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Magical journey through the Magic Bus way

Founded in 1999 by visionary Matthew Spacie, Magic Bus has touched numerous lives and shaped the lives of underprivileged children. He believes that sport can bring out the best in young people and make them confident and resilient citizens. Chief Executive Officer of Magic Bus Global, Jayant Rastogi shares the journey

Mission – Magic Bus will take children and young people on a journey from a childhood of abject poverty and challenges such as child marriage and child labour, to a fulfilling life with a respectable livelihood. Working with their communities and families, Magic Bus will deliver a programme that teaches life skills and resilience. As these children become adults, Magic Bus will work with them to ensure they have the right employability skills, get jobs and contribute to their communities. “Our Vision is to create a world where children break out of poverty and lead fulfilling, rewarding lives, contributing positively to their community and to the world around them,” says Jayant.

How many lives has Magic Bus touched?

In the last six years, Magic Bus transformed almost a million children and young people, helping them move out of poverty. We are one of the largest poverty alleviation programmes in India, impacting more than 375,000 children and young people in 22 States and 77 districts of India in FY 17-18. Since the Livelihood programme began in 2015, we have placed 10,000 young people in jobs in the organized sector. Our sports activity-based sessions are carried out across more than 798 schools. We work with children and young people living in poverty, taking them from a childhood full of challenges to a life with meaningful livelihoods. We equip young people with the skills and knowledge they need to grow up and move out of poverty. We also work in Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

What are the different programs of Magic Bus?

Our Childhood to Livelihood programme works with children and young people living in poverty. We equip children and young people in the age group of 12 to 18, with the skills and knowledge.

Children come from underprivileged households who face interruptions in their education, leading to irregularity at school or to drop out of the education system completely. We help them successfully fend off deterrents such as child marriage and child labour.

Through our sports activity-based curriculum, we equip children with life skills, making them confident, resilient and aspirational. These life skills, recognized by International Labour Organization are Learning to learn, Communication, Team work, Problem solving. We can then ensure that these children complete secondary education, are not married early, but instead go on to become first-generation salary earners having secure careers in the organised sector, thus helping them and their families move out of the vicious poverty cycle.

We are in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Goal 1 – No Poverty
  • Goal 4 – Quality Education
  • Goal 5 – Gender Equality
  • GOAL 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth

Our youth-centred Livelihoods Programme connects the aspirations and potential of young people to available market opportunities. We build their employability skills and map job potential based on individual strengths and mobility.

We work with support structures like parents, teachers, the community at large and local government institutions to ensure social, emotional and economic well-being for all young people living in that area. Our approach mobilises the entire ecosystem available to the child or young person to create transformational change in their lives.

Through the Childhood to Livelihood programme we provide:

  • Activity-based learning input during the young person’s journey into work or education to engage, challenge and inspire individuals through experiential learning
  • High-quality Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG), career counselling and personal needs assessment that enables a young person to understand their options and identify their career goals and associated pathways
  • One-to-one mentoring across the whole journey that ensures risks of drop out are quickly identified and mitigated
  • Employability, Leadership and Life Skills training customized to the demands of the job market
  • Magic Bus-led partnerships with vocational training providers and other skills training experts offering the most diverse training menu possible to young people in each locality
  • Pre and post placement support for young people while working in close partnership with employers to achieve effective job matching and sustained placements beyond six months

Association with national or international bodies?

We are associated with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, The Hans Foundation, VODAFONE Foundation, Wimbledon Foundation, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiative, BMW Foundation.

Future plans

We have partnered with Village Social Transformation Foundation (VSTF) to enable the completion of secondary education for 1 lakh adolescents, and skilling and placement of 15,000 youth across 2 districts of Maharashtra.

We have partnered with the Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram, Delhi, and Maharashtra to help implement Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

21-year-old Prajakta is the first member of her family to have a salaried job.

Currently in the second year of college, Prajakta also works as a Sales Assistant at Gangar Eyenation’s outlet in Mumbai.

Prajakta comes from Digashi, a small village in rural Thane in Maharashtra. Like most others in her village, her parents are farmers with a small income. “I scored high marks in the 12th standard. After celebrating, my father was worried and sad that he would not be able to help me study further,” she remembers.

She enrolled herself on the Macquarie-supported Magic Bus Livelihoods Programme in August 2017 on the suggestion of a friend. “Throughout the training, I had plenty of guidance from the Centre team to plan my career and further education,” she says.

With an income of Rs. 10,000 a month, she supports her family, pays her college fees and saves a little for her future.

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