Magic Bus is a charity that is close to my heart, providing underserved children ages 12-18 in India the tools they need to escape poverty. This charity understands that adolescence is tough, and even more so without the right support. By providing education and a safe space for children and young people to learn and grow, Magic Bus is able to help break the cycle of poverty, child labor, and child marriage. Their slogan, “Childhood to Livelihood” sums up their goal of molding young people into thriving adults. Here are some quick facts about this organization’s impact on the community:
- 30% of women in India marry before the age of 18. Comparatively, 95% of girls in the Magic Bus program do not get married before the age of 18.
- Young people who were trained with the help of Magic Bus saw a 70% success rate for job placement for salaried work.
- 73% of children in India attend school on any given day of the year. Comparatively, Magic Bus participants hold a 98.9% attendance record.
Magic Bus Programs
The Magic Bus nonprofit focuses on five main areas: Life Skills Education, Education Enhancement, Employability Skills Education, Livelihood Connect, and Community Connect. Through these programs, young people learn skills that they can utilize in the real world. The goal for each child is for them to leave the program with a diversified set of skills that will allow them to not only uplift themselves but their communities as well. In addition, community youth leaders are trained to mentor children through sports and other activities that highlight the importance of teamwork and playtime as a healthy part of any childhood.
My Volunteer Experience
Living in Houston, I joined the local chapter for Magic Bus Houston and I am proud of the work our chapter has put forth. Matthew Spacie, COO who established Magic Bus, now employs 1,500 people and Houston chapter raises more funds than any other place globally.
During my time spent volunteering for Magic Bus in Bombay, I met a young girl in the program who reminded me of myself, yet in so many ways we were different. This lively 13 year old girl has a passion for dance, and while she lives in poverty, she takes every opportunity available to pursue her dreams. Growing up in Bombay as a child, I lived a privileged life. While I knew I had a passion for art, the security of entering the medical field had me push my artistic passions to the side. Now that I have achieved my goal of becoming a doctor, I am finally pursuing my love of art and jewelry making. The courage that it takes to recognize one’s passion at such a young age is inspiring. These are the children that Magic Bus serves: children that are not afraid to dream big. Moreover, Magic Bus empowers children to dream big and aim for success. With the right tools, education, and care that this program is able to provide, I know that these children are in good hands. For a more in-depth story about this special experience I had in Bombay, please visit my Letters From Amita blog.
Every year, Magic Bus hosts a Gala where Amit Bhandari, Chairman of Magic Bus, USA elaborated how Magic Bus was encouraging Indian kids to stay in school, marry above the age of 18 and get higher education. These are the premises on which Magic Bus has been able to help around 2,000 kids over the past 5 years. Through this program 87% attend college vs a national rate of 10%, girls earn twice the national average. Magic Bus works with more than 3.75 lakh children and 10,000 young people living in poverty across 22 states of India.
At the Gala, Parvati Pujari, flew in from India, to share how the Magic Bus mentor had helped her to continue school, and at 16, she had become a community health leader. At 24, she was the first girl graduating from her village. She went on to complete a Masters in business development and even convinced her parents to allow her to marry outside of her caste.
How You Can Help
I encourage you to learn more about this special charity that I care so much about. Magic Bus is the “wind beneath the wings” of people in deep poverty to facilitate and achieve their dreams through the community mentorship programs.”As a firm supporter of this great non-profit organization, I am donating 10% of all of my jewelry sales to Magic Bus. That percentage can change a child’s life forever as it did for Parvati. Help me change more lives by purchasing pieces I have made with love. You may view my handmade clay jewelry currently for sale here.