VOICE, a registered public trust,
has worked with vulnerable and neglected street children
of Mumbai since 1991 to ensure that they are not forgotten,
but instead given the tools necessary to succeed in life.
At that time, we were armed with nothing more than the belief
that the quintessence of the human condition is a yearning
for dignity and self-worth – and that this dignity can exist
even in the most degraded circumstances of human life.
mission is “ to reach out to vulnerable and neglected street
children and, through education, enable them become whole
human beings and self-reliant, responsible, contributing
its first year, VOICE taught only a handful of children
on a railway platform the basics of the three Rs:
reading, writing, and arithmetic. There
are now 350 children who participate in VOICE’s programs,
and of these VOICE
has been able to enroll 153 into the local schools.
Now into its 14th year, VOICE
continues its outreach with the belief that the potential
of every child is limited only by the education, love and
opportunities that we can give him/her. Our experience shows
that by delaying entry into the labour force and acquiring
schooling, children are becoming more productive and will
eventually be better able to control their lives.
VOICE focuses on the entire child and is involved
with improving the child mentally, physically and spiritually.
The children learn the 3 Rs
. . . reading, writing and arithmetic, and also the positive
values of love, friendship and honesty through songs, games,
stores and play-acting. In addition, they learn life skills
such as responsibility, regularity, hard work, perseverance
and a sense of duty and service. Vocational, income-generating
skills taught include screen-printing, tailoring, and making
stationary, computer literacy, yoga, music and decoration
of Educational Materials
VOICE has continuously been
developing educational material for the special needs of
its students. The
material includes worksheets for language and math, educational
games, and stories and poems based on the realities of the
children’s life experiences.
We also have developed material for teacher training
to enhance their skills and enable them to most effectively
respond to the special educational needs of our children.
Proposed Project for
Education and Training of Girl Street Children – Project
For many years now, VOICE has
felt the need for a center that could house female street
children while giving them the benefits of VOICE’s tried
and proven programs in education and vocational training.
This center could also provide much needed space
and auxiliary support for VOICE’s current programs.
To this end, VOICE is fundraising for a center that
will be able to house up to 100 girls and provide the space
and staff necessary for them to receive a total education
that will allow them to truly become successful and self-reliant
proposed center will be able to house up to 100 female children
and provide them with total care.
They will be given all the emotional and academic
support necessary to develop a healthy body, mind and spirit
to become self-reliant and contributing citizens.
In providing these girls with
housing, VOICE is in no way moving away from its foundations
of stressing the primacy of education, but instead strengthening
its position to provide an even better education than it
currently is able to.
This center will be able to provide a safe environment
so that these girls may be able to have a supportive environment
in which to study and learn free of the distractions of
the street. By
the age of 18, these girls will have received all the tools
necessary for them to become self-supportive and self-reliant
young women. It will also be a space available to supplement
the academic activities for VOICE’s other students who do
not live at the center.
We have acquired land at Virar
and have developed the plans for the construction of Sanjivani,
with the help of an Architect. The Construction is scheduled
to begin early March.
Our greatest difficulty is finding
appropriate space for our work with the children.
We also need financial support
for the various programs/interventions.
What we can share with
other ngos is
our experience over the past 14 years, the educational processes
that we have evolved, tested and used.