By Naomi MacMurdie
Global Peace Foundation (GPF) India organized a donation drive in April 2022 for rural children in the village of Tarauli. The project was part of the SMILE program, a grassroots effort that aims to build social cohesion and community engagement in development.
A new partnership with Atyant the Pathfinder allowed staff and volunteers to distribute food and stationery to children at Kisaan Public School in Tarauli. The project also funded education in English speaking skills, life skills, career counseling, and community service in the local community.
SMILE began in 2018 with the motto “Together we can smile.” Over the years, it has worked to support diverse communities by providing a platform for volunteers from many backgrounds to work together in donating their time to motivate the people they serve into also becoming “future givers.” In this way, the program encourages a continuous cycle of service.
The first SMILE program was conducted in Karol Bagh New Delhi for the Valmiki community where families received day-to-day rations, children received books and stationery, and teachers and youth received musical instruments. Since then, two programs have been conducted in the same locality. GPF India has continued to follow up with served areas to ensure the sustainability of the program and assess the impact.