This project saw the successful completion of its aim to both provide support and maintenance the Maher Women's Safe Homes in Pune, as well as develop the potential of girls and young women to enable and empower themselves as agents of change.
Maher which means ‘Mother’s Home’ in Hindi is a safe place for women and children who have been found living on the streets of Pune. These women and children may have been thrown out of their families and have no place to go.
Project activities and outcomes
- 19 of Maher’s rooms repainted. This included bedrooms of both women and children, kitchens, corridors, a teaching room, a medical centre and a multi-purpose hall
- 30 Maher vision charts created as well as the creation of birthday and alphabet charts
- The purchase of hygiene products, including shampoo, hairbrushes, soap and toothbrushes.
- 30 young women volunteers from the USA, UK, Northern Ireland, Kenya, Korea, Canada and India provided help to complete the project at Maher sites. The project was completed in 3 short phases in July and August 2012 as part of the Discover Your Potential events held at Sangam World Centre, Pune, India.
- Cultural sharing and interaction between the women and children of Maher and our international participants who shared activities which included crafts, games, songs and giving manicures and pedicures
Photo: Creating charts about the Maher vision for their women and girls
This project has continued to strengthen the relationship between Maher and Sangam World Centre who have been working together for the last 15 years. The interaction between the international participants and Maher’s residents were a highlight and greatly enjoyed by the women and children of Maher as well as our Sangam event participants. An additional benefit of the project, Maher also received a number of financial donations from the international participants who volunteered at the site.
Feedback from volunteer participants
“The women were really energetic and kind. I learnt something different at Maher today. Regardless of who you are, everyone needs friends and love”. (Young woman participant, Discover Your Potential III volunteer)
“Interacting with the women today was amazing, I didn't realise the impact it could have. I loved the way their faces lit up!” (Young woman participant, Discover Your Potential II volunteer)
"Through the event I learnt so much about the Millennium Development Goals and how we each can contribute towards achieving them. The shoe I have chosen represents the small steps that I (and I hope others) will take towards achieving them on returning home." (Young woman participant, Discover Your Potential II volunteer)
Photo: 'Discover Your Potential' Volunteer with a birthday chart
Part of a bigger project
The young women and adults who volunteered at the Community Leadership Development Project at Maher participated in a wider programme conducted by Sangam as part of their Discover Your Potential event. This programme covered the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, the concepts of advocacy and community leadership, WAGGGS’s Stop the Violence Campaign (focused on preventing violence against women world wide), personal development and reflection as well as exploring Indian culture. This was combined with the project at Maher to see the successful achievement of the event aim – for participants to learn about themselves and discover the change they want to be in the world. Participants scoring Sangam 4.5 out of 5 for meeting the aims and objectives of the event.
Photo: Painting underway. One of the 19 rooms completed in the project
Can I visit this project?
Yes, Sangam World Centre can host you.
This project will improve the the lives of women and children who have been found living on the streets of Pune, Maharashtra India through providing school supplies and toys for the children and maintaining the Safe Home they live in with a new coat of paint.
This project addresses MDG 1 - eradicating extreme poverty & hunger and MDG 3 - promoting gender equality & empowering women. (See more on the United Nation's MDGs)
This project funding will cover costs for:
- All painting material (paint, brushes, trays, drop clothes)
- Transport to and from the site for volunteers
- School supplies for the children
- Children’s toys for the site
The Project will happen over the course of 2 months, with 3 different volunteer groups.
Part of a bigger project
The Women's Safe Home project is part of a broader event at the Sangam World Centre called, "Discover Your Potential" which develops the potential of girls and young women by:
- Participating in activities related to community leadership, advocacy, and other topics relevant to the event.
- Sharing the international friendship that Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting offers. Learning about WAGGGS, it's Member Organizations, themes, projects, regions and World Centres,
- Experiencing the unique culture of India through its traditions, history and people.
The aim of the event is to learn about yourself and discover the change you want to be in the world by working as a volunteer on a Community Leadership Development Project.
Sangam World Centre belongs to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS)and will host the project volunteers.
The local community partner organisation is Maher which means ‘Mother’s Home’ in Hindi and is a safe place for women and children who have been found living on the streets of Pune. These women and children may have been thrown out of their families and have no place to go. Maher has several homes throughout the city and repairs are a constant. Sister Lucy, the founder of the organization, has identified the project site as in desperate need for painting and small repairs.