What started as a simple dream and an inner need in Sonia Mackwani’s (Founder-Director) heart and on the stairs of a library with 5 children in 2003 has now grown and evolved into a being of its own, and is an integral part of the lives and dreams of 17 young and enthusiastic conscious self-workers (team) and hundreds of donors and volunteers. Over a period of 14 years, has touched the lives of thousands of children and individuals through education and tools for healing.
We are based in Dahisar, one of the suburbs of Mumbai and work on the following programs:
1) INDEPENDENT LEARNERS PROJECT
Our work with children living in slums of Borivali and Dahisar in Mumbai is the core of our work. The goal is to provide resources and teachers for children to enable Learning & Healing. Over 200 children receive activity based education through this project every year.
We have set up quality resource centres (termed as Learning Centre &Community Centre) that allow children to recover, discover and do what they realize for themselves and for the world.
The trained mentors (teachers) use therapeutic learning methods for the overall development of children. This involves integrating mental health, education and developing conscious parent-child relationship.
– LEARNING CENTER: At our Learning Center, sessions for 4 Learning Programs (Beginners, Foundation, Transit and Discovery) are conducted parallelly in different classrooms for different children.
Morning Batch: 10 am to 11.30 am
Evening Batch: 3.45 pm to 5.15 pm
TOTAL: 8 sessions everyday (Monday to Friday)
The children (most of them studying in Municipal or government aided schools) and the team share a relationship which goes much beyond the classroom. Listening to their stories, being there in all the happy and difficult circumstances, giving emotional support whenever required, having fun together like friends, meeting and talking to parents and school teachers; the connection of the team with the children is the key element of our work.
– COMMUNITY CENTERS / COMMUNITY LEADERS: More than 25 of students going through the process of Learning and Healing at Touching Lives are pursuing formal education at reputed colleges in Mumbai. These students are an inspiration for the rest of the children and parents in their communities. We have inducted 7 such bright and talented students (who still receive support for their education at Touching Lives) in our team as Community Leaders.
These trained and conscious Community Leaders now go to 3 different slum communities, provide activity based education to children there, and are taking the vision and the work of Touching Lives ahead.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 5 pm to 6 pm
2) WORKSHOPS FOR CHILDREN AND MENTORS
On topics ranging from organic farming to music to maths to child psychology to yoga to alternative therapies; every month, we invite volunteers and experts to conduct workshops for our children and team. If you have knowledge or skills that you would like to share with us, write to us at- firstname.lastname@example.org
3) SPONSORSHIP FOR CHILDREN
Depending on the need every year, we raise funds for school fees, college fees, coaching for higher education, skill development our children whenever there is an urgent and genuine need.
In 2016-17, we raised close to Rs. 1,50,000 for 6 of our students through crowd funding on Facebook and other regular individual donors.
4) CHILDREN PUBLISHING CENTER
The goal is to create and publish content for raising human consciousness, share inspiring stories, and share the work of Touching Lives with the world. Selected students of Touching Lives are given training on creative writing and an opportunity to become authors.
Currently, our team of 4 students and 1 editor (mentor- Nisha Joshi) are working on our first 2 books.
Touching Lives blog is our first step of the Publishing project- http://touchonelife.org/blog/
5) CHILDREN MEDIA CENTER
The goal is similar to the Publishing project- To create and share multimedia content for raising human consciousness, share inspiring stories, and share the work of Touching Lives with the world.
Our youtube channel- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaNLUVcJphs-jIiJndt2O7w
6) HEALING / CARE PROGRAM
Our approach to life and work is that of Self-work*. Meditation and Healing are very important parts of the work of Touching Lives. Our attempt is to Provide tools for self-improvement and evolution, and create a place of therapeutic environment.
All the sessions at Touching Lives Learning Center and Community Centers begin with a simple meditation everyday.
The team and the children are given various opportunities to learn alternative therapies that empower them with the strength to heal themselves and their family.
Apart from giving Healing to children on a regular basis by our trained mentors, we also give workshops for individuals and organizations on healing.
Starting from June 2017, we have started 2 new separate programs- Care Program and Healing Program, which take our mission of Healing forward along with the regular healing activities and programs mentioned above.
In the Healing program: Ram Soni (Community Leader, Psychologist, Therapist) works with children on an individual basis- listening to their stories, counselling them, giving them healing and a loving support to overcome their challenges and grow.
In the Care Program, Rubina Khan works with children on individual basis and conducts group workshops for teenagers and parents in the communities. The focus of these workshops is knowing your body, building healthy relationship and conscious birthing.
7) SCHOOL STUDY SUPPORT PROGRAM
Our activity based curriculum for our regular classes at the Learning Center is focused on the overall development of a child. Apart from this, the children are provided extra assistance for their school studies and individual attention with the help of volunteers and interns. Students of St. Xavier’s college, National College learn and experience the concept of “seva” at our Learning Center with our team.
8) CONNECTION PROGRAM
It is our constant endeavour to look for opportunities which help our children to break through from their current circumstances of lack of resources.
We connect with IB schools, coaching centers for Engineering and Medicine, Municipal schools, Leading alternative therapy institutes, Arts and Drama institutes, Sports Academies to provide scholarships and learning opportunities for talented students at our Learning Center.
WITH PARENTS AND COMMUNITIES
9) CARE PROGRAM
It is a workshop based program which is focused mainly on providing hands-on tools to children, parents, youth and individuals to develop conscious connection with their birth, nature, body intelligence, become more conscious and develop healthy relationships.
10) SELF WORK YOUTH RETREAT (ASHRAM PROJECT)
Touching Lives Ashram project is an eight week retreat for youth in the age group of 18-25. It is based on 3 components- Self work, Seva and Saadhna.
The program helps the participants to:
Evolve- Plunge within self to find their answers
Enable- To work on aspects of self; they wish to improve
Execute- A plan of action for their life
It constitutes 3 sessions at Touching Lives every week and home assignments.
11) YOUTH VOLUNTEERING PROGRAM
We have partnered with St. Xavier’s college in Mumbai to provide volunteering opportunity to the youth. Volunteering is a very fulfilling and empowering experience for these young college students.
Many other young students and working professionals connect with us every year through our website, Facebook and word of mouth.
At Touching Lives, we treat the young volunteers as souls on their own journey of evolution and not just individuals contributing their time and energy.
OPEN FOR ALL (INDIVIDUALS, ORGANIZATIONS)
12) TITHING PROGRAM
It is our commitment to share our resources, funds, expertise with Dreamers, Visionaries every year.
Every year, we support one organization/individual financially who is working towards similar goals.
It helps us to stay grounded and also take small steps towards our vision of becoming a full-fledged funding organization in future.
13) TEACHERS TRAINING PROGRAM / SELF-WORK* MODEL
We support other NGOs and schools both in rural and urban areas through our teacher training and mentoring programs.
Self-Work* Model, developed by Sonia Mackwani, is an initiative towards making every child and every teacher an ‘Independent Learner.’
This model is a methodology which could be imbibed in any curriculum or any information learning.
So far, we have conducted workshops with teachers and children at schools and NGOs in
Mumbai, Sarahanpur, Pilani, Kanpur, Bhopal.
14) CORPORATE WORKSHOPS
The corporate workshops by Touching Lives are customised to the needs of individual organizations. It is based on the Self-Work* model of Touching Lives.
With the experiential healing and cognitive tools, the employees / team understand themselves and understand the vision of the organization better, making them more efficient in their work.
Touching Lives has conducted workshops in companies like Mastek, Hemlines, Worldwide Small Diamonds etc.
15) SELF-WORK* CIRCLES
It is a community of Self workers who come together once a month to heal themselves and heal each other.
It is a day when healers are available for healing and the community comes together to evolve through arts, healing, reading and expression.
The dates for Self-Work* circles will be shared on our website.
16) ONLINE LEARNING MATERIAL
You can get access to meditation audios, processes for self-work*, podcasts and many more such simple and effective tools for your personal growth and evolution.
All the funds raised by sharing these resources with people go towards running Touching Lives Learning Center and Community Centers.
Get regular updates about the upcoming courses and series here- www.facebook.com/sonia-mackwani
17) RESOURCES FOR SELF-WORK (BOOKS & CDS)
It is a way for us to share the wisdom developed at Touching Lives and touch the lives of more and more people through stories.
Royalties earned from the books and CDs by Sonia Mackwani go towards Touching Lives Learning Center and Community Centers.
18) TOUCHING LIVES THEATER
The Psychic On The Sets by Sonia Mackwani is an unscripted, thus original, intuitive; thus mystical solo play – where she plays a ‘real psychic’- where the invisible meets the visible sight!
In the process – there are moments of breakthroughs, synergy of the audience’s life, insights and healing.
“Mind is where our stories dwell. Cosmos is where our mysterious connections reside. Senses is what, they are revealed by.” – Sonia Mackwani
19) SELF-WORK WORKSHOPS
We conduct regular workshops on different healing modalities and processes such as Birth into Being, Reiki, Family Constellation, Access Consciousness etc.
We also offer workshops on some of the original processes by Sonia Mackwani like Master Re-connection and Base Meditation which are channeled intuitively to her.
Get regular updates about the upcoming workshops here- www.facebook.com/sonia-mackwani