On 13th Nov 2021, Vibha Shah, Riddhi Shah, Ashwini Kumar and Anvi visited the CORP India Girl Shelter Home in Thane, Mumbai. It is a three level building on a small street, with 3-4 small rooms on the upper levels, and a small living room and kitchen on the ground floor.
The wonderful teachers and staff take good care of the 35 girls living there, of ages between 5-18 years. Vibha funds the education and vocational training programs for all the kids. Some of these girls have been living in the center for over a decade. They are kids who are either orphaned or abandoned from the nearby slums.
Vibha, Riddhi, Ashwini, and Anvi (the VIbha volunteers) reached there around 11:30 am. All the children were studying and writing in their notebooks at that time.
The Vibha volunteers had all the children gathered in a circle- sitting comfortably on the floor and did a round of introductions. After that, Riddhi, who is an architect by profession and has a lot of experience teaching children art, taught the girls Mandala art, using the supplies thy had brought with them.
They found that these girls were very creative, cheerful and so open to learning. Some older girls already know Zen mandala art and showed their sketch pads full of Beautiful artwork to the Vibha volunteers.
After about an hour, the volunteers wound up the activity and celebrated Children’s day by cutting a delicious strawberry cake that Vibha shah had brought with her.
During their visit, there were two girls who were attending their tailoring class. When the volunteers asked these girls about what they were making, to the volunteers’ surprise, about a hundred cloth masks were brought and put in front of them. The masks were 2 ply, made of soft cotton and stitched with highest of quality. We bought a few and told the staff that Vibha volunteers in Mumbai would help market and sell them during the holiday season.
During the activity, Vibha Shah spoke to the teachers about the records they kept on the children and the kind of data they submitted to the funding agencies. Depending on the information Vibha Shah gathered during her visit, Vibha volunteers in Mumbai are planning to create an app for them to be able to move that information online.
As Vibha, Riddhi, Ashwini and Anvi bid goodbye, around 1:30 pm, to the girls and the staff (Hasina Ma’am, Chandrika Ma’am and Sangeetha Ma’am), a sense of gratitude and love filled them.
Vibha, Riddhi, Ashwini and Anvi thank all the Vibha volunteers who work selflessly and tirelessly to educate these children. They are truly making a difference!
Here is a link to a video of some glimpses of some of the activities the Vibha volunteers did with the girls at the shelter home, including the youngest volunteer, Anvi Kumar, talking about her experience there.