summer issue - 2015

Smile Foundation

"Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle."
– Napoleon Hill

Smile Foundation, our programmes are our strength and their growth marks our progress on the journey of bringing positive change in the lives of children and families. Currently, the programmes have been undergoing a metamorphosis wherein we are witnessing a fine blend of programme development initiatives as well as expansion plans.

When it comes to programme development, Smile Foundation adopts a holistic approach of intervention with an endeavour to improve the efficiency of projects on the ground. In light of this philosophy, we rolled out a unique integrated health and nutrition programme, which has been designed in a scientific manner to address the issue of malnutrition. It maps the impact of nutrition on health of the underprivileged children as well as has a component of health awareness to enhance the health seeking behavior of children and their families.

Mathematics is one subject that a lot of children dread and it adversely impacts their learning levels; becoming a big challenge for both children and teachers. In order to help ignite a love for the subject among the children, ‘Jodo Gyan’ mathematical tools have been provided to the children at our Mission Education Centres. Also the teachers have been trained with the right skill set to transact mathematical concepts in an easy and engaging manner.

In our livelihood programme, we have initiated the process of upgrading our Retail and Basic Management Curriculum which will further help to enhance the employability of the trained youth.

A community driven movement has been steering our agenda of developmental change under our health programme. In UP and Bihar, we have been making Village Health Committees as well as Village Health and Sanitation Committees active. Also, Smile Foundation is trying to complement the efforts of the government by reaching the unreached. In Delhi, we are striving to strengthen the existing network of health services and accordingly, we are working very closely with the District Tuberculosis Officer and Delhi State AIDS Society.

As part of our expansion initiatives, the programmes have been moving from strength to strength and it is heartening that some of the best corporates, PSUs and Institutional Funders like Ericsson India, FIS, SIDBI, IL&FS, OPTUM, SBI Life, Avery Dennison Foundation and many others have joined us in our mission to make a difference.

Our employability skill programme for the youth has witnessed maximum expansion and altogether, 31 new projects will be set up shortly. This expansion is expected to help us realize the dreams of an additional 3000 youth and thereby contribute towards creating a productive work force. Recently, ASSOCHAM awarded Smile Foundation with commendation certificate recognizing its valuable role in Skill Development Training & Placement.

Two new Smile on Wheels have been operationalized, one in Delhi NCR region and another in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh, helping us create inroads in the remotest terrains, where the need is utmost. In addition, six more Smile on Wheels projects are in the pipeline to be launched soon.

Under Swabhiman, we have initiated a new project in selected slums of Delhi with the objective of empowering women and adolescent girls. New projects have also been added under Mission Education, our flagship programme.

We are trying to constantly innovate and thereby improve our ground level implementation. We have added a fresh leaf to our scholarship programme by extending our partnership with Siemens to include Scholarship for B.Tech students, who are chosen on merit cum means basis, from select government colleges across India. Through these various scholarships, Smile Foundation is covering children from Class VIII to graduation level and our experience shows that the scholarship programme has the power to make transformational difference in the lives of underprivileged children.

Education and sanitation are intrinsically interlinked and Smile Foundation has been aligning its own philosophy of promoting a health-seeking behaviour with the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’. New toilets have been built, old toilets and classrooms renovated, and new water drinking facilities added to Mission Education centres, ensuring access to safe drinking water, proper sanitation & hygiene facilities for the children.

From time to time, Smile Foundation takes the initiative to share its experiences and best practices from the ground for dissemination and replication, on different knowledge exchange platforms. During the period, Smile Foundation submitted a written statement with the subject “Realizing the future we want: integrating population issues into sustainable development, including the post-2015 development agenda”, to The Economic and Social Council of United Nations, for the 48th Session of the Commission on Population and Development. The same was published during the session held in April 2015 at the UN headquarters in New York, and is being circulated for wider dissemination.

It’s been a growth story – a period of treading the unknown, knowing our true potential, and setting new benchmarks. It has also been a story of embracing change, reflecting on our failures, celebrating our success and reaffirming our resolve to bring smiles in the lives of those who need us the most. And we know, there are (S)miles to go…..

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