Ashadeep Association is a charitable organization that works towards enhancing the lives of the deprived and needy single-parent children, orphans, widows, and the physically impaired. Their activities are channelized through 7 day care centers located across the western suburbs of Mumbai.
Fun Science Experiments
In January 2016, the kids from our partner NGO were in office to learn some fun science experiments from Cactizens. We can all recall the experiments done back in school days with simple ingredients from the kitchen. These childhood memories were revisited through these experiments. The Cactizens put up a great show to teach these kids experiments with great enthusiasm. They sure made Science fun for these kids!
Ashadeep kids visit CACTUS for an Origami session
In February 2015, we arranged for the Ashadeep kids to visit the CACTUS office. The idea was to give them an opportunity to see what an office looks like, how professionals function, etc., with a view to motivating them to pursue their studies and become independent working professionals. They were given a tour of the head office and the IT Room (these kids love computers). Later, the children were taken for some exciting Origami tutorials led by the Cactizens themselves.
Paper bags and candy sticks
We visited the Ashadeep kids at their centre to teach them simple and fun crafts. Cactizens taught them to make paper bags from scratch and spray paint them. They also did fun stuff with candy sticks like photo frames and took instant pictures that were pasted in these custom-made frames!
November 14th, the birthday of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, is celebrated as Children’s Day in India. In November 2014, we organized a memorable Children’s Day event at the Ashadeep Sahar center. In addition to handing over donations from Cactizens and gifts from CACTUS, many fun-filled activities were organized for the children at the center. These included a drawing competition, a game of six corners, and some dancing. On this day, we realized that nothing compares to the joy of making a child smile by becoming a child yourself.
The Hellen Keller Institute provides education to deaf, blind and deaf-blind children. It is recognized nationally and internationally and is aided by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, New Delhi and Women, Child and Handicapped Development Office, Maharashtra.
Sensory Garden at Helen Keller
CACTUS has had a long relationship with the Helen Keller Institute. We are helping the institute’s branch at Mahape maintain their sensory garden since 2012. This institute has about half an acre of land meant for growing a garden and nursery but they lacked the resources to maintain it. But this was only until CACTUS helped set up the garden in 2012, and today, the project is a great success. Some of these kids work in the nursery and others utilize the garden to play. The garden is now a favorite spot for the children, be it for playing, taking a break, or tending to the garden. The garden holds a special meaning for them, as they can touch the plants, smell the flowers, and feel the dewdrops.
Christmas Celebration at Helen Keller
In December 2014, the Helen Keller teachers called us and said it doesn’t feel like Christmas here and the kids haven’t had the chance to meet Santa the last two years. One of our Cactizens volunteered to be dressed as Santa. Other Cactizens too joined us in the celebration. Santa paid a surprise visit to the center and the kids danced away to glory.
Cuddles, a one-of-its-kind NGO in India, focuses on providing nutrition to cancer-afflicted children. Lack of proper nutrition could lead children suffering from cancer to reject treatment. Cuddles takes care of the monthly nutritional needs of more than 350 children across various hospitals in the state of Maharashtra. Children without access to proper nutrition are 5 times more likely to die from cancer, due to chemotherapy intolerance causing a refusal or abandonment of treatment. Today, Cuddles takes care of the nutrition of more than 350 children every single month across various different hospitals in the State. This was the primary reason we chose to associate with Cuddles and support them to ensure proper nutrition for these children.
Joy of giving day with Cuddles Foundation
In October 2015, Cuddles set up a wishing tree in our office and Cactizens were invited to make donations or shop. Cactizens supported them by buying candles, greeting cards and other goodies.
CACTUS sponsored a meal program for cancer-afflicted children for a year, covering 600 meals a month.
Relief during the 2015 Chennai floods
In 2015, the city of Chennai saw its heaviest rainfall in 100 years. The rains left the city submerged, airport flooded, and all transportation stopped. Life in the metropolis came to a standstill with people struggling to survive amidst the chaos.
Flood relief through OXFAM
Cactizens did their bit by donating to OXFAM India (via Ketto). Oxfam has been lending humanitarian services in India since 1951. In 2008, various Oxfams in India joined forces to form Oxfam India. They are a member of the global confederation of 17 Oxfams. You can read more about it https://www.oxfamindia.org/
Sewa provides relief to the affected regions struck by natural/man-made calamities in India, and helps rehabilitate the victims of these calamities particularly by making them computer-proficient.
CACTUS and Sewa
In 2014, CACTUS helped Sewa set up computer centers in the flood-hit state of Uttarakhand, which would enable the children in the region to develop skills for employment.
Shanti Hastakala (SHK) is a Voluntary Development Organization that enables and empowers rural female artisans from areas around Magod village in Gujarat. Their activities not only make women financially independent but also improve their self-esteem. All the proceeds from the sale of these creations not only support the artisans economically but also fund services including comprehensive health care & educational training.
CACTUS and Shanti Hastakala
Every year, we invite Shanti Hastakala to visit our office during Diwali to exhibit their products. One-hundred artisans from about 70 villages showcase their craft. Cactizens show their full support by doing what they do the best – shopping!