Smile Society – the importance of volunteering

By Denise Nanni and Milena Rampoldi,
ProMosaik. Let us go back to India in our journey around the world to introduce
human rights organizations. We talked to the Smile
, founded in 2003 to support poor communities in India. 

How was the Smile Society founded?
The Smile Society was founded by the
Social Activities Mr. Debabrata Chakraborty with his family and friends in the
year 2003. Later on, the organization was registered under Indian Society Act
in 2004. Smile is there to support volunteers who want to make an experience in
India, helping and supporting communities. Smile Society believes in the
importance of volunteering to empower communities.
What is the value of volunteering today
(both for beneficiaries and volunteers)?
Volunteering has always been very helpful
for humanity. Both beneficiaries and volunteers get benefited by this noble
profession. Volunteers have an opportunity to discover the Indian society and
learn about others while involving in their mission. For all students and young
people making this experience, volunteering is a valuable lesson for their own
lifes. Sacrifice, management, understanding, flexibility, open mind, team work,
dedication, respect and practicality in life are the most important aspects of
the lesson we can learn as a volunteer. Of course, for the community the volunteer
is an important support and helping hand as well.
What are the main social issues in the
communities where you organize volunteering projects?
Our projects mainly focus on the
* Street and slum children education 
* Basic health care to underprivileged
community children. 
* Domestic Animal welfare
* Promoting and training Urban organic
* Inter cultural and language exchange
* Food distribution among street
* Underprivileged girls empowerment 
* Youth / Student Exchange
What are the projects that you address to
women and girls?
For women and girls we focus on education
and offer computer training. What is also important is to show to girls how to
defend themselves. We also have programs to raise awareness about girls
trafficking. For mothers we organize a mother and child program, and at the
same time we offer art and craft training for women to be independent and to
learn something to care about themselves and their children.
Do you cooperate with local authorities
and institutions? If yes, how?
We do encourage local and international students‘
communities through educational institutions to get involved in the
volunteering movement. We basically work for the causes with the volunteers. It
is difficult to get help from the government, so we trust in our own strength
of motivations volunteers to help us.