Mumbai Smiles Foundation runs 4 preschool centres in Kamathipura, Khetwadi and Ghatkopar, offering preschool education to 80 children of Victims of Human Trafficking. Along with educational support, the preschools offer health education programmes, implements vaccination campaigns and provides daily nutritional supplements to children.
To provide preschool education to children under 6 years of age, who are children of Victims of Human Trafficking, from Kamathipura, Khetwadi and Ghatkopar areas in Mumbai, with the dual purpose of preventing them from exploitation, and widening their future prospects in education and personality development.
In each school, the pupils are taught basic education to improve their learning, access to vaccination campaigns, daily meals thereby contributing to their nourishment. Nutritional meals are prepared by women from the community who work in Self-Help Groups (SHG)
The project has been running successfully since its launch in 2010, and has steadily widened its geographical coverage and range of activities. The project has also greatly improved the educational level, where currently education is provided to 958 (Mumbai Smiles Foundation preschools: 293 + Teachers Livelihood Preschool 665) pupils across 32 preschool centres. Furthermore, 130 women involved in the project are in charge of preparing daily meals for the boys and girls, thus serving as an income generation opportunity for them.
We carry out briefing sessions with parents to ensure that families are involved in the educational life of their children. Also, we emphasize on the importance of keeping the teachers and their assistants highly motivated and well trained. For this purpose, training sessions on innovative teaching methods are organized regularly.
Regarding health issues, all children are provided with medical check-up and regular follow up on their health status. Together with nutritional support, monthly records of height and weight are maintained to identify possible malnutrition cases. Severe cases are referred to hospitals, and nutritional counselling is provided to parents.
In 2018, there was a detailed revision of the learning curriculum taught in preschools. This new methodology focuses on each boy or girl, and aims at enhancing their own abilities and competences, at fostering their curiosity and encouraging them to take responsibility for their own learning process.
From 2018, the Preschool Education Project focuses specifically on the children of Victims of Human Trafficking. During this year, two preschool centres were opened in Khetwadi and Ghatkopar, supported by two local NGOs. In 2019, two new preschool centres were opened in Kamathipura area.
The success of our Preschool Education project has resulted in the launch of the Sustainable Preschool Centres Project, where 19 preschool centres previously run by us, are now independently run by their own team of teacher and assistants with technical support from Mumbai Smiles.