Mumbai: What started as a small step for Anubha Sharma, the founder & CEO of Angel Xpress Foundation (AXF), has now turned full circle.  Kids from the slums of Mumbai, who have been part of Angel Xpress Foundations (AXF) Free Learning Center Program, have been trained by over 500 passionate Mumbaikars. These 120 kids are the first generation learners from slums of Mumbai.

Being passionate to give back to the society, Anubha visited a school for street kids one day in 2011. Let down by the quality of services meant for the poor, she felt that it did not deliver the intended value. Thus was born AXF. AXF relies on local good hearted Samaritan Mumbaikars who informally teach these kids in a very informal setting. The objective of AXF was to break the vicious cycle of poverty and illiteracy for as many slum kids as possible.

Post the introductions of the dignitaries, the evening saw performances by kids including singing, a short skit and a couple of dances. Though the entire event was choreographed by the kids themselves, it felt as if it had a professional given them the insights.

The high point of the event was the performance of Sunita Bhuyan, the famous violinist and vocalist. She mesmerised the audience with her divine music and took the event to a different level altogether.

The graduation celebration was graced by the eminent personality Prahlad Kakkar. Speaking on the occasion Kakkar said: “This is one of the rare events that I really felt good to attend. I firmly believe that only education can bring light to one’s life. Looking at the talent of these kids, I am contemplating to get some of them to work in my next project.”

Besides, this graduation the event saw the launch of the Youth Engagement Program (YEP) and the AXF Alumni Network. The YEP is designed specifically for students in grades 11 & 12 when they face the question of making the right career choice.  With help of volunteers and supporters and generous donors the YEP aims to provide guidance in the form of counselling by experts in academics and careers. The program will include spoken English, Digital Literacy, Social Emotional Learning and Career Readiness workshops in collaboration with various third party organisations.

Anubha Sharma and Beenaa Advani

The event brought together volunteers from across 17 AXF centres to share their thoughts and ideas to make a better tomorrow. In the next 5 years, AXF aims to bring 10,000 children a year under it’s free learning center program by enlisting and training 2000 volunteers across Mumbai.

Founded in Mumbai in 2012 by Anubha Sharma and Beenaa Advani, Angel Xpress Foundation (AXF) is a 12 A & 80 G certified not-for-profit organisation engaged in empowering underprivileged and underserved slum dwelling children through education, mentoring, values and life skills lessons, and career guidance.

By Manoj

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