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“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use against the World” – Nelson Mandela.

And using this non-destructive weapon, Mumbai Smiles tries to bring a change in the city of Mumbai with 30 Pre-school Education Centres (erstwhile known as Balwadis) where 31 children are admitted every year in each Balwadi since 2010, from the slum communities of select Andheri East areas, to provide them with quality education and nutritious meal for healthy mental as well as physical growth.

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And as they say, change is the only constant in this world. And with Mumbai Smiles having crossed a decade of its services to the communities of Mumbai, we thought it was about time to advance with the quality of our Pre-School Education Centres as well. So, in addition to the existing materials in these centres, like mattresses for the children, blackboards/whiteboards, some toys and others, we have now introduced a Model Pre-School Education Centre!

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A question may arise here – What is a Model Pre-School Centre and how is it different from the rest of the 29 centres?

Here are your answers!

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So, instead of mattresses, we now have bright colourful chairs in multiple colours with corresponding semi-circle tables as well. The new games and toys now introduced focus more on the cognitive growth of the children (matching pairs, counting toys, shapes-box etc.) and with these, we have also included an AC for these tiny tots as well!

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BUT these are all just materials things. The reason we call it a Model Pre-School Education Centre is not just because of AC and toys and colourful furniture, but the idea is much beyond that!

These children, as we have mentioned before, belong to the slum communities, which comprises of tiny spaces crunched with many people. This Model Centre, is OUTSIDE the slum area, closer to the highway and a little away from the slums. The idea is to get these children out of the slums in their early years, which will sub-consciously foster in them the need to get out of the slum and aim higher in their later life as well. With the Model centre being situated in a non-slum area, the children will feel the difference between their home and school areas and fortunately, this will create a foundation in their mind to come out of slums and into a better areas even later in life and will boost confidence in them as well!

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With our partners, associates, collaborators and visitors often spending their time at our project sites, the Model Pre-School Education Centre is a practical and active prototype we have created for them to visit and aid us in our dream to achieve similar goals for the rest of 29 centres as well.

If YOU think you can make a difference in such communities of Mumbai, we invite you to come, visit us and help us spread the word about Mumbai Smiles! You may contact us anytime at info@mumbaismiles.org for more details!

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