihatta village, Daragoan village, Himali Goan, Rocky villa and Dagbonglow.

The children happily welcomed renovated classrooms complete with new chairs and benches, almirahs, sparkling white boards and freshly painted walls. Playing facilities such as football, badminton, toys, and puzzle sets along with teaching-learning materials have also been introduced in the centres.

 

400 people benefit from health camps in Madhepura, Bihar

Specialized health camps were organized in the neighbouring villages of Sabila and Dighra in Madhepura district of Bihar. More than 400 people benefitted from the health camps, including 48% young mothers and women.

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.

The series of scheduled camps are in addition to the mobile hospital project operational in the district, with support from Siemens India.

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.

 

Annual Sports Day celebrated at ME centre in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

Annual Sports Day was celebrated at Smile Foundation's Mission Education centre YMCA at Jamshedpur in Jharkhand amid a lot of excitement, fun and applause. With the inclusion of multiple categories of games and activities, children at the centre had a lot to choose from and the Sports Day recorded 100% participation.

People from the community had also been invited during the occasion to encourage the children. All of them felt very proud to see the children performing well and cheered loudly as the names of the winners were announced.

The centre is nurturing 30 homeless children who had not long before been wandering around the Tatanagar railway platforms. With good habits, learning, care, exposure to sports and other co-curricular activities, they are now regular students at the makeshift Mission Education centre at the Jharkhandeshwar temple in Sakchi.

 

 

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