DUMC has been working on volunteer  projects in India for the past several years. Each year a group returns to India to participate in the various programs we support.  Currently we support four programs:  ASHA, CORP, Navjeeven and Jamkhed as well as having adopted three young girls  who live in Mumbai by providing annual  support through high school.  Below is a description of  each of the NGO programs with which we are involved.

ASHA in Delhi (asha-india.org)

Asha in an NGO that gives hope to around 400,000 people living in more than 50 slum colonies of Delhi.  Their mission is to work with the urban poor to bring about long-term and sustainable transformation to their quality of life. Their  goal is to support  5000 slum children in higher education in 5 Years.  Our service project is in one of the slums where we provide English speaking support and coordinate art projects in an after school setting.
They are committed to:- Working among the poor without discrimination of any kind such as those based on sex, caste, religion, language, race, colour or other status.- Being at the forefront of the pursuit of justice and peace for the poor, and dealing with the systems that makeIMG_2408 and keep poor people in poverty.- Challenging oppressive social structures and responding to injustice through non-violence and active peacemaking.- Empowering the poor to lead full and meaningful lives, and building vibrant communities through the advance of love, neighbourliness, forgiveness and reconciliation.- Practising a liberating generosity towards the poor and giving them the opportunities they deserve.

CORP in Mumbai  http://www.corpindia.org/index.html

MumbaiCORPDharavi11 2014Since 1977, the Community Outreach Programme (CORP) has worked to provide a platform for the holistic development of women, children, and the communities in which they live. At CORP, we believe that self-sufficiency, not dependence, is the key to a life of dignity and self-respect. It is this belief that gave birth to CORP more than 30 years ago, and it continues to be the common thread that binds our activities today.Our experience working with underprivileged communities over the years continues to shape our objectives and the scope of our work. Beginning with only one center and three staff members in Asia’s largest slum, Dharavi, we now work in 13 slum communities across greater Mumbai, with a total of 20 centers and over 70 staff members.Our community centres lie at the heart of the organization. MumbaiCORPDharavi21 2014We provide residents with critical services, focused on supporting at-risk children and empowering women. These services include access to quality education, shelter, nutritious meals, health services, and the means to better lives through vocational training.DUMC VIM  volunteers have visited many of the service projects offered by CORP and provide financial support to them.

Navjeeven http://www.navjeevan.org/home.htm

Navjaveen24 2014Navjeevan is a registered non-governmental organisation primarily engaged in rehabilitating the children of women working in the red-light areas in Mumbai. It was founded as part of the effort of the Mar Thoma Church to reach out to the several thousand girls who have been lured into living a life of shame in the mean streets of the metropolis formerly called Bombay.

Navjeevan combines two simple Indian words “nav” (newand “jeevan” (life).

Its origin dates back to 1994 when a group of youth set about to interact with the children of the women who ply the world’s oldest trade in a sprawling ghetto called Kamathipura. The idea simply was to engage the kids constructively and thereby spare them the terror of witnessing the sordid scenes in the dingy alleys and bylanes in the area. Over the years Navjeevan gradually stepped up its involvement and today has assumed total responsibility for the education and upkeep of a number of children in the Navjeevan Village.

Navjeevan Village where the children are housed is a 100 acre facility located at Khapri in Murbad, about 120 kms from Mumbai. In the verdant beauty of the countryside, the children enjoy a rich community life and grow in the rhythms of nature. There are 165 children looked after by four real life couples with offspring of their own, who draw the children into their own family life, and care for them as parents would. Girl children are looked after by eight house sisters. The children are grouped in 20 and live in eight beautiful homes. Here, through a rich community life the children are being slowly nurtured to overcome the stigma of their parentage and to grow up with healthy attitudes. Cherished as children of the Mar Thoma community, the residents thrive in the Village’s excellent facilities which include plenty of playgrounds, a primary health care and a primary school. We have rehabilitated forty five families safely to their hometown.

DUMC VIM volunteers have worked and lived at the village assisting the students with their school work,  providing opportunities to practice speaking English with native speakers and joining in prayer and song that supports the children’s spiritual development.

JAMKHED  http://www.jamkhed.org

JamkhedCRHP40 2014The Comprehensive Rural Health Project, Jamkhed (CRHP), has been working among the rural poor and marginalized for over 40 years. Founded in 1970 by Drs. Raj and Mabelle Arole to bring healthcare to the poorest of the poor, CRHP has become an organization that empowers people to eliminate injustices through integrated efforts in health and development. CRHP works by mobilizing and building the capacity of communities to achieve access to comprehensive development and freedom from stigma, poverty and disease. Pioneering a comprehensive approach to primary community-based healthcare (also known as the Jamkhed Model), CRHP has been a leader in public health and development in rural communities in India and around the world.

The work of CRHP has been recognized by the WHO and UNICEF, and has been introduced to 178 countries across the world. Annually, CRHP provides services that directly impact half a million people in the state of Maharashtra.  Since the opening of the Training Center in 1994, over 22,000 local and 2,700 international representatives from NGOs, governments and healthcare professionals have been trained in the CRHP approach. At the core of this comprehensive community-based approach is its embrace of equity for all, utilizing healthcare as a means to break the cycle of poverty.JamkhedCRHP65 2014

DUMC volunteers provide support by working on projects like painting and building and by learning about the scope of services enabling us to spread the word and continue to send financial support.