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Transforming Futures.

This is what we see and achieve in the select underprivileged communities of Mumbai through our various Areas of Work, under Education, Health, Livelihood, Awareness and Advocacy. While the various projects under our Areas of Work, work with different beneficiaries, the Educational projects (Higher Education Project, Girl Child Education Project and the Life Skills Empowerment Project) have a set of overlapping beneficiaries. These young growing minds have immense mental strength and the will power to bring about a change, not only in their lives but also in their own communities. And through various sessions and workshops held for them by means of the projects, we at Mumbai Smiles aim to create a common platform where they can all share their personal experiences and knowledge and form a core group to identify and address the issues of the community together. And these beneficiaries are what we then call the Young Change-Agents, who act as agents to empower their community members together.

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Program Officer Sachin Bhagat introducing everyone to the Change-Agent Program

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Last week the first meet of these young Change-Agents was held in the Mumbai Smiles office as an orientation session. For the 22 participant Agents, this session covered some extremely important topics which are essential for all the beneficiaries to know in order to be well-equipped with all the knowledge of our projects, which can be used by them to create awareness in their own communities, thereby helping themselves to solve the social issues in an informed manner.

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Field Coordinator Pravin Birhade explaining about the various projects of Mumbai Smiles and (below) Beneficiaries sharing their experiences, knowledge and ideas.

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The meeting started with discussing the daily routine of each beneficiary to under their daily activity calendar. This followed an introductory session about all of Mumbai Smiles Project, covering the aims and objectives of each of them. And then began a discussion on the core issues of the communities, such as addition, eve-teasing, hygiene and sanitation issues being the immediate issues that the Agents spoke about. They also mentioned how the youth and children of the community are unaware of the various career prospects. Neither do they have the guidance to help them with various options that they can choose from as their career, nor do they know about which course to choose to help them achieve their dreams.

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This is where the conclusion of the meeting was drawn that this group of Change Agents will now act as coordinators between Mumbai Smiles team and their own communities; they will take lead in our activities to connect their fellow community members with our action and advocacy programs as and when needed and for this they will conduct a monthly meeting among themselves to set their monthly goals as well.

All our Change-Agents left the meeting extremely satisfied, having started this program for the betterment of their own community and this, in turn will help us at Mumbai Smiles, to connect the needy with our Jump2Justice programs, to ensure justice to all.

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Field Coordinator, Vipul Khankal, concluding the meeting.

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