Mumbai Smiles, the Non-Profit organization based in Andheri East in Mumbai today kick-start their week long celebrations “10 years of Spreading Smiles” making the completion of their 10-years, with an opening ceremony at Holy Spirit Hospital Auditorium, Andheri (E). Spanish Consulate General Eduardo de Quesada, Mr. Jaume Sanlorrente, Founder, Mumbai Smiles, Mr. Narendra Kumar Dundu, Executive Director India, Mumbai Smiles & Mr. Suresh Nair Secretary of Military Road Residence Welfare Association & past beneficiaries and donors were all present for the occasion and actively participated in the celebrations. There were performances by Balwadi kids on “We are the future and change makers”, play by beneficiaries on Mumbai Smiles 10 year journey in a story format. The ceremony also witnessed the narration of 5 most successful stories from each project in the form of emotional videos and motivational speech by the beneficiaries.
“I got associated with Mumbai Smiles under their project Future Smiles in 2005. They paid for my entire education from standard 9 onwards and helped me in completing my diploma in Hotel Management. I completed my training at Orchid Mumbai and am currently working with them. It would not have been possible without Mumbai Smiles. They helped me follow my dreams and make a career for myself. I am very grateful to them”, shared Vijay Singh, one of the oldest beneficiaries of Future Smiles Project.
“To live with Lymphoma at such an age is certainly not an easy task. Mumbai Smiles not only provided Nutrition, conveyance and treatment support to our son Nikunj but also gave us mental as well as economical relief. Today though Nikunj is fighting cancer, he is living like any other teenager and has hope to become an architect”, shared Nikunj’s father, a beneficiary of HOPE project. It is associated with the psycho-social care of the marginalized child cancer patients and their families.
“We have reached out to more than 17,000 people in last 5 years through our different project in Education, Healthcare and Livelihood”, shared Jaume Sanlorrente, Founder, Mumbai Smiles“. Since our inception in 2005, we have continued to focus on educational projects, because we still believe that education is the key to development. We had launched 25 Balwadi’s with the objective to cultivate healthy habits among the children in the slum areas and bring about educational development. Further we wanted to reduce the level of malnutrition among children. We are very proud to share that in last 5 years we have successfully provided nutrition & basic education to more than 3500 kids through our Balwadi’s and provided support to more than 450 students for higher education in last 3 years, through our Future Smiles project. This year has been one of deliberate transformation but we cannot let it stop now. We are looking at expanding the number of Balwadi’s from 25 to 50 by the year-end 2015. This will help us reach out to more kids. ”, he further added.
“We have also seen advances in our health and livelihood projects. Mumbai Smiles is working at the grassroot levels towards building healthy communities. Over last five years we have reached out to more than 6700 people in several area of healthcare, with a focus on eye care, maternal and child care, skin, ENT, Dental, Tuberculosis and Epilepsy. With special emphasis on treatment of cancer, we provide diagnostic support along with counseling and educational support to patients and their families through our HOPE project. Since its inception in 2011, we have supported 186 beneficiaries suffering from cancer with more than 58% patients being in the age group of 5-10 years and 87% of these patients family having income of less than Rs. 5000 per month”, shared Mr. Narendra Kumar Dundu, Executive Director India, Mumbai Smiles. “With the vision of promoting sustainable livelihood to youths and women, we laid the foundation for SEED projectin the year 2012. Since its inception, the project has reached out to 1280 women and girls. Over the last one and a half year, various need based training programs were conducted for the women and girls in the community. The training program covered an array of employable and self employable courses like Advanced Computer, Retail Sales, Call Centre Training, Jewel Cad, Front Office Receptionist course, Basic plus advanced beauty parlor course, Handicraft, Fast Food and Tailoring course. We are further looking at starting Self defense classes for women in slum areas to encourage self protection amongst them”, he further added.
The weeklong celebration includes community events from7th – 10thApril from 10:00 – 2:00 pm. These community events will witness edutainment street plays on pregnancy related cautions, preventing female feticide, eve teasing, and beneficiaries sharing their experiences. These community programs will be performed at Marol Pipeline (7th April), Sangharshnagar (8th April), and Phulenagar, Powai (9th April). The entire celebration will conclude with a solidarity dinner on 11th April, to support the cause of “SO SHE SHINES” which is a part of Mumbai Smiles Girl Child Education Project. The NGO is also launching a souvenir, which showcases the major milestones achieved by Mumbai Smiles over 10 years.