Magic Bus, founded in 1999, is a non-profit organization working with 200,000 children every week from marginalised communities in India. We are on course to have one million children in our sport for development programme by 2015.
Vision: Magic Bus will give millions of children living in poverty the opportunity to control the way they view the world, the freedom to choose the role they will play in it, and the power to define their own destiny.
Mission: Magic Bus is committed to developing local community mentors who take children living in poverty on the journey from childhood to livelihood. Over a ten year period, our mentors work with children and parents through a weekly curriculum of sporting activities, which are used as metaphors to change behaviour in the areas of education, health, gender and livelihood. We always access existing community partnerships to ensure that young people move from poverty, and develop into young adults with greater control and choice.
All Magic Bus graduates are offered the opportunity to enrol in livelihood programmes, creating at scale, a movement of competent, confident young people ready to make a significant difference to their lives.
Our programmes are primarily targeted to 8-17 year olds. We simultaneously train youth (17+ years) in the same communities as volunteer coaches who then become role models and mentors to the younger children. We also interact regularly with the community, conducting rallies, group discussions, parent meetings and cleanliness drives. All this is done in partnership with fellow NGOs, the government, community leaders and businesses to ensure sustainability. Magic Bus also builds the employability skills of young people, supports them in mapping out a career path, and then links them with employment or further education opportunities. Our programmes facilitate behavioural change and enable positive action to tackle poverty at a grassroots level.
We provide local community role models to children, who we call mentors. These mentors ensure equal access to education, health services and social and emotional skills. Our mentoring programme starts at 8 years old, on a journey through childhood and can last until we deliver confident young people directly into the workplace, higher education or training opportunities.
All our mentors are young adults, who we train from the community who work through a researched, activity-based curriculum we have designed, to bring about behaviour change. Along with parents we use the medium of sport and our programmes work with children and communities towards gender equality, better education and health. Once the children reach an appropriate age we enroll all our youth on either our employability or leadership programme positioned to graduate young confident and competent youth at scale into further education or employment. The scale and the impact of this program is unique in the Indian context.