SPRING Issue - 2015

Smile Foundation

Computer education introduced for youth in Auraiya, UP

A fresh badge of 124 youth was inducted at the computer education centres in Vaisundhara and Khanpur villages under Smile Foundation’s Integrated Community Development project in Auraiya district, Uttar Pradesh. The youth will be trained in the fundamentals of computers and MS Office, over the next four months.

Keeping in mind that most of these youth have never had access to computers, a learning friendly curriculum has been designed, with the right mix of theory and practical sessions. Teachers at the centre take great care in preparing lesson plans focused on improving the weak areas and enhancing the strong areas of the students.

Besides providing the village youth with computer education, the project also provides basic education to children, and healthcare services through the Smile Health Camp model to the whole community in the villages Vaisundhara, Khanpur, Kannoh and Pata of Auraiya district.
The project is being supported by the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL).

Awareness campaign on Maternal and Child health in Madhepura, Bihar

An awareness campaign focused on ‘Maternal and Child Health’ was held at Sripur village in Madhepura district of Bihar. Eleven other villages were also part of the drive, including Balam, Gadhiya, Chakla, Mithai, Pithai, Dubhyai, Sabila, Bighra, Sahugarh – 1, Sahugarh – 2 and Sukhasan.

Smile on Wheels mobile hospital reaches children and their families in each of these villages since the project was introduced in March 2012 with support from Siemens.

Besides the daily planned visit of the mobile hospital, intensive health camps and multi-specialty camps are organized to supplement the services. Awareness campaign to create health seeking behaviour is an integral activity for bringing all the villagers in the region under the coverage of Smile on Wheels.

The mobile hospital comprises of one full-time doctor, ANM, laboratory technician, pharmacist, X-ray technician, community mobilizer and a driver, besides a project coordinator. Twice a week, a gynaecologist and a paediatrician become part of the team for providing specialized care to young women and newborns at their doorsteps.

School students sensitized on safety and self defence

Various schools including Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pushp Vihar, New Delhi; Kendriya Vidyalaya, Punjab Lines, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh; and Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sadiq Nagar, New Delhi; invited Smile Foundation to conduct a ‘Safety and Self-Defence’ workshop for its students.

The trainers taught the students many self-defence tricks and techniques to develop confidence in them. Orientation and discussions were held on safety precautions at road, home, school, public places and also while using the internet.

The topic of prevention of child abuse was also discussed in detail during the workshop so that the students would be careful themselves and also guide their younger siblings and schoolmates.

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.

Children and parents in Bilaspur lead School Chalo Abhiyan

People living in the slum clusters around Budhwari area in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh woke up early morning to the sounds of “School Chale Hum” and “Padhenge bachhe, tabhi to badhenge bachhe”. The slogans were being mouthed with full enthusiasm by children of Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centre MITWA, taking out a rally to initiate School Chalo Abhiyan (Let us Go to School movement).

This movement has been started by the centre to spread awareness about the importance of education among the marginalized communities in the area. More than 100 children as well as their parents took part in the rally, which was also joined by many onlookers as it made its way.

Ms. Rashmi Khande, one of the parents, shares, “This is a very good initiative. We have never been to school; we never even thought about it, but looking at our children now, we know that education is important. We are doing this to encourage more parents like us, so that our children get better opportunities than we have today.”

Volunteers from Christ University train STeP students in Hyderabad

Students from Christ University volunteered to train youth enrolled at the Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre Arunodaya Trust in Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Volunteer Engagement was initiated under the programme last year 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.

Ms. Natasha Ilana Jacobs, Ms. Preethi Rebecca Mathew and Mr. Johnson D’Souza, students of Mass Communication at the University, conducted a round of mock interviews and motivational classes to help the trainees prepare for their job placements.

The STeP students were familiarized with the basics of self-actualization needs in areas of personality, knowledge, confidence and communication during the session.

(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 relevant soft skills, making them employed in retail and service sectors across India

Breastfeeding awareness campaign for mothers in Bangalore

breastfeeding awareness campaign was organised under Swabhiman programme in Bangalore focusing on expecting and lactating mothers.
According to a WHO study, malnutrition causes one in every three infant deaths in India. Further, 66% of the infant deaths occur during the first year of life. This is often caused by inappropriate feeding practices.

Team Swabhiman was supported by Mrs. Indiramma, a social scientist retired from Health & Family Welfare Dept., Govt of Karnataka. Various sessions were conducted with mothers in batched. It included importance of breast feeding, knowledge about colostrum, hygiene practice during lactating, nutrition for infants and milestones for infants.

Swabhiman programme was introduced in Karnataka last year and has been operational in Sai Baba Layout (Ramanna Badavane) and Shivanandha Nagar clusters. Smile Foundation’s Community Health Educators (CHEs) maintained the details of these beneficiaries to follow up for further treatment and help. A few critical cases were referred to hospitals for specialized curative treatment

First- aid training for auto-rickshaw & cab drivers at CNG stations

workshop on the pertinent issue of child abuse titled ‘Protecting Children from Sexual Predators’ in Bangalore, under Smile Foundation’s Child for Child (CFC) programme. 60 principals and educationists representing various schools from the districts of Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Bangalore Rural and Bangalore Urban, participated in the workshop.

Steps to safeguard children, enabling teachers, sharing ideas for prevention and precautions were the main focus of the workshop.

Ms. Smita Kalappa, National Director (CFC programme), Smile Foundation; Ms. Musrath Begum, Regional Director (CFC – South), Smile Foundation; Ms. Chander Kiran Malik, National Manager – CFC, Smile Foundation, along with Dr. Ali Khwaja, Founder & Head of Banjara Academy, steered the workshop.

“After getting encouraging response from principals, this is our second attempt to organize this workshop. It has to be a collective effort to make our society a better place to live in, where children can be nurtured in a secure and conducive environment,” said Ms. Smita Kalappa.

Smile kids in Agartala participate in Annual Sports Day

It was a fun-filled day for children of Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centre JUST in Agartala, Tripura, as they celebrated their Annual Sports Day. All the 130 children studying at the centre took part in games and activities ranging from cricket and football match to marble and spoon and fill the bucket race.

The Sports Day had been designed keeping in mind the varied age groups of children. Teachers, parents and people from the community came together, to encourage the kids and make the event a success. A roaring applause and prize distribution among the winners brought the Sports Day to a close.

These children, belonging to migrant and native tribal families from the region, have become first generation learners in their families and have been introduced to English medium learning at the centre. The centre strikes a balance between academics and co-curricular activities for the holistic development of the children.

Population Fortnight Campaign with Dept. of Health in Barmer

Dept. of Health, Govt. of Rajasthan and Smile Foundation organized the closing event and prize distribution ceremony of the ‘Population Fortnight Campaign’ in Barmer, Rajasthan. 70 Women Change Makers from across the district received awards for their performance in family planning and population campaign.

District level competitions, including quizzes among students, essay writing, slogan writing, etc. were organized. Village awareness drives were a highlight of the campaign as were workshops held through the Govt. General Nursing Training Centre, Barmer. Smile Foundation’s project coordinator for Barmer, Mr. Sitaram Nain, spearheaded the campaign.

Dr. Fusaram Vishnoi (CMHO, Barmer), Mr. Rajendra Mishra (Zila Parishad CEO), Mr. Sundar Raj Naidu (Cairn India), Dr. H. K. Singhal (PMO, District Hospital, Barmer), Dr. Khuswant Khatri (RCHO, Barmer), Mr. Vikram Singh Champawat (DPM, NRHM, Barmer), Dr. Anil Jha (District AYUSH officer), Mr. Vinod Bishnoi (District IEC Coordinator), Mr. Rakesh Bhati (District ASHA Coordinator), Dr. Mahesh Gautam (BCMO, Barmer), and Mr. Rajesh Meena (Nursing Tutor) participated in the programme.

Youth in Odisha visit Mahindra Showroom

30 youth from Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre VYK at Luhamunda in Angul district of Odisha, were invited by Gupta Automobiles for an exposure visit to the Mahindra Showroom.

Industry exposure visits are part of the 6-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.

The young STeP trainees interacted with the showroom Manager, Sales Manager, Marketing Manager, and IT staff besides the proprietor. They were oriented on the company and its background, present functions and systems, staff structure and human resource management, work culture, official procedure, rules and regulations, office management, sales promotion strategies, and how to deal with difficulties related to business, people and situations. The STeP centre director Mr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra guided the students during the exposure visit.

Specialized health camps for women in Bangalore

Two specialized health camps focusing on adolescent girls and women were organized under Swabhiman programme at Sai Baba Layout (Ramanna Badavane) and Shivanandha Nagar in Bangalore, Karnataka.

The services provided were mostly related to RCH, MCH and STD, while others were general cases of body pains and dehydration. All the beneficiaries were provided with free medicines, after the necessary check-ups by the doctors.

Smile Foundation’s Community Health Educators (CHEs) maintained the details of these beneficiaries to follow up for further treatment and help. A few critical cases were referred to hospitals for specialized curative treatment.

Swabhiman, meaning self-respect in English, is Smile Foundation’s national programme focusing on girl children and women. Under Swabhiman a tailor-made strategy called the ‘4 S Model’ has been developed. The ‘4 S Model’ is an acronym for four novel approaches, namely Seeking Healthcare as a Behaviour, Support for Education, Supporters in Men through Male Involvement, and Sustaining the Change in Communities.

Smile Foundation invited to Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan workshop in Guna

The Department of Education, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, invited Smile Foundation as the ‘special invitee’ for a training cum preparation workshop under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. This was part of celebrating ‘Pravesh Utsav’ (admission festival) across the state, wherein volunteers and teachers mobilized children in each and every village to get admission in schools.

Block Education Officer Mr. Kothari; Block Resource Centre Coordinator Mr. Bhadauriya; Block Academic Coordinator Mr. Chauhan; and Block Coordinator MPJAP Mr. Lokendra Singh had recommended Smile Foundation on the basis of its work in Madhya Pradesh, specifically in the villages of Guna district.

Dr. Santosh Bhargava, Smile Foundation Programme Officer (Guna dist.) conducted a training session that included Smile Foundation’s learning and good practices in the villages of Madhya Pradesh, educating children with special needs, increasing levels of interest and learning among children etc. Teachers and motivators (village level volunteers) benefitted from the training cum orientation programme and applied the learning during the special campaign.

Special session for mothers in Hafiznagar slum, Guwahati

Mothers of children studying at Smile Foundation’s Mission Education UTSAH centre at Hafiznagar slum area in Guwahati, Assam, attended an awareness cum training session on women rights and importance of education.

The session, facilitated by Anurita Pathak Hazarika, Project Manager, North East Network – Guwahati, focused on the significance of mothers in the lives of children and how they could play an instrumental role in bringing up their children as good human beings and responsible citizens.

Ms. Hazarika also stressed on the fact that mothers need to be protected from any kind of violence and discrimination inside their homes. Since mothers are the traditional care givers of children, it is crucial for mothers to be empowered. Moreover, any form of violence inside the house could have a negative impact on the child’s mental health.

The mothers enjoyed the interactive session and participated with enthusiasm, asking a lot of questions.

Trainer Exchange Programme initiated in STeP centres

‘trainer exchange programme’ has been initiated as an experiment in two Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centres in Mumbai. If successful, the approach will be replicated between all the STeP centres across India.

Ms. Sarita Manoharan, a successful trainer on Retail Management from STeP centre DSS in Goregaon visited the STeP centre JSS in Dharavi as part of the exchange programme. Focusing on Customer Service, she explained pre and post delivery services; the difference between a satisfied and dissatisfied customer and how to excel in the trade as a professional. She also covered areas such as lost sales and losing customers to competitors, and how to prevent the same.

Storytelling, sharing actual experience and connecting students during the lecture were the highlights of Ms. Manoharan’s lecture session, which was appreciated by the students.

In addition to fulltime faculty, inviting visiting faculty from the industry on voluntary basis, 2-3 industry exposure visits and field trainings are regular feature at all STeP centres

Rukmani Devi students spend a day with Smile kids

Children from Rukmani Devi Public School, Pitampura in New Delhi, visited Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centre Health & Care Society to make some new friends.

Around 30 students from Rukmani Devi, along with their teachers, were present during the visit and had a fun filled day as they engaged in activities like games, songs and poem recitation with the Smile kids, and exchanged learning tips.

The students also improvised and presented a skit for the children at the centre, on the importance of education in deciding a child’s future. Motivated and inspired, the Smile kids broke into applause, in their turn impressing the Rukmani Devi students with some impromptu dance steps and songs.

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

Career counselling by IGNOU for STeP students in Bangalore

A career counselling session by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) was conducted for students of Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre Sama Foundation in Bangalore, Karnataka.

Ms. Sowjanya, Assistant Regional Director, IGNOU Bangalore, interacted with the students talking about career opportunities in different fast growing sectors. She also shared some unconventional but promising career options that have emerged in recent times.

The students were very excited to learn about the new trends in the job market and participated enthusiastically in the discussion. Ms. Sowjanya also shared open learning options with the students as many of them had dropped out of school after class 10th or 12th and had not got an opportunity to pursue higher studies through a regular college.

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 relevant soft skills, making them employed in retail and service sectors across India.

School children in Uttarakhand adopt health-seeking behaviour

School Health programme has now been initiated under the Integrated Primary Healthcare Rehabilitation project which was started in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand last year, with support from Union Bank Social Foundation Trust, the philanthropic arm of the Union Bank of India.

Covering 23 villages in the Ukimath block, the project aims to provide long-term health services to children and families affected during the 2013 floods, at their doorstep.

The School Health programme aims at building a healthy next generation and helping the change sustain in the community by sensitizing the school going children to the importance of health and hygiene. Sessions on topics like personal hygiene, routine healthy habits and proper hand washing techniques are being held for the children, using engaging posters, documentaries and activities.

Besides spreading awareness on vital health issues among the community, the comprehensive project also includes a mobile healthcare unit, trained medical staff, pathological labs, medicine depots, static clinics and strengthening and effective utilization of the existing healthcare facilities.

Participatory Parents Teacher Meeting in Burdwan

Parents took part in group discussions, games and interactive activities during the Parents Teacher meeting at Mission Education programme’s Serve centre in Ranisayer village, Burdwan district, West Bengal.

More than 80 parents were part of the meeting which went much beyond the routine discussion of children’s academic performance. The parents were invited to be a part of their child’s learning process and their feedback was taken on the teaching methodologies used at the centre. They also gave their inputs for preparing new teaching learning material for the children.

The parents appreciated the initiative and promised to take active part in their child’s education. Most of the parents have never been to school themselves and make both ends meet by pulling rickshaws, working as wage earners or make a living as small-time farmers. But today they are happy to learn from their children.

Value Education workshops in schools across India

The Value Education workshops being conducted under Smile Foundation’s Child for Child (CFC) programme are being highly principals and parents from schools across India.

Children and teachers now take the lead and actively participate in the workshops, coming forward to share their views about and experiences with the underprivileged sections of society and volunteering to contribute their time, knowledge and resources for their welfare.

Reputed schools and educational institutions from Phagwara (Punjab); Chennai (Tamil Nadu); Nagpur, Pune and Mumbai (Maharashtra); Goa; Jabalpur, Jhirpa, Sausar and Pachmarhi (MP); Allahabad and Meerut (UP); Raipur (Chhattisgarh); Bangalore (Karnataka); Jamshedpur (Jharkhand); Baroda and Amreli (Gujarat) invited Smile Foundation to conduct the Value Education workshops.

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

Swabhiman Scholars on an exposure visit in Delhi

It was a day-out and exposure visit for 47 Swabhiman Scholars, accompanied by their mentors namely, five Community Health Educators (CHEs) and 12 Swabhiman Health Volunteers (SHVs).

“These 47 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 for now,” says Ms. Pooja Rani, Smile Foundation’s Programme Officer, Swabhiman.

The Swabhiman Scholars visited the National Science Centre, Red Fort and India Gate 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 the CHEs and SHVs with questions, which were all patiently answered.

Community adopts Smile on Wheels project in Mumbai

People from the community have now started taking ownership of the Smile on Wheels mobile hospital project in Mumbai. This has been made possible by the intensive community mobilization activities, awareness sessions and meetings being conducted with focus on promoting a health seeking behaviour among the people.

Engaging sessions on personal hygiene, cleanliness and healthy eating have now been extended from school children to their mothers, senior citizens and other members from the community. The aim is to spread awareness on the importance of health, so that the benefits stay in the community for a long time. Public representatives, social workers and community members are roped in to encourage people to avail the services.

Equipped with the latest medical equipments and competent medical staff comprising of project coordinator, Doctor, Lab technician, Nurse, Community Mobilizer and a driver, the project 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, with support from Shakuntalam Charitable Foundation

Stress busting workshop for Smile children in Bangalore

A motivational and stress-busting workshop was conducted for children of Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centre Sukrupa in Bangalore, Karnataka. Dr. Geetha Patil and Dr. Preethi Galgali talked to the children about the different problems they face in their everyday lives and how to deal with these issues in a positive way.

The workshop was designed in a way that the children had a lot of fun while learning. It was made interactive through games, quizzes and question answer sessions. The trainers advised the children to share their problems with their parents and teachers without hesitation. The teachers at the centre were also guided to identify the children who are under stress and help them accordingly.

Such sessions are important for these children as most of them have faced difficult situations very early in life. The children are nurtured in a loving and caring environment at the Mission Education centre and such sessions with professionals are regularly conducted to ensure their mental and emotional well being.

STeP centre in Budge Budge initiates career guidance for youth

A positive trend has been set up by the Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre Bitan, in the slum clusters of Budge Budge, Kolkata. Youth from the marginalized community in the region are now on their way to getting proper career guidance and counselling sessions, so that they can make the right start to their career.

There was a realization that many youth even after proper education and training in computers, communication and soft skills were unable to get placed, or sustain their jobs.
The centre now holds a week long career orientation session for every fresh badge and helps them assess their interest and aptitude, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and make an informed career choice.

The initiative has shown success as 15 students have already been placed from the current badge at good positions. Taking note, the local authorities, schools and parents have also requested the centre to hold career guidance sessions for high school students from the community.

Health camps for marginalized population in Delhi NCR

Three multi-specialty Smile Health Camps were organized at Shashi Garden and Mansarovar Park in Delhi, and Rajiv Nagar in Gurgaon, Haryana, with support from Blackrock. The camps focused particularly on the homeless communities, daily wage labourers and migrant population living in these areas, specially the children and mothers.

General physician Dr. Anand Lodhi, Paediatrician Dr. Visjal Deep, and Gynaecologist Dr. Blessing Jha were assisted by a team of lab technician, pharmacist, Smile Foundation’s community mobilisers, project team and volunteers from BlackRock who rendered their services towards the smooth functioning of the camp.

The Smile on Wheels mobile hospital, which operates in the eastern and northern fringes of Delhi in association with St. Stephen’s Hospital, was also made available during the camp.

327 children, 422 women and 125 men benefitted from the health camps.

Smile Health Camps provide healthcare services to meet the immediate needs of the marginalized community in remote rural areas and urban slums through standalone camps, offering comprehensive health services – curative, preventive, promotive and referral.

Vaccination Camps for Smile children in Khora Colony

A series of vaccination camps was conducted for children from Smile Foundation’s all-girls Mission Education centre Raasta at Khora Colony, near Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. The camps with focus on holistic health activities of both children and their mothers were conducted in association with the Max Hospital.

96 girl children benefitted from the camps as 78 received MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccination and another 18 received Typhoid vaccination. Also Vitamin D and De-worming tablets were distributed among students, with instructions to the mothers.

A special health camp was later organised for the mothers of the children enrolled at the centre. A total of 42 women received complete medical check-ups by a team of five medical professionals led by Dr. Sonika (MBBS). Three women were referred to the Max Hospital for further treatment where they received free medical benefits.

Periodic growth monitoring and health check-ups, along with quarterly health camps for children are a regular feature of all Mission Education centres.

Bridging the gap for school children at Paradsingha, MP

School shoes and sandals were distributed to 500 children from a government school in Paradsingha village, Madhya Pradesh, under Smile Foundation’s Child for Child (CFC) programme.

The children, determined to get an education, had been coming to school barefooted as they could not afford shoes. Many a times they would get injured, or develop sores in their feet. They had also become vulnerable to skin diseases and infections.

CFC representative Jitendra Deshmukh explained to the children how wearing shoes and keeping their feet clean was very important for maintaining their personal hygiene. The children were delighted to get the shoes and promised to dress up neatly for school and practice healthy habits in their daily lives.

School principal Ms. Rita Tandya and In-charge Mr. Chandraprakash Rangare were present, along with all the teachers, during the distribution ceremony.

Workshop on reproductive health for women in Hegganahalli

Smile Foundation, under its Swabhiman programme, conducted a workshop on reproductive health and hygiene for women that included the relevance of personal hygiene in daily life and awareness about good touch and bad touch for young girls at Hegganahalli in Bangalore rural district of Karnataka.

Mrs. Udayakumari, a faculty from Karnataka State Council for Child Welfare, joined the Swabhiman team in conducting the workshop. Interacting with the beneficiaries on the importance of health and hygiene in a woman’s life, Mrs. Udayakumari focused on adopting routine habits that can help.

The younger girls were educated about the physical changes that take place in an adolescent girl’s body and how they should deal with the same. At the end, the beneficiaries were engaged in various activities to demonstrate their understanding on the topic.

The training programme turned out to be extremely informative and beneficial for the participants who had earlier hesitated to talk about these issues, but are now confident enough to discuss the issues among their peer group.

Campus selection by Dunkin Donuts at Kamathipura STeP centre

Dunkin’ Donuts, the global doughnut and coffeehouse brand, visited Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre Prayog at Kamathipura, Mumbai, for a ‘campus selection.’ After the selection procedures four youth opted for joining the company, thereby by becoming the first generation white-collar workers, taking the first step towards a dignified future ahead.

The Dunkin’ Donuts team was led by Ms. Sweta Kakate from HR, accompanied by the store manager.
The Dunkin’s Donuts team gave a brief presentation about the company, followed by a detailed introduction to various products they make. The company’s policy and culture were also presented to the STeP students.

The Kamathipura STeP centre is operational for four years now and a majority of the beneficiaries are girls, with many of them raised by single parents (mothers).

Later the team from Dunkin Donuts also conducted similar session at STEP centres in Goregaon and Dharavi, selecting 19 more students to join the company.

Joyful Learning introduced for Smile children in Hyderabad

Learning has become synonymous with fun for children at Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centre Arunodaya Trust, at Hyderabad in Telangana. Joyful learning methods, e-learning groups and alternative assessment methods have been introduced by the teachers at the centre, to help create interest and keep the children fully engaged in the classroom.

Realizing that many children being first generation learners were having difficulty in coping up with their studies, the teachers started looking for ways to make lessons easy and fun for the kids.

“We started doing research, making individual lesson plans and then sharing the children’s response with each other. Smile Foundation’s teacher training programme was very helpful. Now we stay updated with relevant journals and websites and keep innovating to address the diverse abilities and interests of our children”, says Ms. Vijay Nagrani, one of the teachers who initiated the change.

Smile kids in Mumbai win prizes at UDAAN 2014

Four children from Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centre SHED in Mumbai, Maharashtra, won prizes in UDAAN – 2014, an Inter NGO Forum, conducted by the prestigious Government Law College. UDAAN gives an opportunity every year to children from various NGOs to display their talents in fields such as music, dance, acting and art.

The competition had been preceded by a selection process, where five children from the centre were selected to participate in the final event. The children won two golds, one silver and one bronze medal for their good show.

The Government Law College and UDAAN – 2014 also felicitated Smile Foundation with the Best NGO award.

The Government Law College, Mumbai, founded in 1855, is the oldest law school in Asia and one of the most distinguished in India. Historical figures like Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Lokmanya Tilak, Justice M. C. Chagla, Nani Palkhivala and several others who have adorned benches of the Supreme Court of India and the Bombay High Court, have been part of the institution.

College students conduct workshops for community girls

A special series of 3-day workshop on personal hygiene for adolescent girls was conducted in the identified communities across South, South-East and East Delhi that have been adopted under Swabhiman programme.

Young college students, guided by Swabhiman change agents and subject experts, volunteered for the workshops wherein they interacted with and formed a bond with the community girls. As these students brought with them their own diverse learning and experiences, they added value to the workshop, making it more effective.

Topics covered during the workshop included general health & hygiene, menstrual hygiene, self defence, and personal hygiene. Personal hygiene packs were distributed at the end of each community workshop.

Swabhiman, meaning self-respect in English, is Smile Foundation’s empowerment programme focusing on girl children and women. Swabhiman was initiated in the year 2005.

STeP trainees in Pune attend Personality Development Workshop

Personality Development Workshop was conducted for the girl students of Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre Green Tara at Vishrantwadi in Pune, Maharashtra. The objective of the workshop was to enhance the self confidence of the trainees and equip them well for the job interviews they will be facing after the completion of their STeP course.

Professor Jyotika Vale and Dr. Manda Mune facilitated the two-hour session, which covered aspects like communication skills, smart dressing, positive attitude and behavioural training, time management and presentation. The workshop was made interactive and engaging through frequent discussions and question answer rounds, along with several role play activities.

All the girls participated promptly and found the workshop very useful.

Such customized sessions along with regular classes are interspersed with employment engagement programmes, industry exposure visits and volunteer engagement sessions under STeP, to ensure that the youth trainees are in sync with the needs and trends of the dynamic job market.

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