Feb 21, 2014

Mumbai Mobile Creches Annual Camp

Thank you!
Thank you!

Hello friends and supporters,

We’re back again to update you with the latest happenings at MMC. It’s been busy three months here and we’ve got the most current and fun news for you -- a sneak peek into our Mumbai Mobile Creches Annual Camp.

Continuing the tradition of past 27 years, MMC organized an annual camp from 16th to 20th December 2013. Each year we take all children older than 5 years, who attend our day care centres to Marve Beach for a residential camp. This year a total of 426 children from our centres spread across the city attended the camp in two batches.

The camp is one of the few opportunities that these young children get to step out of the construction site where they live and spend two funfilled days away from the monotony of the concrete and cement that constantly surrounds them. It is also the only time of the year when children from different centres meet each other and get to share their experiences and showcase their talents.

New things that we did at the camp this year :

We were able to arrange a number of activities and introduce some fresh and innovative programmes for children. Here we provide you with a snapshot of the various activities at the camp.

We organized a joker juggling act and a Charlie Chaplin show which was a fun entertaining experience for the children. The fancy dress competition gave the children the chance to show off outfits that they made at their centres before arriving at the camp. The children got to express their creativity by choosing which animal, object, or character they wanted to dress up as and then tailoring a suitable costume. One girl was dressed as a joker, another as a doctor, and one boy dressed as a bag (creating the whole costume out of different types of bags)! Students formed groups at their centres and prepared for dance shows. The dances were then performed before the whole group at the camp. The children really looked forward to performing their dances and getting the chance to show off their hard work on stage.

Hair braiding and body painting were once again extremely exciting activities for the children. This time, we arranged the hair braiding activity especially for the girls. While the girls were hair braiding, the boys participated in a body painting session. The children loved getting these body decorations and eagerly showed them to the staff and posed for photographs to show off their hair styles and body art! After the excitement of the hair braiding and body art sessions, the children settled down to watch the cartoon film “Ice Age 4 – Continental Drift” (Hindi). Unlike other years, we arranged a large screen for the film. The children enjoyed this indoor break, before having their tea and heading to the beach for some free play time!

A Fun-Fair was also arranged for the children on the last day of the camp. It was a completely new experience for them. We erected five different stalls which offered activities such as a darts board, balloon games, and ring games. All the children had a chance to play these games, and they were given interesting gifts at the end. Since they were so popular last year, we served popcorn and cotton candy again this year, but added a new, fun flavour to the usual menu. In addition the children were also given a healthy treat of fruits and nuts.New MMC T-shirts were given to the children at the conclusion of the camp for them to take home and use in the future. This will be a very special gift to them, even after they move out of the site where we have our centre!

Thank you so much for helping us continue to provide a safe, happy, healthy childhood to thousands of children living on                                                                            construction sites!







Our little sand castle!
Our little sand castle!
The joker entertaining our little ones
The joker entertaining our little ones


Nov 25, 2013

Raziya - MMC's little star!!!

Raziya Islam Sheikh’s story starts five years ago, in a village in Bihar, one of the poorest states of India, where the girl, then 6 years old, lived happily in a tiny hut with her family. But 2008 was a very bad year for them, as heavy rains destroyed the crops, and day by day it became difficult for Raziya’s father, Islam Sheikh, to feed his family. Whatever little savings the family had slowly started diminishing, as Islam was not able to find any work.

Finally, Raziya’s mother, Afsana Islam Sheikh, convinced her husband that they should move to Mumbai, in the state of Maharashtra where her brother lived. This is why the family traveled 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) to the Agripada construction site in Mumbai. There, Islam was happy to be able to earn a living to feed his family, and his wife found work in nearby apartments as a domestic helper.However, Islam was concerned about who would take care of his two sons and two daughters when he and his wife were out working. At this time, he came to know about the Mumbai Mobile Creches centre operating at the Agripada construction site. He was relieved to know that he could send his children to the centre and not have to worry about their safety.

When Raziya first joined the centre, she was admitted in the balwadi (preschool) section. She could not understand Hindi at all since all she spoke at home was Bihari, but the MMC programme was designed to help migrant children like Raziya.

Raziya, now 11, is currently a part of MMC’s after-school programme for the age group 6-14 years. Now she is in the fourth grade in an Urdu-language government-run school. And she understands Urdu, Hindi, Marathi (the language used in Mumbai) and English. She has excelled in her studies and has a thirst for learning. If she does not understand something at school, she quickly comes to the centre and asks her teachers for help. She still takes part in all extracurricular activities in the centre and shares with her father and mother all that occurs there.

Her favorite memory of her time with MMC is when she was chosen to participate in this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, on October 11, 2013. She addressed a gathering of adults from renowned backgrounds, including celebrities, and the media. She was the youngest among the group of girls representing different organisations, but her voice did not even waver for a second as she delivered her speech in Hindi, leaving everyone in the room spellbound and amazed at the confidence of this little girl.

This is what she told the audience:

“My name is Raziya Islam Sheikh, and I am 11 years old. I study in the 4th standard. I like to read and write. The Mumbai Mobile Creches staff takes good care of all our needs.

“I have two brothers and a sister and my parents in my family. My home on the site is small and is made of tin. And it does not have a window, so there is very little ventilation.

“I want to study further and become a teacher. I only want to say that all children should study and progress further in life. I’ve learned from MMC how education can take me to great places, and I’ll never be able to forget what I’ve learned here.”

After the event, her sincere “thank you” to her teacher contained a million words she wanted to say.

Many families like Raziya’s come to Mumbai from their villages under distressing circumstances and in search of work. Construction sites in Mumbai house an estimated 3 million of the children of migrant workers, but no one knows the exact number because the government does not track these children.MMC is the only non profit organisation in Mumbai that works for children of migrant construction workers in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane. MMC provides health, educational and nutritional services to approximately 4,500 children each year, with an average of 1,100 children attending a centre on any given day.

Your contribution has helped many children like Raziya to have a healthy and happy childhood and a brighter future.

Thank you, Global Giving!!!!

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