Sports for Community Development at Dharavi, Mumbai

As part of the experience working with Earth 5R a group of international volunteers were engaged with a community development programme at Dharavi Slum. The group reached the slum early afternoon where they began teaching the delightful children the skill of crafting newspapers into paper bags. This skill is extremely innovative as the paper is firstly affordable to purchase, moreover the use of the paper ensures the product to be a recycled in nature.

This fits the Earth5R initiative of imparting the skill of creating sustainable products to the women and children in the slums, empowering them in a way that does not negative implications upon the environment. Although Earth5R’s premise is to raise awareness of the importance of environmental sustainability. Earth5R additionally work with an organization that provides an outlet for the children of the slums called Children and Youth Unity Foundation.

Community Development Sport Volunteer Mumbai India Environmental NGO Earth5R

The organization Children and Youth Unity Foundation operate on the motto “to make life fun and easy without addiction.” Just like all children the children living in the slums in India are vulnerable to life of addiction.

However, the children in the slum do not always have the benefit of outside resources in guiding them to a life without addiction. The sporting activities are an inventive method to detach the children from the slums from deviant behavior. The sporting activities give them a chance to be liberated and enjoy themselves in a safe and protected environment.

Additionally, sporting activities are an effective way of keeping the children fit and healthy. Physical education is a terrific distraction for the children and provides them with a fun activity without the requirement of addiction. The children and volunteers were split up and given an array of physical activities. The children and the volunteers equally participated and the competition remained friendly amongst the competing teams.

The group of individuals undertook a sporting event with the children. The children were extremely enthusiastic and energetic, and eager to be involved with the sporting activities. 

The groups of individuals are from a range of countries with a variety of language skills, nevertheless they were able to communicate through the language of fun. The children all had a remarkable standard of English, which all the volunteers were thoroughly impressed by. The children were keen to ask questions and were very engaged with the volunteers and their activities.

Furthermore, the activities were all outside and thus one could submit that this thus does reflect the initiative of Earth 5R of raising awareness of environmental issues and they will see the benefits of maintaining a clean and orderly environment.

Community Development Sport Mumbai India Environmental NGO Earth5R

Whilst the volunteers were introduced to the children, the organizer asked the children to share some information that they had recently learnt in school. One of the children stated that he had acquired the knowledge that if someone becomes infected they must not touch anyone else as a precaution and that the interaction can lead to the infection spreading. This new knowledge was distributed not only to the volunteers but also adds to the woman and children in the slums.

The volunteers began to understand the importance of education and how just one of the members obtaining vital knowledge can be easily spread throughout the slums.

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