Mumbai Mobile Creches

Our missions is to promote 'child-friendly sites,' where every child living on a construction site is safe, healthy, educated, and able to enjoy their childhood. Our vision is for all children to have a nurturing and happy childhood.

Mumbai Mobile Creches
1st Floor Abbas Building Mereweather Rd.
Colaba
Mumbai, Maharashtra 4000001
India
022-32457774
http://www.mumbaimobilecreches.org/

Board of Directors

Raghavan Shastri, Nalini Chhugani, Devika Mahadevan, Ashok Mahadevan, Mrinalini Kochar, Eva Runganadhan, Vrishali Pispati, Saroj Satija, Frahinsa Pinto

Project Leaders

Elsa Varghese

Mission

Our missions is to promote 'child-friendly sites,' where every child living on a construction site is safe, healthy, educated, and able to enjoy their childhood. Our vision is for all children to have a nurturing and happy childhood.

Programs

In 1972, MMC's founders identified the rising population of migrant construction labourers as an extremely vulnerable population. These communities were largely illiterate and undocumented, making it impossible to access public services or send their children to school. Since we first opened our doors 40 years ago, MMC has operated day care centres on over 260 construction sites around Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Thane and reached over 150,000 children. We have consistently been providing children from birth to 14 years with high-quality comprehensive education, nutrition, and health services. For the creche babies, aged 0-3 years, the goal is to create a stimulating environment that nurtures motor, cognitive, social, emotional and physical growth. Children aged 3-5 years are part of the pre-primary (balwadi) programme, which focuses on school-preparedness and skill-development. In the primary classroom, children aged 6-14, teachers focus on enrolling them into municipal schools and provide the necessary support to ensure they continue to go to school. In 2011-2012, Mumbai Mobile Creches reached 4,785 children, serving an average of 1,234 children each day. We operated 39 centres over the course of the year; this is the highest number of centres operated in a single year in the history of MMC. It is our goal to enrol children above the age of six in municipal schools with the hope that they will continue their education after leaving our centres. Our hope is that we instil the importance of healthcare, education, and nutrition in the communities with which we work. In order to do this, we partner with local health posts and run trainings on how to access healthcare outside of MMC so that families are empowered to use government service on their own. We hold lok doots (street plays), about the importance of education, and other socially relevant themes, in order to empower the community. It is our hope that families will continue to value and seek education for their children and attempt to incorporate healthy eating habits, high standards of hygiene, and practice preventative healthcare into their daily lives. A brief description of our programmes is as follows: Education Programme Our education programme is tailored to target marginalized children living on construction sites. Children are divided into 3 classrooms: creche, ages 0-3, balwadi, ages 3-5 and primary, ages 6-14. Educational materials are created to capture elements of life on a construction site, in order to make lessons from the classroom memorable and relevant. Our teachers use innovative educational materials, often hand-made from recycled materials, in order to create low-cost teaching aids that leave a lasting impression on the children. Additionally, teachers have created a unique style of teaching adapted to encourage and include a multi-lingual, multi-age, and multi-level classroom. A heavy use of visual cues and arts and crafts ensure that children from all different regional and linguistic backgrounds can learn. The curriculum taught at our centres is also prepared keeping in mind the needs of the migrant child. Children typically stay at our centres for an average of three to six months, making the time we spend with them precious. Our education programme is crafted so that each month a theme, prakalp, is taught. The prakalp is a method for connecting everything that is done in the classroom so that students who are with us for only one month leave with comprehensive knowledge of transportation, wild animals, or healthy diets. As a new theme is introduced each month, it also makes it easy for new students entering the classroom to integrate into the learning environment and not become discouraged or overwhelmed. Health, Hygiene and Nutrition Programmes At our centres we provide children with three meals/snacks a day, all prepared and distributed by the teachers. We ensure that children receive a balanced diet with the proper nutrients required for young children to grow and develop. In the mornings they are given a porridge made alternately with finger millet or semolina, and milk. For mid-morning snack they are given fresh fruits twice a week and eggs once a week. As an afternoon meal they are given rice and lentils mixed with fresh vegetables. In the evenings, before they leave our centres, they are given an additional snack of peanuts and jaggery or sprouts. Children with severe nutritional deficiencies are given additional food items as prescribed by MMC doctors. Along with the nutritious foods we provide children with daily multi-vitamins, and monitor their health through weekly doctor's visits. Additionally, MMC's doctors prescribe nutritional supplements for children who are not growing at a proper rate. Children with more serious ailments are taken to nearby health facilities, accompanied by an MMC staff member and are monitored closely upon returning to our centres. Advocacy Programme Advocacy is a key component in achieving positive and long-lasting change for migrant workers and t their families living on construction sites. We aim to promote migrant families' rights, health, and access to government resources including a comprehensive health awareness programme. This includes holding chai-pani meetings and lokdoots or street plays on various issues ranging from reproductive health, HIV/AIDS prevention, immunizations, and information on TB, malaria, drug addiction, etc. We also strive to create awareness on financial literacy and facilitate them in setting up bank accounts, obtaining PAN cards and other documentation necessary for accessing government services. Additionally, MMC works to create awareness of government entitlements regarding food, healthcare, childcare, and financial inclusion. Training Programmes The goal of MMC Teacher Training programme is to increase the number of skilled early childcare givers by empowering women with the knowledge and resources they need to become confident and independent teachers. Our flagship training programme is the year-long "Balpalika", which trains underprivileged women living on construction sites and other marginalized communities to become teachers and care-givers. We conduct a 25-day course to train women in best practices of care-giving for creche babies, ages 0-3. We also run specialized trainings upon request from builders, private institutions and other non-governmental organisations.

Statistics on Mumbai Mobile Creches

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