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CORP Mumbai

CORP Mumbai

Mumbai, India. March 8th, 2010

CORP (Community Outreach Programme) provides vocational training, workshops and shelter to underprivileged youth in the Dharavi slum, Mumbai.

We visit the slum with director Nirmal and support a tailoring vocational training program with a sewing machine.

Name CORP Community Outreach Programme, Mumbai
Aim Supporting needy children, women and slum communities around Mumbai
Since 1977
Staff CORP employs 65 people and works with volunteers
People reached since 1977: over 1 million
in 2009: 26,579 beneficiaries
Contact Community Outreach Programme (CORP)
Methodist Centre, 1st Floor
21 YMCA Road
Mumbai Central, Mumbai 400 008 India
Phone: +91.22.2308.6789
Email: 
info@corpindia.org

Donation 15000 Rupees (330 USD)


It’s our second day in India and we get back to work. We haven’t yet identified a Cause though, so where to start? For those looking to do something good, there are many possibilities on Mumbai’s buzzing streets, believe us. So what works for us? We simply walk into a YWCA branch and ask for small ngo’s. They send us to CORP (Community Outreach Programme) India, a medium-size ngo working in Mumbai’s major slum areas, including the famous Dharavi slum, home of approximately ten million people. Those who have seen “Slumdog millionaire” would surely remember the scene where the hero, in a flashback, rushes over the rooftops of slum dwellings. That’s the place.

The contact is uncomplicated and after we have been welcomed at CORP we take a cab to Dharavi together with the head of the ngo. He tells us about the living conditions in the shantytown: the narrow streets, the very small rooms walled with bare concrete that function as bedroom, bathroom and toilet – for an entire family with four or five children; the public borehole toilet that charges a rupee a go thus causing the very poor to hold it in; the improvised electricity in the streets, the open waste water canals. We see all of this with our own eyes.
But life is not terrible in Dharavi. Violence has decreased since the 1990s and the five major religions are living together in peace. Employment rates are not bad either with a lot of the world’s famous clothing brands are producing here.

CORP runs about a dozen projects, two of which we visit. First we visit a center for women, where we are welcomed by a group of enthusiastic, beautifully dressed ladies. They are rehearsing for a theatre performance for women’s day tomorrow, and they tell us about the script. A girl is not allowed to study at first, then persistently fights her way to her mother’s reluctant permission, and (obviously) manages to become a doctor. When her lazy brother refuses to support their mother in old age, she is expected to step in, and she faithfully does. The narrative is simple and convincing. It could also be performed in Africa, I think, and I ask for the script. Yes, we will share it with our friends in Kenya.

Meanwhile, Yeon gets her hand decorated by a very pretty girl, using a technique called mehndi. They take a two-month vocational training here, after which they can start their own business.
When the hand decoration is done, we go upstairs, where another vocational training is taking place: tailoring. Six girls are working with sewing machines, while some other girls are sitting on the floor and sketching.
“With more sewing machines, we can teach much more efficiently” Nirmal explains. We decide to donate one.

The second CORP project we visit is an orphan home with 65 resident children. It is really well organized and we are happy to have a look around. The children are just having a yoga class, a friendly smiling teacher makes them fold themselves into little bridges. Meanwhile, we talk to an American couple that is closely involved with the orphanage and has been supporting them for many years. We are sure this place can be a striking example for other Community Outreach Programmes around the globe.

We donated a sewing machine

CORP Mumbai was originally published on Meandering home

October 4th. Notes taken at the Indian embassy.

Germany has united nineteen years ago. Festivities on the overcrowded streets: giants that symbolize that unity. There are some special moments today. Not that I’ve experienced them, I was working because I must make my project famous. Dozens of internet sites, registrations, half-hearted help, walls of disinterest, bored well-fed Western citizens. It fills a chamber of my heart with disgust, having to promote my “good” humanitarian project amidst the shouting of the marketeers of man’s “lowest” cravings. Buy silk Spears-underwear! Drive a convertible! Try shoes that breathe! Eat big fat pizza! Have a look at Charity Travel. I will torture myself with this necessary popularization for two more weeks, then finally this thing gets going.

I’ve taken care of everything. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Malaria prevention, plaster, desinfection spray, and mental health. I visit a psychotherapist a very good friend has recommended me. She turns out to be a reincarnation theorist, which in fact more amused me than made me shout “I want my money back”. The amount of which, by the way, she tries to establish by means of a small dangling chain from which she doesn’t receive an answer. Then I speak my mind, as I’ve seen it on tv. Going through dirty details of my entire social matrix. Portraying myself as openly and perversely as possible, it was not bad. The result being that I am a ripe soul, having gone through the cycle of reincarnation some sixty times already. Wow! My soul has been growing and growing and is now about to be ripe. That’s obvious from my hatred towards the bureaucracy. Yeah. I can leave with a light feeling, and when I am not mistaken that feeling is not caused by the weight loss of my wallet. But what I want to tell you: it seems to be all about “my” soul, or the “I” that comes back again and again, or the “mind” that is growing towards its superlative be it in the ultimate caste or in the Nirvana. Here are now, entertain “us”. In our tradition, and this is just a wild thought, not dangerous since not backed by quotations, in our tradition it is a crime not to be interested in the inner self. In our tradition, most powerfully introduced by Socrates, St. Paul and Augustine, the biggest heresy is to be disinterested in this superb self. The result is that obvious egoism has to be blamed because it might cover things up. The secret conspiracy, that does not even need to be a conspiracy, is the inescapable obsession with the inner self we are expected to indulge in. Heralded by all our history. As soon as we rely on her to build our identity, we are inevitably slaves of this inner self. Du spinnst ja wohl. If you say “no, look, frankly, this inner self might be a nice instance and all, but, hey, could we concentrate on something else for example those poor children over there look! or that starving boy, or those utterly unhappy creatures roaming our cities, could we just change fucking focus?” then you get a smile. But of course! Of course! And you should concentrate on those humanitarian catastrophes, you should, oh yeah, because you know, in the end your inner self will be rewarded. I stop here; Nietzsche has analysed the issue to the bloody bone already.

Another thing. The German voter has spoken. The new coalition will make the state smaller (at least they’ll try; outcome will probably be the opposite). Perhaps lessen bureaucracy, how utopian that seems to me. I don’t believe that. Economy might revive a bit, solidarity might decline and against the proclaimed social goals of the new government the gap might widen. When I come back next year, I’ll bring some curiosity for the “change” in Germany. Politics and change! Has a Caesar been discarded? Has a Pericles died in battle? Change is the language of the campaigning season, change sounds good as long as we can keep the same perspective to judge change. Medicare and Medicaid, to jump the ocean, are not even a fundamental change in the system, but even this technical optimization of the US welfare state seems to be impossible and blocked in several houses. Enough. Change is sexy, how many married couples would not dream in silence about a change of position? On top, from the side, in the shower, outside. And the good thing is: in sex we can experience radical change without having to change the sheets. Everything can remain the same: barley breakfast cereals drowned in low-fat milk, black espresso in two porcelain cups, newspaper’s headlines. Now that’s the kind of change we can believe in!

October 4th. Notes taken at the Indian embassy.

Germany has united nineteen years ago. Festivities on the overcrowded streets: giants that symbolize that unity. There are some special moments today. Not that I’ve experienced them, I was working because I must make my project famous. Dozens of internet sites, registrations, half-hearted help, walls of disinterest, bored well-fed Western citizens. It fills a chamber of my heart with disgust, having to promote my “good” humanitarian project amidst the shouting of the marketeers of man’s “lowest” cravings. Buy silk Spears-underwear! Drive a convertible! Try shoes that breathe! Eat big fat pizza! Have a look at Charity Travel. I will torture myself with this necessary popularization for two more weeks, then finally this thing gets going.

I’ve taken care of everything. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Malaria prevention, plaster, desinfection spray, and mental health. I visit a psychotherapist a very good friend has recommended me. She turns out to be a reincarnation theorist, which in fact more amused me than made me shout “I want my money back”. The amount of which, by the way, she tries to establish by means of a small dangling chain from which she doesn’t receive an answer. Then I speak my mind, as I’ve seen it on tv. Going through dirty details of my entire social matrix. Portraying myself as openly and perversely as possible, it was not bad. The result being that I am a ripe soul, having gone through the cycle of reincarnation some sixty times already. Wow! My soul has been growing and growing and is now about to be ripe. That’s obvious from my hatred towards the bureaucracy. Yeah. I can leave with a light feeling, and when I am not mistaken that feeling is not caused by the weight loss of my wallet. But what I want to tell you: it seems to be all about “my” soul, or the “I” that comes back again and again, or the “mind” that is growing towards its superlative be it in the ultimate caste or in the Nirvana. Here are now, entertain “us”. In our tradition, and this is just a wild thought, not dangerous since not backed by quotations, in our tradition it is a crime not to be interested in the inner self. In our tradition, most powerfully introduced by Socrates, St. Paul and Augustine, the biggest heresy is to be disinterested in this superb self. The result is that obvious egoism has to be blamed because it might cover things up. The secret conspiracy, that does not even need to be a conspiracy, is the inescapable obsession with the inner self we are expected to indulge in. Heralded by all our history. As soon as we rely on her to build our identity, we are inevitably slaves of this inner self. Du spinnst ja wohl. If you say “no, look, frankly, this inner self might be a nice instance and all, but, hey, could we concentrate on something else for example those poor children over there look! or that starving boy, or those utterly unhappy creatures roaming our cities, could we just change fucking focus?” then you get a smile. But of course! Of course! And you should concentrate on those humanitarian catastrophes, you should, oh yeah, because you know, in the end your inner self will be rewarded. I stop here; Nietzsche has analysed the issue to the bloody bone already.

Another thing. The German voter has spoken. The new coalition will make the state smaller (at least they’ll try; outcome will probably be the opposite). Perhaps lessen bureaucracy, how utopian that seems to me. I don’t believe that. Economy might revive a bit, solidarity might decline and against the proclaimed social goals of the new government the gap might widen. When I come back next year, I’ll bring some curiosity for the “change” in Germany. Politics and change! Has a Caesar been discarded? Has a Pericles died in battle? Change is the language of the campaigning season, change sounds good as long as we can keep the same perspective to judge change. Medicare and Medicaid, to jump the ocean, are not even a fundamental change in the system, but even this technical optimization of the US welfare state seems to be impossible and blocked in several houses. Enough. Change is sexy, how many married couples would not dream in silence about a change of position? On top, from the side, in the shower, outside. And the good thing is: in sex we can experience radical change without having to change the sheets. Everything can remain the same: barley breakfast cereals drowned in low-fat milk, black espresso in two porcelain cups, newspaper’s headlines. Now that’s the kind of change we can believe in!

October 4th. Notes taken at the Indian embassy. was originally published on Meandering home

October 4th. Notes taken at the Indian embassy.

Germany has united nineteen years ago. Festivities on the overcrowded streets: giants that symbolize that unity. There are some special moments today. Not that I’ve experienced them, I was working because I must make my project famous. Dozens of internet sites, registrations, half-hearted help, walls of disinterest, bored well-fed Western citizens. It fills a chamber of my heart with disgust, having to promote my “good” humanitarian project amidst the shouting of the marketeers of man’s “lowest” cravings. Buy silk Spears-underwear! Drive a convertible! Try shoes that breathe! Eat big fat pizza! Have a look at Charity Travel. I will torture myself with this necessary popularization for two more weeks, then finally this thing gets going.

I’ve taken care of everything. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Malaria prevention, plaster, desinfection spray, and mental health. I visit a psychotherapist a very good friend has recommended me. She turns out to be a reincarnation theorist, which in fact more amused me than made me shout “I want my money back”. The amount of which, by the way, she tries to establish by means of a small dangling chain from which she doesn’t receive an answer. Then I speak my mind, as I’ve seen it on tv. Going through dirty details of my entire social matrix. Portraying myself as openly and perversely as possible, it was not bad. The result being that I am a ripe soul, having gone through the cycle of reincarnation some sixty times already. Wow! My soul has been growing and growing and is now about to be ripe. That’s obvious from my hatred towards the bureaucracy. Yeah. I can leave with a light feeling, and when I am not mistaken that feeling is not caused by the weight loss of my wallet. But what I want to tell you: it seems to be all about “my” soul, or the “I” that comes back again and again, or the “mind” that is growing towards its superlative be it in the ultimate caste or in the Nirvana. Here are now, entertain “us”. In our tradition, and this is just a wild thought, not dangerous since not backed by quotations, in our tradition it is a crime not to be interested in the inner self. In our tradition, most powerfully introduced by Socrates, St. Paul and Augustine, the biggest heresy is to be disinterested in this superb self. The result is that obvious egoism has to be blamed because it might cover things up. The secret conspiracy, that does not even need to be a conspiracy, is the inescapable obsession with the inner self we are expected to indulge in. Heralded by all our history. As soon as we rely on her to build our identity, we are inevitably slaves of this inner self. Du spinnst ja wohl. If you say “no, look, frankly, this inner self might be a nice instance and all, but, hey, could we concentrate on something else for example those poor children over there look! or that starving boy, or those utterly unhappy creatures roaming our cities, could we just change fucking focus?” then you get a smile. But of course! Of course! And you should concentrate on those humanitarian catastrophes, you should, oh yeah, because you know, in the end your inner self will be rewarded. I stop here; Nietzsche has analysed the issue to the bloody bone already.

Another thing. The German voter has spoken. The new coalition will make the state smaller (at least they’ll try; outcome will probably be the opposite). Perhaps lessen bureaucracy, how utopian that seems to me. I don’t believe that. Economy might revive a bit, solidarity might decline and against the proclaimed social goals of the new government the gap might widen. When I come back next year, I’ll bring some curiosity for the “change” in Germany. Politics and change! Has a Caesar been discarded? Has a Pericles died in battle? Change is the language of the campaigning season, change sounds good as long as we can keep the same perspective to judge change. Medicare and Medicaid, to jump the ocean, are not even a fundamental change in the system, but even this technical optimization of the US welfare state seems to be impossible and blocked in several houses. Enough. Change is sexy, how many married couples would not dream in silence about a change of position? On top, from the side, in the shower, outside. And the good thing is: in sex we can experience radical change without having to change the sheets. Everything can remain the same: barley breakfast cereals drowned in low-fat milk, black espresso in two porcelain cups, newspaper’s headlines. Now that’s the kind of change we can believe in!