Jake is an 11 year old boy living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In December of 2012, Jake and his family travelled through India and had the opportunity to do the Dharavi Slum Tour with Reality Tours and Travel in Mumbai. It was an incredible experience, one which had a big impact on Jake.
It was also one that prompted him to want to do something to help those living in Dharavi. So, when planning his 11th birthday party in February 2013, Jake asked his friends not to bring him a present but to instead bring a donation towards Reality Gives. He told his friends about the tour he had taken and the work being done by Reality Gives so that they would understand what he was trying to do. Eventually he had raised CAD 180!
Continue reading 11 Year Old Jake’s Kind Donation!
At 3am on January, the 22nd the residents of Naya Nagar, the pipeline area close to Sion-Link Road in Dharavi noticed a fire which soon became massive and burnt more than 25 houses down.
Dharavi Diaries is a new innovative project that works in this area and is especially concerned of the women issues. They have started with a short movie about the evictions of the families who live at the pipelines but soon created a much bigger vision – to create a sustainable livelihood program so that the women can rise out of poverty by themselves by creating well-designed and desirable products out of recycled materials. It was started by the film student Nawneet who will document the whole process to communicate the needs of the community to the world. We recently got in touch with Dharavi Diaries to source products made by the women. When the fire burnt down the houses and thereby all the work materials of the women involved in the project Reality Gives bought four sewing machines for Rs 27,000 so that the women can go back to normal life as soon as possible. Shabnam Sheikh and Hameda Sheikh received two of them.
Continue reading Dharavi Diaries Helps Women Who Were Affected By Massive Fire
Yogeshwar is a former student of Reality Gives’ Youth Empowerment Program. When I first met him in June 2012, he told me a little about his background. He had passed his HSC in Commerce and went to work at Matunga Labour Camp. He worked as a garment maker for three years and then went to work as an airport security guard. He had wanted to study further, but time away from education meant he had lost his motivation. Instead, had an ambition to remain in the security field, but to work abroad. For this, he knew he would need to improve his English, and this is why he had enrolled in the Youth Empowerment Program. His determination to move forward in life was very clear. During my time as a volunteer with Reality Gives, Yogeshwar stood out as an exceptionally motivated student. He requested additional conversation classes and worked hard to maintain long conversations in English. His hard work soon paid off.
Continue reading YEP Student Yogeshwar Travels The World
Reality Gives works very closely with the Foundation for Mother & Child Health (FMCH) to help people in the Dharavi community live healthier lives. We visited the FMCH office where their admirably lofty vision statement hangs proudly on the wall as a constant reminder of the work to be done:
“We dream of a world where the potential of each child is not limited by poor early health or malnutrition.”
Continue reading Foundation For Mother And Child Health
Sonam and Kaveri Shinde are sisters who live not far from the Reality Gives Community Center with their parents and two brothers. Kaveri participated in the Youth Empowerment Program last year, receiving English Language Support, computer training, and soft skills instruction. When someone from Youth Career Initiative came to recruit for a 6-month hotel management internship, they excitedly interviewed knowing it would be good for their future. Upon being selected, they were placed in the prestigious JW Marriot located in the western suburbs of Mumbai. While there, they were introduced to the logistics of running a hotel – especially a large one catering to a number of international guests. The Marriot has 5 floors and 355 rooms, along with a gym, pool, and restaurant with various food options available (Italian, Chinese, and even a 24-hour café). The young women would report for work one day a week and shadow a shift for 9-10 hours. They quickly learned that Saturdays and Sundays are the busiest days in the industry. From cleaning and housekeeping to service work and reception, they experienced a wide-range of duties and responsibilities – even making cakes while helping in the kitchen! They both agree that their favorite aspect of the hotel business is guest relations because everyone was nice and it was interesting interacting with people from all over the world. When asked their least favorite part of the program they don’t even miss a beat: “Dishes.”
Continue reading YEP Student Kaveri Graduated From Hotel Management Training