P.O. Box 1412
Jackson, NJ 08527, USA
Rosalie Giffoniello, Co-founder
EMAIL: giffoniello@gmail.com
 
About Us | Empower the Children

LIFE IN KOLKATA SLUMS

Constant noise and crowded living conditions throughout Kolkata’s slums make it very difficult for children to thrive. Homes in these slums usually consist of one small room that shelters an entire family with many children. Most of these rooms are furnished with a single platform bed, made of plywood, on which the children sleep — often in an upright position against the wall. These homes lack running water, toilets, or any of the most basic amenities that make life in the 21st century comfortable. Given these circumstances, slum-dwelling parents manage as best they can. However, their children require support and resources from charitable organizations such as EMPOWER THE CHILDREN.

Most slum-dwelling children do not have access to education because in India tuition is required in all “formal” schools (government, religious and private schools). EMPOWER THE CHILDREN offers free educational programs for children aged 3 to 18 years, as well as vocational training for teenagers and women.

CELEBRATION OF DIVERSITY



Disabled and slum-dwelling individuals in Kolkata are often isolated and not a part of mainstream society. EMPOWER THE CHILDREN identified a unique opportunity to change people’s perception of these two groups by offering an inspiring evening of entertainment. Jointly performed by Preyrona School’s disadvantaged children in conjunction with physically and mentally challenged residents from Prabartak Home, this theatrical event became known as “Celebration of Diversity.” It was initiated in 2006 with the performance of “Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves.” Thanks to its success, “Celebration of Diversity” has become an annual event.

In 2007 Preyrona students and Prabartak residents again collaborated when they performed the “Magic Mirror” — a dramatization of the classic poem written by India’s first Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore. The following year the students enacted “Samannya Khoti,” a morality tale by Tagore, as well as “Sakuntala,” a love story by Kalidasa. Then, in 2009, the groups presented two dramas “Patalprui-Aranter Rupkatha” and “Nal-Damayanty.” And for the first time, in 2010, the participants were challenged to perform a comedy, two mimes as well as a classical Indian dance.

EMPOWER THE CHILDREN engages the imagination and talents of disadvantaged individuals of all ages by providing them with venues that allow them to take pride in their accomplishments.

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