"I, Parvati Pujari, am a National Junior Trainer with Magic Bus in Mumbai. My struggle to reach where I am today is a story worth sharing."
My parents did not really think education was important, not when getting the next meal was of utmost priority, so none of my elder sisters went to school. A small NGO named Sunbeam taught me basics like alphabets and numbers in Hindi. We loved the teachers there because unlike at school, these volunteer teachers paid a lot of personal attention to each child and ensured that their concepts were clear. My curiosity and enthusiasm made me continue attending the classes. My younger sisters used to tag along too. My eldest sister was married off at an early age of 12. If only she had been educated or received proper guidance as I did later in my life, she could have been saved from child marriage.
Thanks for all your support over the past 10 months. Things are moving along at Magic Bus and we're proud to report we're working on a number of really game changing projects. We just finished up a week in Portland at Nike as part of a consortium of thought leaders in the space of physical activity. The report can be found at www.designedtomove.org, and if you browse the case study section, you'll see a spotlight on Magic Bus!
Closer to the programs, we're proud to say that 44% of the 230,000 children in the program are girls today and 98% of girls of adolescent age are attending secondary school regularly, more than double the national average of 46%. We now have position papers out on our theory of change and how it leads to measurable impacts in the areas of health, gender equality, education, and livelhoods. The goal now is clear - help as many children own the ideas that will help them escape poverty.
To this end, we're happy to announce that this project on GlobalGiving is now transitioning to from the girls' exchange program to our core program that impacts more than 100,000 girls on a daily basis.
The focus of this project is to ensure that 4000 girls in India between the ages of 13-16 make it TO and THROUGH secondary school, which will lead to an education, and more importantly, a life free of early marraige and pregnancy.
It will take an average of only $25/year to enroll and ensure a girl in Magic Bus stays in school - how sure are we??? 98% sure!!!
Please do all you can to help us and these girls reach their goals! Donate, spread the word, link us to your social media, reach out to get more info on how you can talk to your school, college, or workplace to see how they'd like to get involved through a number of ways!
Let's get this done together! Wishing you all a very prosperous 2013!
Happy Holiday season to everyone! We at Magic Bus wanted to give everyone an end of year update on the Magic Bus Girls' Soccer Team and some of the great things that have come out of this summer's trip from this side. First off, some great news for Prajakta Tambadkar! Last month, she was selected to be part of the 2012 Maharashtra State U19 Girls' Soccer Team! She will spend the next year competing at national tournaments representing her home state. She gives thanks not only to Magic Bus, but to the entire Julie Foudy Academy Team for helping her hone her skills on the field over the past two summers, the second of which was made possible by supporters like you.Also, in the past few months, Julie Foudy has really gone to bat for Magic Bus by recommending us to speak at the espnW Summit in Tucson in early October. We took part in a Global Perspectives for Women in Sports panel and you can catch the entire 45 min in the attached link below. Some major discussions have come out of that weekend and some really exciting talks about what the exchange program may look like in 2013 and beyond! Two exchange anyone? :-)Finally, we'd like to thank you all for your contributions this year through GlobalGiving. It's been a tough year for so many, which makes your donations that much more meaningful. Thank you for giving these girls a way to be inspirsed and take that energy back home to their families and communities. A reminder that the thank you letters you recieved should serve as your tax-credit receipt for the 2012 tax year.If you or someone you know is looking for an end-of-year cause to donate before the year ends, we kindly request you consider Magic Bus once again! Thanks for your continued support.
Hello Dear Friends,
It's a been a wonderful summer and lots going on with the girls on the Mumbai Team. Thanks to your help, the girls were able to make it to the US this year. And one girl from last year, Gulafsha Ansari, was able to attend the London Olympics, through a program sponsored by McDonald's via the JFSLA. Attached, you'll find a blog by Gulafsha on the Huffington Post from the day she took off from India.
While the Sheetal, Prajakta, Sangeeta, Nagma, and Savita were here in the NYC area in June, we were able to document an afternoon of their trip...listen to them, in the own words...I hope you enjoy!
Link is attached!
Dear Friends and Supporters,
In a whirlwind, 12 days have come and gone. The Magic Bus Girls Football Team spent 12 days here but showed immense progress from where they were just one year ago in their interactions with with US girls. They also, once again, were able to inspire countless Americans with their courage and perseverance to achieve their goals of overcoming society's contstraints and defining their own destinies.
Due to some last minute visa processing issues, two members of the team (one player and one coach) were left behind, making the entire travel roster 6 people. The chaperone was Mini Sanyal, Sr Manager from our Bangalore Office and 5 girls making the return trip from last year - Nagma, Sheetal, Prajakta, Savita, and Sangeeta.
The team spent 2 full days in Houston and did some sightseeing by going to the Johnson Space Center and then visiting the beaches of Galveston. They were also able to attend a Father's Day program at India House, hosted by the Indian Senior Citizens Association of Houston. Here, a very gracious and impromptu gesture was made by sending a box around the room and donating $750 to Magic Bus. Very unexpected and touching! The stay in Houston was capped off by a afternoon picnic with some Magic Bus supporters from Houston.
The next day took the team directly to the Peddie School in Hightstown, NJ where Julie Foudy, her amazing staff of 15 coaches and administrators and 100+ high school girls from the East Coast were waiting for Magic Bus to arrive! Upon arrival, you could see and feel the energy levels of the 5 girls rise. As returning campers, they were asked to do more from a leadership angle than last year. Each of them was given an American roommate from the outset and was asked to really focus on connecting with other campers. There was a marked improvement in all aspects compared to the 2011 visit.
The real impact of a year of reflection was apparent in the community project development. Last year, the girls admirably shared the struggled of their home communities and talked about the water mafias in the slums, child marriage, the lack of opportunity for girls, and addition of young boys. This year, they really focused early on in the week of making sure their projects this year were measurable and the goals attainable. The 5 projects this year range from cleanliness drives, to helping smaller NGOs in Mumbai raise funds for equipment and books. The next project update will provide status reports on those projects.
After another moving week at the Academy, sharing stories and learning about one another, the girls spend 3 days in NYC soaking up Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, while also fitting in some swimming, shopping, and the EuroCup Final between Spain and Italy. For what it's worth, all 5 of them correctly predicted the Spaniards taking home the Cup!
The girls and Mini have safely returned to Mumbai, ready to share their experiences with their families, get started on their projects, and take some of these new leadership ideas to their colleges (all 5 are starting junior college or college this month!).
Please visit the links below to see pictures from the visit!!!
Thank you for making this possible and helping lay down the foundation for a wonderful partnership of two non-profits - Magic Bus and the Julie Foudy Foundation - there are bigger plans in store for the coming years! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy your summer and look for a report in the coming months with updates on the 5 community projects.
General Manager - Magic Bus USA
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