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Apr 13, 2016

Children's Annual Camp 2016

Fun activities at the camp!
Fun activities at the camp!

After many years of camping by the sea shore, this year, Mumbai Mobile Creches' annual camp for children shifted to a new venue – the lush green campus of the Yusuf Meherally Centre in Panvel, Maharashtra. Located far away from the hustle and bustle of the city of Mumbai, this campus with its greenery and serenity, instantly became a connection to nature for MMC’s children.

MMC has been organising the annual camp for the last 29 years for the young children living on construction sites across Mumbai. The camp gives the children an opportunity to see and enjoy a world that is very different from their construction site reality.

The Yusuf Meherally Centre campus houses several small scale enterprises. It was a wonderful destination for taking the children for the camp, as it turned out to provide them a great deal of exposure and learning about the outside world.

Children visited the different manufacturing units and learned about the processes of making oil, soap, manures, fertilizers, clay pottery, etc. They visited the Mahatma Gandhi-Kasturba kutir (cottage), made in memory of the Father of the Nation and his wife. Teachers explained about Gandhiji’s life and values, while children listened intently.

In the evening, children performed songs, dances, skits, etc. They had been preparing for this performance for weeks, which could clearly be seen in their lovely performances. Their enthusiasm, efforts, and bright smiling faces lit up the evening’s spirits. The cheerful audience of children and teachers encouraged every performance, making it a lively and fun filled evening.

Two events were scheduled to take place the next day – an interactive game show and a magic show. Children thoroughly enjoyed both the events with uninterrupted enthusiasm. They actively participated in the interactive games organised by the game show host. They watched with awe as the magician pulled out one trick after another, thrilled by the surprises that waited for them.

After a delicious lunch, children and teachers headed towards back to their respective centres, with a heavy heart and a ray of hope to come back again next year.

Children attending a session about fertilisers
Children attending a session about fertilisers
After cultural performances in the evening
After cultural performances in the evening
Jan 15, 2016

An afternoon filled with clowns and laughter

MMC Children at Bombay Circus
MMC Children at Bombay Circus

“I just loved watching the juggling act by the clown,” chirps our 12-year-old Ajay when asked if he enjoyed the circus.

At the onset of the New Year, our children from centres in Navi Mumbai got a splendid opportunity of a day out at the circus! On Saturday, January 2, 2016, 95 children from three of MMC’s centres went to see the Great Bombay Circus in Panvel, a suburban area near Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra. It was a treat for them to get out of the construction site to see a circus show.  They thoroughly enjoyed the two-hour excursion in its entirety, from start to finish. The children were excited to ride in a bus arranged for the occasion, and their smiles grew even bigger when the show began. Little did the children realise that this excursion was also educational, as it helped to reinforce the Prakalp (Project) monthly theme for December, which was ‘living and non-living.’ 

During the show the children enjoyed the act of two funny clowns, who made the audience laugh time and again, and a magic show which made the children's eyes go wide.  The children were also greatly awed by the performances of the trapeze artists, who swung through the air in their colourful costumes. 

The children were completely mesmerised by the thrilling aerial tricks, the funny clown shows, and the unforgettable balancing acts. Every single child, no matter their age, was enthusiastically clapping and cheering for the circus artists.

The event was a wonderful experience for our children, who hardly get an opportunity to visit such places outside the construction sites. The effect of the music and the lights and the incredible displays of skill made the evening one they will remember for years to come.  The children also received snacks of juice, chips, cake, and other goodies during the outing.  They returned home thrilled at experiencing a fun-filled afternoon.

We sometimes refer to the construction site as our children’s only playground because economic limitations prevent these children from experiencing their childhoods anywhere else. MMC coordinates outings to schools, restaurants, amusement parks, and other parts of the city enable our children to experience and enjoy aspects of the city that they would otherwise never encounter. Not only do our children rightfully deserve to benefit from the very city their families are helping to create, but it is essential that they gain insight into the world beyond the construction site. Only then will they be able to envision for themselves the bright future which we are helping them construct. 

Oct 20, 2015

A big thank you to our volunteers!

Fun at the Park
Fun at the Park

A big thank you to our volunteers!

 

“At the end of my internship (at MMC)… I had truly gained a family…”

                                               Darius Ansari, Columbia University Intern-2015

 

Volunteers are a great asset to MMC. By contributing their time, energy and talents, they generate enthusiasm, provide new skills and serve as a great resource. At MMC, we sincerely value the contribution of our dear volunteers, be it at the field or in the office.

Our children eagerly look forward to having volunteers at the centre, who provide a welcome break in the routine and give the children a great start to the day. We organise exciting events like collage making, clay moulding, puppet workshops, etc in which the volunteers and the children come together to create wonderful pieces of artwork. Of course, one of the most loved activities the children share with the volunteers is a field trip.

Another innovative volunteering programme at MMC is the child-to-child programme, which was created to serve as a platform for school-children and children from Mumbai Mobile Creches to interact, exchange knowledge and learn from each other. The students from the participating schools visit the MMC centre and vice versa. At the centre, the students participate in workshops like puppet making, Warli painting (painting done by indigenous tribes in India) all conducted by MMC children and teachers. In return, the participating school students teach the MMC children skills they are proficient in, such as crafts, sports, English language and computers. The programme allows children form friendships and exchange skills on a platform based on unity and equality.

We also have volunteers at the office who help us with our administrative tasks and bring in a new perspective to our work. Helping with our fundraising activities, developing communication materials or sharing their expertise in a specific domain, we welcome and appreciate their time and efforts to contribute to the work MMC does, with a larger aim to reach children living on construction sites.

Darius is a junior at Columbia University, who interned with us through the CEO (Columbia Experience Overseas) programme from June to August 2015. Darius narrates his wonderful experience of volunteering at MMC.

“During the summer of 2015 I worked as a Fundraising Intern at Mumbai Mobile Creches for a span of eight weeks. My internship also consisted of two visits to the MMC field sites and donor meetings. It was amazing to both interact with the children on the sites and to understand how the work done in the office directly translates to an immediate impact in society. Other than the assignments and work I was able to do for MMC, the most rewarding part of the experience were the individuals I worked with daily. The work environment at MMC is extremely nurturing and collaborative, and everyone is ready to lend a helping hand. The employees at both the offices and crèches work extremely hard every day, which is the reason why everyone supports one another. I left MMC at the end of my internship feeling like I had truly gained a family and many applicable skills for my professional future.”

We want to sincerely thank all our volunteers for their wonderful contribution to helping us make a difference in the lives of our children!

Children at the circus
Children at the circus
A collage making workshop with our volunteers
A collage making workshop with our volunteers
Having fun at a play centre
Having fun at a play centre
 
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