Mumbai Mobile Creches (MMC) runs comprehensive daycare and education programmes for children living on construction sites.
Our vision is simple- that all children can enjoy a happy, healthy, and safe childhood. We work with migrant children and families because they are among the most vulnerable of the urban poor. They live in small shanties on the construction sites, often without access to electricity or running water. Not only are migrant construction workers and their children constantly at risk for disease, injury and malnourishment, they also are largely neglected in terms of government services and benefits. Marginalized from formal schooling options, children are often left on their own on the dangerous construction site while their parents work.
MMC believes that stimulating care, development and education is every child’s inalienable right, and provides the most powerful and profound tool to escape the cycle of poverty. The MMC programme is a proactive poverty alleviation strategy focused on championing the rights of the child on the construction site.
Through comprehensive and holistic day care centres, MMC addresses the educational, health, and nutritional needs of children on construction sites. Dedicated, experienced staff members have created unique curricula to meet the specific needs of children of migrant labourers, providing a stimulating educational environment in which they can learn and grow. In addition to quality educational programming, each centre provides its children with three nutritious meals a day, vitamin supplements, immunizations, and weekly health check-ups. Furthermore, we run a comprehensive teacher training programme to improve childcare capacities throughout the city and an advocacy programme to champion the rights of migrant families.
The goals of the education programme vary based on the age of the children, but they all share the core aim of providing children with the tools to become effective citizens.
Creche: For the creche babies, aged 0-3 years, the primary goal is to create a stimulating environment that nurtures motor, cognitive, social, emotional and physical growth.
Balwadi: Children aged 3-5 years are part of the pre-primary (balwadi) programme, which focuses on school preparedness and skill development.
After school support: In the after school support classroom, for children aged 6-14 years, teachers focus on the enrolment and retention of children in municipal schools.
Methods: Over 80% of our children remain with us only for 3 months, hence MMC follows the ‘Prakalp’ or monthly project method to instruct children, wherein every month a particular theme is discussed with various concepts under it and are taught to the children through the activities.Teachers at MMC centres employ a variety of educational aids, art and craft materials, songs and puppetry to engage and develop the young minds.
Outings: Children also engage in educational outings around the city all through the year to supplement their classroom experience, while giving them an opportunity to see the world outside the walls of the construction site.
Child to Child: MMC engages students in innovative programmes to build their leadership and confidence. The Child to Child Programme is one such example, where children from MMC centres visit neighbouring schools in Mumbai, form friendships and share their skills with the school children and vice versa.
To date, MMC has reached over 150,000 children through over 240 centres. We have seen much success with our programmes, demonstrably improving the health status of children on construction sites and helping children gain the skills necessary to develop, grow, and successfully integrate into municipal schools.
Chai paani meetings
Chai paani meetings are one of Mumbai Mobile Creches’ primary means of disseminating information, building community relationships, and communicating with migrant workers living on construction sites. Through these meetings, the teachers aim to raise awareness about important social, personal, or community issues and provide relevant information about best practices and resources to address these issues. The topics addressed are not necessarily the same across all of our centres and sites; rather, teachers and other MMC field staffers determine which topics would be most helpful to cover based on their interactions with community members and that specific community’s needs. Topics may range from school admissions processes, common illnesses during monsoon, birth registration forms, personal hygiene and hygienic food preparation, and more.
Lokdoots (street plays) are effective conduits for our community outreach, as this medium circumvents the issue of illiteracy and fruitfully uses the advantage of the highly oral Indian culture. Through animated and engaging street plays, people’s attention is captured in a way that cannot be achieved through presenting written materials. MMC has a brilliant and competent Lokdoot team, which performs at the construction site labour colonies.
They use a wide range of topics including the importance of education, health and hygiene, addictions, HIV awareness, etc. These lokdoots serve as the jumping point for discussions and collaborative work to help community members make positive changes in their own lives and their communities.
Mumbai Mobile Creches
1st Floor, Abbas Building,
Mumbai – 400001
Call Us: 02222020869 / 02222020879
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MumbaiMobileCreches