January 8, 2018, Mumbai: Mattel Children’s Foundation has awarded a grant to launch Project Udaan under the aegis of Barbie brand, in association with Masoom, an NGO that offers quality education in night schools for girls from marginalised sections of society.
Following Barbie’s philosophy that when a girl is free to imagine, she can be anything, this initiative is a comprehensive three-fold programme that will emphasise on leadership skills, feminine hygiene programme and vocational training basis participants’ interest mapping. Designed to equip 106 girls, aged between 14-18 years, this programme is aimed to build confidence, self-expression and enable effective learning and development that can present the girls with a chance to a better life.
Mattel Children’ Foundation has presented Masoon with a grant of INR 15 lakhs to create the programme that will run over a period of one year. It will deliver soft skills training through Masoom’s in-house Shakti Leadership programme, while Project Udaan will collaborate with EcoFemme for training on feminine hygiene. Employees of Mattel India will also receive volunteering opportunities including contributing to sessions to enhance soft skills or helping tutor the students in preparing for academics. An independent impact assessment will be undertaken at the end of the year to measure progress.
Ishmeet Singh, Country Manager – Mattel Toys (India) Pvt. Ltd, said, “At Mattel, we are committed to enabling Play with Purpose. Our brand, Barbie, is not only a much beloved brand for young girls but is also a cultural icon and inspiration, representing evolving times and attitudes. The brand ethos represents empowering the aspirations of young girls. Our partnership with Masoom in launching Project Udaan represents a step in ensuring that we are able to ease access to education and training in an effort to uplift and inspire girls from marginalised sections. Through these measures of confidence building and training, Mattel hopes that these girls too can believe ‘You Can Be Anything’ and build fulfilling careers for themselves.”
“It is great to get support from Mattel for around 100+ night school girls. We are excited about this partnership and look forward to lighting up the lives of the girls,” added Nikita Ketkar, CEO, Masoom.
Extending the cheer of the festive season and New Year, Mattel India employees inaugurated the session by engaging with the programme participants that helped build a connection with the students. Ice-breaking sessions were followed by a small cheque-handing ceremony which was attended by Mr. Ishmeet Singh, Country Head, Mattel India, and employees from Mattel India. Happy faces holding gifts from Mattel marked the end of this remarkable inauguration.