Having ended 2015 with the release of our Annual Report, looking back on a year where we extended our reach to have positively impacted the lives of over 6,000 people in the communities we serve in Dharavi, January now feels a fitting time to look ahead.
We caught up with a whole host of staff and beneficiaries and asked them all one thing, ‘what are your hopes and dreams for 2016?’.
Here’s what they had to say.
At our Ashayen Community Centre Jyoti, the Community Centre Manager, wishes “to see more community centres in different parts of Dharavi full of youth and children, getting trained by us and following their dreams”.
Colleague Ravi has similar hopes, “I want to see more and more young people coming to us. I want us to be known in every corner of Dharavi because we offer course and opportunities which a professional but free. I want to share this good education and opportunity. For myself I have no wish. I wanted to be a teacher and now I am a teacher and the Community Centre Assistant Manager. I have no wish but also, I am excited to see what comes next”.
Current Youth Empowerment Students, Abid and Javed are hoping 2016 will bring with it exciting new careers. “I wish to find a job in design.” Abid says, “I want to make a house for my family because right now we have very little room. My mother wishes for more and I want to make it happen”. Javed has similar ambitions, “I want to be a Civil Draftsman because I love buildings – they are home and communities. I want to help build them”.
IT Teacher Karthika, who herself is a graduate of the Youth Empowerment Program wants “to study more and work more so I can help more. I want to help people from here that are not as lucky as me”.
Over at Royal City School, Lakshmi our principate shared her wish to “to create more leaders from the teaching team, to empower and engage the parent community, and through aid and enhance the students progress”. Kindergarten teacher, Sonali told us “it is my dream to support the poorly performing children. I want to see the students develop – especially the ones that find it hardest.” Reflecting on how she will do this she continues “I will do this by personally keeping learning. Learning is never a waste. It will help myself and also others too”.
Tanzil, a student at the school succinctly describes her desires for the year – “I want to dance because when I do this I am happy. And I want to learn so when I grow old I can do good work”.
Varying in backgrounds, age, culture, religion and gender we were touched by the common thread running through all of these hopes and dreams. To improve oneself and in doing so, to help others. A great reminder of the common humanity which pervades the differences we all too often give too much focus and importance to.