Saturday, 28 July 2012

Reality Gives Stories #1... Our football girls Mansi and Pooja

Reality Gives is so happy to get great hard working volunteers on board from time to time. They always do a little bit more than expected!

Laura for example who was in Mumbai in June to research for a Mobile English Language Learning Programme did also a great job creating profiles on our YEP students. Rose who is currently with Reality Gives to monitor the Girls Football programme was also asking the girls about their ambitions and dreams.

Every week from now we will publish the portraits of two of our beneficiaries these two volunteers made for us. We will start with our football girls, go ahead with the YEP students and will research for more profiles on our teachers and other Reality Gives friends. If you want to help us writing blog articles, get in contact with us.

Mansi (11)
Mansi is in 6th Standard, and comes to practice every single day. She joined the Dharavi team because she wants to be a football player. She used to play with the Magic Bus football team, but had to stop because practice was too far away. The team is Dharavi was perfect because practice is in her neighborhood! Mansi likes to play goalkeeper and kick the ball. She was happy to meet new people and make new friends. Someday, Mansi would love to play for India on the national level.

Pooja (12)

Pooja is in 7th Standard. She decided to join the Dharavi team because she always wanted to play football. She also had a dream that she was a football captain in the middle of a big crowd in a stadium—So she was very happy when she heard about the new Yuwa team! Her favorite activities at practice are heading, foot touch drills, and matches. She has made lots of friends through the team. At school, her favorite subjects are math, Hindi, and Marathi. Someday, she would love to play the India national team! She would also like to be an air hostess.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Reality Gives News....Reality launches two new partnership pilots: The Foundation for Mother & Child Health and InVenture

FMCH consults mothers for improvement of their children

The community centre was buzzing with activity last Saturday. We were excited to officially launch our health and nutrition program with the Foundation for Mother and Child Health. In addition, as part of our Youth Empowerment Program we are piloting a credit building program with partner InVenture which is aimed at helping our community members qualify for student and small business microfinance loans.

Also Shabanna, our Soft Skills Teacher who has two children
and lives in Dharavi is interested in  program

 Saturday afternoon the school desks at the community centre were cleared away and replaced with weigh scales, measuring tools, and patient charts. FMCH staff saw almost 20 children over the next 3 hours, bringing us over a quarter of the way to our goal of 100 beneficiaries for the next 3 months. "It looks like we will have to raise our target," Summer, Reality Gives Executive Director said. "And make sure that these children keep coming back," responded Piya Mukherjee, FMCH Executive Director.

The health and nutrition program will track the progress of the children over time as parents come for individual counselling about their child's diet. FMCH will also provide cooking demonstrations and will give talks on topics like how to feed fussy eaters, what mothers should know about breastfeeding and weaning children, etc. This is all aimed at increasing the knowledge of the mother so she can ensure her child is getting proper nutrition. "We have found that in many of our communities the problem with malnutrition isn't so much a matter of access to food, but it is about having the knowledge about what foods are healthy for a child," remarked Piya.

Suresh, the English teacher of YEP
 tells the students about the loan system
Earlier in the day InVenture met with our YEP students to talk with them about a new mobile system for tracking expenses that could help them qualify for loans. Many of our YEP students would like to continue on to vocational training programs or higher education after their course finishes, however the fees can be a big barrier. Some vocational training programs even facilitate earning a stipend that pays for the program, but paying the initial fee up front is not possible for some students. This is why programs like inVenture, which help students qualify for small student loans could be a big help.

Reality Gives is excited to see how these two pilots work to create change in our community and extend a warm welcome to both program partners.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Reality Gives Connections...Barefoot Acupuncturists

Clinic in Bandra East
Reality Gives just recently connected to another great organisation operating in Dharavi: Barefoot Acupuncturists. The system is as simple as effective: Acupuncture experts from India and abroad provide high-quality treatment to the underprivileged community of Dharavi. The professional therapy that is known to treat diseases where the conventional western medicine is limited, costs just Rs 20 or less for the slum dwellers.

Funded by the donor patients
The non-profit organisation is funded by donor patients in India and abroad. Barefoot Acupuncturists opened another clinic in Bandra East where patients from a higher level of prosperity can come for a world class treatment. For a minimum charge of Rs500 the supporters can heal their body as well as prevent diseases and in the same time they support the medical treatment of other less fortunate patients from Dharavi. 

A map of the acupuncture
points of the body
Acupuncture is an effective medical treatment especially for slum dwellers since it's safe, has no besides effects and doesn't require expensive medicine or surgery. Acupuncture works by activating the body’s internal ability to heal itself by stimulating specific points in the body by fine needles. 

Barefoot was founded by the Belgian acupuncturist Walter Fischer who regularly invites experts from all over the world who teach the local staff in the traditional chinese medical methods.

The lovely Team if Barefoot
The Team of Reality Gives and also our VIP visitor Frank Leboeuf (came to visit our Dharavi Girls Football Program) started to receive treatments themselves and are very satisfied by the results. Especially the very friendly team from Barefoot makes the weekly visits a pleasure. 

Chetan does a Check-up on a new patient

If you want to support the clinic in Dharavi and in the same time treat yourself an alternative way of healing, get in contact with us or call 022 2657 1025/ +91 98671 67649 / +91 98927 47556. Find out more on the website of Barefoot Acupunctures or through their online Brochure. The clinic in Bandra East is easy to find through google maps

We highly recommend to visit he clinic to at least receive a medical check up through their modern technology and treatments afterwards. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Reality Gives connections...Aussie Rules Football Match

Every Wednesday and Sunday evening around 45 boys come together on the muddy ground at Shivaji Park to play a game that isn’t often seen in India – Australian Rules Football. But it’s not just the rules that are special - the game brings young people from different communities together.

Australian national Lincoln Harris has teamed up with us to offer a twice weekly opportunity for kids to learn a new sport and get away from Dharavi for a couple hours. For residents of Dharavi it’s a way to break the isolation they experience by connecting with people from a wide range of social and economic backgrounds.

“When it comes to team sport, especially one as physically demanding as “Aussie Rules”, you don’t think about where your teammates are from or what their background is. And unlike cricket which is so well known in India, with Aussie Rules everyone is learning the game and being pushed out of their comfort zone, so what you get is teamwork between people who otherwise don't have much in common” says Lincoln Harris, who started the training sessions with some kids from his neighborhood

And if the results are anything to go by, the harmonizing power of sport, and particularly Aussie Rules, is clear: Young men from Dharavi now joke and play with foreign expats, well-off university students and kids of all ages and backgrounds from the Matunga and Mahim areas of the city. What were casual training sessions with just a handful of kids have grown to a group of more than 40 regular players, of which a third come from Dharavi.

With six months of training behind them, the ‘Grand Final’ took place on Sunday afternoon between the Mahim Cats and the Matunga Tigers. After a controversial ‘goal’ from USA expat Danny Bush, the Tigers secured a close victory 34 vs 25. Having picked up the trophy, winning captain Mayur Parmar said that it had been a lot of fun, that the muddy conditions had made the game more enjoyable.

Harris, who was inspired by Reclink Australia, an organization which aims to better the lives of disadvantaged people though sport, hopes the sport will be played in other India's cities and that a national competition can be set up. “There is an Aussie rules team in Kolkata as well so if the players continue practicing we hope to stage a tournament next year. That would be a great motivation for the young guys to stay involved in the group and to spread the word about Australian Football in India” says Lincoln.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Reality Gives News....Atma graduation after three years partnership

Thursday was a bittersweet day for Reality Gives. It marked our graduation from the Atma partnership, which shows the immense amount of progress and growth we have made in the past few years, but also means that we will no longer be meeting with the team at Atma on a weekly basis.

Atma works to address the issue of quality education for underprivileged children and young adults through a unique consultancy model. They have supported the development of Reality Gives from a mere concept to the thriving and dynamic organisation it is today. A couple of major examples of Atma's help include their critical role in the development of the Youth Empowerment Program and their facilitation of the connection to Muktangan whose child-centred approach to learning was the foundation for our kindergarten, now English Language Support Program.

Atma has provided us with organisational guidance, skilled volunteers, and even staff. Asim, our Community Centre Manager, came through the Atma network, as did one of our first YEP teachers, and of course Summer, our Executive Director, started out as a consultant with Reality Gives at Atma. "I know the incredibly hard work that Atma puts towards its partnerships, because it was once my own hard work. But I also know the incredible benefit as their partner. Reality Gives would not be where it is today without Atma," remarked Summer at the graduation event.

"I remember sitting down with Lee for the first time and discussing what Reality Gives could be. We started from the very beginning looking at the mission and vision and strategy for the organisation." said Chris of those initial days working with Atma. 

We look forward to continuing to support the work of Atma as a graduated partner (all new volunteers go on our tours!) and can't wait to see where this organisation grows as we have grown!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Reality Gives Events...The Final Football Fest

The winners of the Foosball Competition:
Team Schlaaaand -  Paul and Marten from Germany 

Despite Dry Day around 30 people came in the afternoon of Sunday, the 1st July to celebrate the Final Football Fest with Reality Gives and Twelve teams with two players each participated in the Foosball Competition to win a bicycle tour of Reality Tours and Travel, two Reality Gives bags and a gift from Cool Chef Cafe, the venue of the event. Marten and Paul from Germany won the battle after getting through the group matches, the quarter-final, semi-final and final match of the competition - Congratulations Team "Schlaaaaand"! "We had a lot of fun today. Thanks Reality Gives for organizing this."said Paul after the final match. After the Competition the guests enjoyed a barbecue and watched the final match of the EURO 2012.
Besides the foosball competition Cool Chef Cafe showed the
highlights of the Euro 2012 on a big screen.

Between the matches the participants practiced for the next rounds.
Philippe and Dimple got into the semi-finals and were very keen to win.
Events like this are a great opportunity to raise funds for our Dharavi Girls Football Team. Hundred percent of the participation fees and a share of the entry was given to support the unique girls empowerment program of Reality Gives.

Are you interested in helping is organizing such events? Do you want to host an event in your country abroad? We would be happy to win you as a "Reality Gives ambassador" who helps us spreading the word and fundraise for our causes. Get in contact with to find out more.

Reality Gives' Executive Director Summer
and volunteer Rose were surprised to get into the quarter-finals.

Sonya and Rahul tried the "kids" version of foosball 
The Team of the News Channel "News X" broadcasted live from the event. 
Krishna and Chris, the founders of the Reality Group
had also a lot of fun during the event.