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Projects with RC Mumbai SOBO

Projects with RC Mumbai SOBO

The December 4th Bollywood Charity Gala raised over 12,000€. Some of this money will be used to help local charities in Spain, and the rest is to be used to help two charities supported br RC Mumbai SOBO.
The following descriptions of the projects are written by Mumbai SOBO, who already support them and know their needs.

A. Bhavdhara Academy – payment of teachers’ salaries (€2,931)
The Bhavdhara Academy, a non-for-profit organisation set up in 2003 and focused on providing excellent education to underprivileged children. A school which since its inception has managed to function well and attract passionate and talented teachers. The school is located in Vasai, Palghar district, an area on the outskirts of Mumbai but which falls within the “jurisdiction” of our Rotary District 3141.

One of our charter members has been closely associated with the Bhavdhara Academy for many years, providing us great insights in the genuine cause of the school. Our club has also visited the Bhavdhara Academy several times, including with our Director Youth Services, Mahera Goel, who herself is a principal of an IB school in Mumbai. She confirmed that both the curriculum taught and the standard of the teachers is absolutely at par and impressive.

Because of the COVID pandemic the Bhavdhara Academy for the first time in its history seriously struggled financially and, hence, reached out to us. That is because most of the parents whose children attend the school lost their (mainly manual labour or cleaning staff) jobs, which made it impossible for them to pay the tuition fees of the children. In turn, this made it very challenging for the Bhavdhara Academy to pay their teachers.

Their actual need is a total amount of INR 5 lakhs, that is INR 500,000 = about Euro 5862. That said, the priority need is half of that, INR 250,000 or Euro 2931. That is because 50% of their total salary needs go towards the Founders / Principal / teachers from the founders’ family who have agreed that the main priority is the payment of the other teachers’ salaries. In short, for this particular project, we’re looking at the support of INR 250,000 or Euro 2931.

B. Oscar Foundation – upliftment of girls in slum areas (€6,537)
Turning to the OSCAR Foundation project: OSCAR uses football as a tool to deliver education and life skills sessions enabling children and youth to become role models in their community. Over the last 9 years, more than 12000+ children and youth in India have joined OSCAR’s Football, Education, and Young Leaders’ Programme.  The OSCAR Foundation is a well-established and recognised project, which instils a sense of discipline and allows children to dream beyond their immediate slum area.

Children have to be regular in attending school to be allowed in the soccer program. Through the means of regular practice and competitions, including competitions India-wide in Asia (and some of the girl elite soccer team compete even in Europe), the girls discover a world of possibilities and appreciate that through hard work and regular practice one can achieve a lot. This translates in better results in their academic performance as well.

Many of the children who’ve followed the OSCAR Foundation’s program go on to even attend college and find a job subsequently, which inspires everyone else in the closely-knit slum areas. The OSCAR Foundation also spends time on training of life skills, offering training at their digital learning centers, and general support throughout the journey of the kids.

Here too, the Board members of our club have visited the OSCAR Foundation several times, interacted with the Founder and his team, observed the practice sessions and interacted with the children. We’re fully convinced of their dedication and the important role they play in the upliftment of children from the slum areas, who aspire to become educated and obtain jobs, possibly beyond the wildest dreams of their parents, while still remaining connected and proud of their origins. This is why our club has decided to sponsor a girls soccer team of 30-35 young children for one year, and assist them in their journey of upliftment.  See the video on YouTube about how girls can be empowered through OSCAR