Tag Archives: youth empowerment

[Interview] How a Recent YEP Graduate’s Trip to a Rural Village Changed The Way They Think About Dharavi and Inspired Change

Recently, Kaveri and Hasnain, two graduates from our Youth Empowerment Program  joined youth from the French NGO Global Potential for a four day leadership course in our partner village, Chinchoti.

Global Potential is an 18 month leadership and entrepreneurship program for youth from underserved communities. A key aspect of their program is a 45 day service-learning project in a rural village. During the month and a half immersion, program participants learn from local youth and cultures, carry out internships, and support community projects in health, environment, education, and media.

This year, they came to India for the first time to explore potential partnerships and partner villages with our co-founder Krishna. They also took the opportunity to host the leadership course with their students, and invited Kaveri and Hasnain along too!

Upon their return we sat with Kaveri to reflect on her time away from Dharavi.

Continue reading [Interview] How a Recent YEP Graduate’s Trip to a Rural Village Changed The Way They Think About Dharavi and Inspired Change

Looking Ahead – Our Hopes For 2016

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. Continue reading Looking Ahead – Our Hopes For 2016

[Interview] “I Learn A Lot From The Kids – Probably More Than I Teach Them!”

After studying at the Yoga Institute in Mumbai, Shraddha became a teacher and has been
inspiring apprentice yogis for over 2 years now. She recently decided to share her wisdom with young beneficiaries from Dharavi through weekly yoga classes in one of our community centres. After one of those classes, we sat down to discuss her job, her new students and what yoga can bring to your life. Continue reading [Interview] “I Learn A Lot From The Kids – Probably More Than I Teach Them!”

[Interview] “It Is A New Life, I Made New Friends And I Got A New Chance Here”

Vijaya Kumari, 33, is a recent graduate of our Youth Empowerment Program (YEP). As a mother of three and having only had the opportunity to study until 8th Standard, we sat down with Viji to understand some of the story which led her to enroll.

Viji’s journey with Reality began when her daughter saw a pamphlet (distributed by Reality staff amongst the communities we serve in Dharavi). Her daughter convinced her to enroll, telling her it would help children with their homework (all attend schools where the curricula are taught in English) and give her confidence in communicating with all kinds of people. She tells us, “education is the most important. My children want to be educated; they have dreams. For them to complete their dreams, that’s why I work hard for them”.

[Interview] “I have enjoyed every minute”

From late August to early October, Lydia Wummel, a Business Management student from Germany volunteered with us. Just before she boarded a flight we caught up with her and made one more request (she was gracious enough never to say ‘no’ to whatever we asked, one of the many qualities we loved her for), to tell us about her time here…

“It is hard to believe that my six weeks of volunteering with Reality Gives have come to an end. The time has gone by so fast and I have enjoyed every minute of it.”

But let’s start at the beginning…

This was not my first time here in India. Coming to Mumbai as a student in 2011 I immediately fell in love with the country and it’s amazing people. That time it was clear – I will come back to Mumbai again! As I wanted to see other parts of the city I applied to be a volunteer with RGi and luckily I got the chance to work here for a period of six weeks.

My first day started with the Dharavi slum tour. Having seen Slumdog Millionaire and being asked question from Mumbaikars like “why would you go there?” I was really excited to see this part of the city. This tour broke my stereotypical depiction of a slum. I was surprised by all the self-sustainable factories, safety and hospitality of the people there.

So, I was ready to start my volunteering experience in Dharavi. On my first day I met the entire team of RGi and Reality Tours & Travel and welcomed with a nice lunch at an Indian restaurant nearby. After introductions and visits to our different projects and partners I was ready to start my project work with Maggie, another lovely volunteer from Italy who joined in my second week. Maggie and I were responsible for shaping the volunteer and ambassador programs of Reality Gives and we really enjoyed our work. Besides this we got hands on practical experience while giving English classes to staff members, preparing a presentation about our country to teachers and assisting the girl’s football program, a unique program in Dharavi. Throughout the English conversation classes Banu, Sangeeta and Ravi taught us a lot about Indian traditions and festival. We were lucky to be here during the Ganpati Festival and got all information about it from our students. India has amazing and unique festivals!

One of our highlights was the organisation of a dance performance with students from our Youth Empowerment program. We were amazed by their dance skills and the performances they prepared for teachers day at the Royal City School. On Teacher’s day we got the chance to be judges for several things the teachers had prepared themselves. We tasted yummy food, saw amazing posters and draws, got Mehndi and saw beautiful Rangolis. A really eventful and memorable day!

Besides volunteering, Mumbai never gets boring! Every time we thought we understood the city we would find something new and start all over again! Chai walas, colours, festivals, food, smells, smiling people. This will not be my last time in India!I also want to take the chance hereby to thank all the fantastic colleagues from RGi, RT&T, Royal City School, the Community Center and all the lovely people from Dharavi who made this stay unforgettable. You guys are amazing. Keep it up! Looking forward to seeing you back in Mumbai soon!”