Meet some of our amazing children.
Our outreach work supports the development of children in some of the worlds most impoverished environments. We work closely with these communties to ensure that they are given the best possible chance in life.
Read some of their stories below to see how our projects have made a difference:
Three and a half year old Noushad is an active child in the Apnalaya Crèche, whose smile and laughter belie his tragic childhood.
He lives in a hut, with his family. Noushad’s father, Isaque Shaikh, had been a rag-picker for as long one can remember. Illiterate, poor, with a wife, a little son and an elderly father, he had to rag-pick to make ends meet.
Early one morning, Isaque set off as usual to the towering piles of putrefying rubbish. Atop one, looking for scraps, he lost his balance and tragically fell to his death into a nearby water-filled ditch. Hearing this news, Noushad’s mother went into a state of shock.
The sudden death impaired her ability to perform her countless responsibilities for the surviving members of the family. She refused to eat and the family also went hungry for several days.
Apnalaya’s health worker visited Noushad’s family. Recollecting that Apnalaya’s crèche staff and Noushad’s mother used to be neighbours, she passed on the case details to her, for maximum and speedy impact
Apnalaya’s crèche teacher visited the mother. A familiar face and a comforting voice helped the mother cope with the grief and bereavement. Upon carrying out continued counselling, Noushad’s mother began her journey of recovery.
Meanwhile, Noushad, who had become malnourished, was enrolled into the Apnalaya Crèche.
Noushad received special attention and care from the Crèche staff for eight hours every day. He is a happy child, enjoys nutritious meals and is no longer malnourished.
Noushad’s mother now works as a domestic help in houses to provide for her family. She can now take care of her family and looks forwards to her promising future.
Savitri, 12, migrated from Bihar to Mumbai with her family in 2011. She lives with her parents and two sisters and attends a nearby Municipal school. Her father is a construction labourer and her mother is a domestic maid. Savitri joined Toybank's toy library, a place to meet other children and take part in activities, after hearing about it through her mother’s friends. When she initially joined the library, she was reserved and did not participate in regular activities at the centre. Savitri found it difficult to integrate with the city children.
Coming from Bihar, she had a different accent, and was teased about her background. With Toybanks' support, Savitri continued to attend the sessions, where she participated in games with other children. They worked together on puzzles or played board games, which enabled Savitri’s language to develop and her confidence to grow. Savitri is now accepted within the group, and the younger students look up to her. Savitri has always been a bright child, and through Toybank she has been given the opportunity to fully nurture her abilities.
Thirteen year old Shakilu Rehman Siddik hails from a large family with five brothers, five sisters and parents.
Shakilu’s father, the sole breadwinner, is disabled and runs a petty shop selling chappals (slippers). His mother is a housewife. Shakilu's father barely makes enough to make ends meet.
Having been neglected by his parents, Shakilu lost interest in continuing his education, he dropped out of school, and falling into the wrong crown, he began to use offensive language and violent behaviour.
Shakilu enrolled in Apnalaya’s Recreation Programme out of curiosity. Soon, he was won over by the buzz and excitement of the centre. The schedule was filled with creative and artistic activities, and he liked the fact that he had the freedom to pick and choose what he took part in.
Neglected children from the slums can often go down the path of crime and addiction, sometimes as a result of peer pressure. The Recreation Programme provides a healthy and positive alternative for children and seeks to mould them into goal-oriented and positive contributors to society.
Shakilu transformed into a respectful boy who is well-mannered and well behaved. And most excitingly of all, has decided to continue with his studies!