Empower 100 girls in Asia's largest red light area

by Apne Aap Women's Collective (AAWC)
Vetted
Visit to the Museum
Visit to the Museum

When AAWC outreach workers first met Devika*, she was shy and disliked staying in her mother’s home all day. However, she had nowhere else to go and thus kept to herself. Also, as her mother could not afford to send her to school continuously, she was in a standard much lower than that of most children her age.

It was during this time that the outreach workers convinced Devika to come to AAWC's day care center. She slowly began enjoying her time here and was consequently enrolled into the night shelter program. With AAWC's help, she also moved into a higher school standard.

Today, Devika is happy, flourishing and pushing herself to achieve her dreams. She enjoys art and values her education very much. She is also an excellent role model to our younger beneficiaries.

*name changed to protect identity

 

Organization Updates

Capacity Building:

During the quarter, AAWC Staff attended a Patient’s Rights Workshop conducted by Rangoonwala Foundation and a workshop on CSR and Intellectual Property Rights organized by International Resources for Fairer Trade.

 

Medical Camp:

A Dental Camp and a General Medical Camp were organized at AAWC in association with Angels Dentist Network for all our beneficiaries. 141 AAWC and other community members benefited from the camps.

 

Udaan Program Updates

Education:

All of our Udaan girls who appeared for their 10th Grade Board Examination secured first and second class marks. One beneficiary secured 80% marks in her 12th Grade Board Examination and wishes to take up commerce to pursue Chartered Accountancy.

This academic year, we placed 20 of our Udaan girls into private English Medium school from vernacular mediums. The girls are excited and coping well with the transition. Tutoring classes were also commenced from June.

 

Exposure Visit and Sessions:

The Pricewaterhouse Coopers team in Bandra warmly organized an exposure visit for the Udaan girls to their office and talked to them about the importance of an education, merits of hard work and future goal setting. The girls had a great time playing different games and took back a positive message, along with various gifts.

The girls were also introduced to Journalism during a Career Guidance Session conducted by Editor Ajay Kamalakaran from ‘Russia Beyond the Headlines’. The girls learnt a lot about journalism during the session and made sure to ask various questions pertaining to the field.

 

Recreational Excursions:

With the summer vacation beginning in April, the Udaan beneficiaries got a chance to visit a lot of places such as museums, beaches, gardens, and a movie screening, which they attended with their mothers. They also visited the American Library where they were introduced to the concept of e-books, and the Chowpatty Beach with volunteer B’jorn who taught football to the girls.

The girls also attended weekly sessions organized by corporate partner Hexaware, where Hexaware employees engaged the girls in educative and recreational sessions on topics such as earthquake, fire safety, solar system and Indian states, along with various games.

 

Extra-Curricular Activities:

After their visit to the National Gallery of Modern Art with volunteer Antoinette, Udaan beneficiaries drew inspiration from the work of famous artist A.A. Almelkar and imitated his sketching style. The girls also participated in a self-defense session organized by instructor Martial Vout, where he trained the girls to defend themselves in various dangerous situations and shared easy tricks.

Also, to ensure that the girls utilized their summer vacation time to the fullest, we made sure to involve the girls in a host of engaging sessions where they learnt new musical instruments, songs in various foreign language, jazz dance form, drama classes, glass painting and paper quilling workshops as well as mehendi (henna) designing classes.

 

Counseling:

AAWC’s in-house counselor took various sessions on mental health, self-acceptance, expressing emotions and Personal Safety Education with the girls. Animal-assisted therapy sessions were also continued for the younger girls.

Girls had a great time at the beach
Girls had a great time at the beach
Introduction to journalism during a session
Introduction to journalism during a session
Career Guidance Session at PwC office
Career Guidance Session at PwC office
Art Work done by a beneficiary
Art Work done by a beneficiary
Udaan Program Impact Assessment
Udaan Program Impact Assessment
Girls participating during Sports Day
Girls participating during Sports Day

Landing straight from West Bengal to a place where the language, culture and ambience were diametrically opposite to that of her native village, 12 year old Ruksana* struggled to grasp the transitions that surrounded her life. Her mother could not keep her because of the exigencies of her work and consequently, she was admitted into our night shelter program. Along with poor health, Ruksana struggled to cope with the transition in language and academics and the gap kept growing. However, counselling sessions followed by regular medical assistance improved her health and made her more receptive towards the environment in which she was growing up. Currently, Ruksana is doing much better than her initial days at the centre. Her health has considerably improved and language classes in English are helping her perform better in academics. Her peers support her in picking up Hindi and regular meetings with her mother have helped her to get over her homesickness.

*name changed to protect identity

Organization Updates

Marathon: AAWC participated in the 13th edition of Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon and were privileged to be represented by corporate partner Raheja Universal as well as runners Avanish Kumar, Aria Parikh, Pallavi Khurana, Dharmaraj Solanki, Adarsh Rai and Rajesh Gaikwad.

Accolades: AAWC was awarded the GuideStar India - NGO Transparency Award 2016 for voluntarily sharing the organization's financial and legal information on public domain.

Presentation: AAWC team presented about the issue of sex trafficking and our organization’s work in the red light district during the visit by Stanford University delegation.

Capacity Building: AAWC staff attended workshops on topics such as POCSO Act and effective fundraising tools.

Medical Camp: All beneficiaries benefited from the dental and general medical camp organized in association with Angels Dentist Network during the quarter. Complete follow-up of the required patients were done to ensure effective treatment.

Festival Celebrations: Republic Day, Kite Flying and Holi festivals were celebrated with all beneficiaries during the quarter.

Udaan Updates

Education: After rigorously preparing throughout the year, girls in 10th and 12th grade gave their Board Examinations and are looking forward to their results in the upcoming months.

Career Guidance: Udaan girls attended an interesting career guidance session organized by textile designer and chefs on opportunities in the designing and culinary fields. They were also introduced to social media marketing during the session.

Extra-Curricular Activities: Udaan girls participated in creative writing workshops, computer sessions and spoken-English classes conducted by dedicated volunteers. Also, along with guitar, the girls learnt keyboard and vocals during their music class.

Recreational Excursions: During their visit to the Kala Ghoda Arts Festivals, the girls were intrigued by the various art installations on display and made sure to ask several questions to the artists present.

They also partook in the annual AAWC Sports Day event where they competed with their friends in various races. Lastly, the girls went to the beach and Marine Drive promenade where they tried their hands on sketching live scenery.

Mentoring: Udaan girls enjoyed Mentor Me India’s Annual Day where they spent quality time with their mentors and also made new friends. The older Udaan girls also conducted engaging learning sessions for the Umang toddlers on various topics.

Counselling: Sessions on improving self-esteem, expressing oneself, academic stress and phonetics were conducted by AAWC's in-house counsellor during the quarter. The girls also benefited from weekly dog therapy sessions.

Girls participated in an art competition
Girls participated in an art competition
Learnt about social media marketing during session
Learnt about social media marketing during session
Kite Flying celebrations
Kite Flying celebrations
Sketching live scenery with artist Antoinette
Sketching live scenery with artist Antoinette
Impact Study of Udaan (January - March 2016)
Impact Study of Udaan (January - March 2016)
Learnt about social media marketing during session
Learnt about social media marketing during session

Recently, during a career guidance session conducted by an influential chef and a textile designer about professional opportunities in the hospitality and designing sector, led the girls to ponder about their ambitions for the future. When asked about it, many conveyed that they would like to pursue science, teaching and also join the police force. Few girls, inspired by their recent progress in art classes, mentioned that they would like to follow their passion in art and architecture.


Breaking the intergenerational cycle of prostitution can be tough, when girls, mostly due to lack of positive influence and aspiration, often head again into the cycle of poverty and trafficking. However, the determination and aspiration of our Udaan beneficiaries make us believe in and work harder to assist them in achieving their dreams.


AAWC not only works with the daughters of women in sex trade but also those women who have been trafficked into brothel-based prostitution and their toddlers through our Umeed and Umang Program respectively. We, at AAWC, are grateful for consistent support of donors such as yourself and would like to take this opportunity to present you with our Annual Report for F.Y. 14-15.


We hope that you enjoy reading the report and understanding in-depth about the issue of trafficking and our work in the red light districts of Falkland Road and Kamathipura in Mumbai, India.

Successfully sketched flowers during art class
Successfully sketched flowers during art class

Providing our Udaan beneficiaries with positive influence and an influential mentor is significant for their overall empowerment. Therefore, in the previous quarter, AAWC decided to give older Udaan girls the role of a mentor as each girl was allocated a younger Udaan beneficiary as a mentee. Consequently, in-house mentoring sessions were conducted once a week between them.

However, so motivated were the girls by the purpose of the session that they continued with their responsibility regularly by communicating with the younger girls’ mothers about their welfare and progress at AAWC. They also attempted to understand the broader issue of trafficking.

Organization Updates

Festival Celebrations: Navratri, Dusshera, Children’s Day, Diwali and Christmas were celebrated with all beneficiaries. The Udaan girls also attended Diwali party organized by Salaam Bombay Foundation.

Accolades: AAWC was awarded the Gulabrao Ganacharya Award for 2015 in November.

Capacity Building: Session on Team Building and Child Sexual Abuse was conducted with AAWC staff during the last quarter.

Medical Camp: An Eye camp and a General Medical Camp was conducted for the beneficiaries in the past quarter.

Fundraising: AAWC participated in HerVoice, a year-end fundraising campaign to raise awareness about violence against women and children in India.

Advocacy: AAWC Outreach Worker’s participated in a rally organized by Mumbai Aids Forum to protest against possible stoppage of government funding for treatment of HIV/ AIDS patients.

Udaan Updates

Career Guidance: Udaan beneficiaries were taken for an exposure visit to Thomson Reuters office where a session on importance of hard work, education, knowledge and how to overcome challenges were shared.

The girls in 10th grade were also exposed to career options that different educational streams can help them pursue.

Extra-curricular Workshops: The girls learnt Mosaic Art through a volunteer and were able to make beautiful jewellery boxes. They also attended a photography session by volunteer Jill and later went to the beach to test their photography skills. English speaking sessions were conducted by volunteers Johanna, Kari, Marjanna and Clemence with a special focus on different countries and their culture.

Weekly craft classes by Allie and Penny saw the girls create pompoms, collages and Christmas decor. The girls also made traditional Spanish piñatas in a session conducted by Clem.

Mentoring: The girls visited Parkinson’s Institute with The Lighthouse Project to understand the concept of volunteering as they spent few hours with Parkinson’s patients.

Regular mentoring sessions for the girls with Mentor Me India and Lighthouse Project mentors were conducted. The girls are developing confidence and self-awareness which is facilitated by one-on-one mentoring.

Recreational Excursions: The girls visited the Gateway of India to witness Navy Day’s Beating the Retreat performance, Golden circus, Chowpatty Beach and were also an audience to Bharat Natyam performance of their volunteer from St. Xavier’s College - Social Service League.

Counseling Sessions: Group counseling sessions by AAWC counselor and dog therapy sessions by Animal Angels Foundation were conducted regularly and addressed topics such as hygiene, sex education, behaviour modification and social skills. In-house mentoring sessions were also introduced during the past quarter!

Girls cheer as Santa comes during Christmas party!
Girls cheer as Santa comes during Christmas party!
Udaan beneficiaries getting checked at eye camp
Udaan beneficiaries getting checked at eye camp
Mixed Media Painting done by girls
Mixed Media Painting done by girls
Understanding the camera during photography class
Understanding the camera during photography class
Impact Study of Udaan (October to December 2015)
Impact Study of Udaan (October to December 2015)
Art work done by the girls!
Art work done by the girls!

Young Varsha* was so familiar with the by-lanes of Falkland Road that she could find her way back from any corner of the expansive red light area. With a disruptive nature and an unsupportive family, it was very difficult to discipline her. Continuous outreach and counseling provided to Varsha* and her mother over the years proved to be effective as she gradually became a regular member and a disciplined child. Today she is studying in the 9th grade and has developed good leadership skills!

With your continuous support and encouragement, she now dreams of a brighter future!
*name changed to protect identity

 

Organization Updates

Festival Celebrations: AAWC celebrated various festivals with our beneficiaries this quarter, such as Eid, Rakhi, Independence Day, Janmasthmi, Guru Purnima, Gopalkala and Teacher’s Day with children participating enthusiastically in skits, dance programs and fancy dress competition!

AAWC Representation: Online fundraising portal GlobalGiving presented AAWC with the opportunity to talk about our partnership with them and the benefits of field evaluation program, during a workshop conducted by GlobalGiving in Mumbai.

AAWC was also given the opportunity to talk about child labour in the red light district in a seminar organized by Kelkar College.

Capacity Building: AAWC staff attended MAF meetings where they discussed about Antiretroviral Therapy, stock out and ill treatment of HIV+ beneficiaries in hospitals.

Monthly Checkup: Monthly check-ups of the beneficiaries were conducted each month followed by providing medical assistance as required. A medical camp in association with E-Ward was also conducted in July for all beneficiaries.

Udaan Updates

Career Guidance: Counselors from Aavishkar Centre conducted psychometric assessments of the older girls, and explored career options, based on their aptitude and interest.

Volunteers Olivia and Gabby from Berry College and UC Berkeley respectively conducted daily computer classes for younger girls, wherein they learnt computer basics and MS-Office. Spoken-English classes were also conducted by volunteers to develop girls’ communication skills.

Mentoring: Mentors from partner organizations Mentor Me India and The Lighthouse Project have been conducting one-on-one mentoring sessions with the girls, which involve activities such as reading stories and teaching moral values lessons. The girls look forward to meeting their mentors every week!

Edutainment Workshops: The girls have been participating in New York to Mumbai drawing sessions organized by volunteer artist Antoinette from New York.  The girls are taught a new drawing technique each month via posts which they interpret and draw. They have mastered gesture drawing, contour drawing and paint wash techniques!

General knowledge quiz competition helped increase the girls’ knowledge and also fostered healthy competition amongst them, who supported and won prizes for their teams!

Workshops conducted during the last quarter included guitar classes by Mewsic Foundation, craft workshops by volunteers and dance, music and craft activities by Social Service League of St. Xavier’s College.

Recreational Excursions: The girls visited KidZania, an indoor theme park that inspired them to explore different career opportunities through real life role play activities. The girls enjoyed managing their own money whilst emulating real life professions such as bakers, doctors, mechanics and choreographers.

Garden visits were also conducted on the weekends and the girls went pandal hopping in the community during Ganpati. 

Counseling sessions: Group counseling sessions by AAWC’s Counseling Psychologist and Dog Therapy sessions by Animal Angels Foundation have been conducted regularly to address topics such as anger management, social skills and provide a platform for experience sharing.

Health: A nutrition workshop was conducted by TATA Memorial Hospital’s nutritionists and dieticians, who talked about unhygienic food and health dietary habits.

Making mouth-watering pizzas at KidZania!
Making mouth-watering pizzas at KidZania!
Girls during Dog Therapy Sessions
Girls during Dog Therapy Sessions
Weekly Art Therapy Classes
Weekly Art Therapy Classes
Portrait of Gandhiji drawn in NY to Mumbai session
Portrait of Gandhiji drawn in NY to Mumbai session
Impact Study of Udaan (July to September 2015)
Impact Study of Udaan (July to September 2015)
 

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Organization Information

Apne Aap Women's Collective (AAWC)

Location: Mumbai, MH - India
Website: http:/​/​www.aawc.in
Project Leader:
Sushil Mohanty
Fundraising & Communications Manager
Mumbai, MH India
$65,008 raised of $75,000 goal
 
 
561 donations
$9,992 to go
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