Charity helping Mumbai street children to work with UNICEF
6 Jul, 2008, 1108 hrs IST, PTI
LONDON: A charity engaged in improving the lives of street children in Mumbai has been chosen to work with the UNICEF in India and Vietnam for developing such kids’ life skills through the medium of sports.
The charity ‘Magic Bus’ and UNICEF plan to set up several pilot projects in various Indian states and train sports instructors and school teachers, the organisation’s Founder and Chairman, Matthew Spacie, MBE, said.
To start with, the programme would be extended to Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and rural Maharashtra with the "ultimate aim of involving 100,000 street children," Spacie, who quit Cox & Kings as its Chief Operating Officer in India to set up the charity in 1999, told PTI.
UK Sport, British government’s international sports agency, is also supporting the work of Magic Bus.
After winning the bid in Singapore to host the 2012 Olympics in London, the UK government had pledged to help develop sports in five countries and one of them is India.
"As a result, Magic Bus has been chosen to work with UNICEF in India to expand Magic Bus’ internationally renowned programme across the country," Spacie said.
The Greater Mumbai Corporation has also chosen Magic Bus to train teachers. "We plan to train 12 master trainers in each city who in turn will train 200 trainers every year. Many of the master trainers are selected by us and the government."
Magic Bus is implementing a sports project in Chattisgarh also with UNICEF’s assistance. "At the international level, we are coaching master trainers in Vietnam," Spacie said.
"Harnessing the power of sport to build self esteem, confidence and vital life skills, Magic Bus works in India to change the lives of children living on the streets and slums of Mumbai – children involved in drugs, children in red light district, orphans and rescued labourers."