Mumbai Smiles is a non-profit organisation (NGO) that focuses its joint action with the communities of the slums of Mumbai in a peaceful struggle against poverty.
The organisation, founded in 2005 by Spanish journalist and writer, Jaume Sanllorente, seeks to generate a social transformation through self-sufficiency and to ensure access to equal Rights and opportunities. Mumbai Smiles promotes access to education, health and livelihood as well as awareness-raising campaigns to denounce the denial of Human Rights and social exclusion suffered by millions of citizens in Mumbai.
We work with the most disadvantaged communities of the Indian metropolis, within a cooperative framework of urban development to give shape to a new reality of social justice. So far, more than 8,000 people have been beneficiaries of this shared project with Sonrisas de Bombay, our sister organisation in Spain.
To transform the social reality of Mumbai to ensure respect for Human Rights and guarantee access to a decent life for the most disadvantaged communities in Mumbai.
We aspire to see a Mumbai free of poverty and social injustice, whereby all its citizens equally enjoy Human Rights.
Our development work is aimed at promoting fair access to opportunities and the full exercise of human freedom universally.
We respect human diversity in all its forms, regardless of origin, nationality, caste, age, political or sexual orientation, religion or gender.
We manage our resources with rigour, relying on transparency and accountability towards our partners, collaborators, donors, beneficiaries, and society in general.
Our work is based on doing what we believe and say, being faithful to the fulfilment of our Mission and Vision, and our work speaks for itself.
Committed to our Mission, we assume the responsibility of working towards its achievement.
We intend to join efforts promoting teamwork and collaboration with other organisations and institutions to enhance synergies and improve the performance of our work.
To induce a real social transformation, we promote participatory mechanisms, integrating the implementation of the projects with all stakeholders.
Motivated by the results of our work, we carry our work with hope, enthusiasm, passion and interest.
Mumbai exudes a diversity of cultures, the Hindi Cinema glamour, and a wide range of business opportunities. The fifth largest city in the world and the financial capital of India, Mumbai generates 5% of the country’s GDP, shining with commercial centres, multiplexes, tourist attractions, and residential complexes that are amongst the most expensive in the world. However, there is another reality, equally palpable to the naked eye, that of poverty, as this city houses the largest slum of Asia and third largest slum in the world!
According to the World Population Prospects – United Nations, 2014, Mumbai has a population of approximately 22 million people and about 60% of this population lives in slums (according to Harvard South Asian Institute, 2015) with little or no access to services and denial of Fundamental Rights such as education, housing or health. Poverty and inequality so fierce and extreme may seem to be an irresolvable equation.
Approximately 400 million people live in India on less than $1.25/day (approximately Rs. 80/day), according to the 2014 MDG Report. Even so, the country has a broadly progressive constitution that defends the fight against discrimination and promotes respect for the Rights of the most vulnerable. But the reality of millions of people, who daily see their Rights violated and who lack opportunities, reveals how these principles fail to practice.
Mumbai Smiles Foundation focuses its action in the north-western area called Andheri East and its surroundings with an approximate population of 8,06,360 people, of which 58.3% live in slums.
In short, the foundation faces the contradiction of a country that, despite having a structure that promotes equality and non-discrimination and generates opportunities, houses more than 13 million people in situation of extreme poverty and exclusion.
Mumbai Smiles Foundation was founded in 2005 by journalist and writer Jaume Sanllorente after a vacation trip to Mumbai that changed his life. Thus began what he calls a “peaceful struggle against poverty”, a fight that today has become a team of more and more people dedicated to the project. Over the years, the work of this organization has been thriving and, currently, thousands of people participate through multiple projects.
Since its inception, Mumbai Smiles has been committed to improving the quality of life of the poorest communities in Mumbai and focuses its action on the fight against poverty, respect for Human Rights, and equal opportunities in the slum communities.
In these last 13 years the NGO has received international awards like Prize Tarannà Responsible IV Edition; The Medicine and Solidarity Prize of DKV Seguros (2nd edition); The Blas Infante Prize, Casares Solidario, XII Edition; The Committed Optimists Prize of the magazine “Last night I had a dream” (1st edition); The MIA and Garnier Care for You Award (ex aequeo, 3rd edition); The Prize for the Coexistence of the Autonomous City of Ceuta; The Blogs Catalunya Prize in its second edition; The Telva T Award for Solidarity; The Natura Award; The XIII Tierno Galván Prize for Solidarity and Human Values, and the 2007 Axuda Prize.