To all the Magic Makers – thank you!

To all the Magic Makers – thank you!

by Sarah Currid

To all the Magic Makers – thank you! 

After an incredible few weeks in India, I was reminded that life’s significance comes from how you can positively impact the lives of others. And I share these stories to underscore that because of our supporters around the world, we are able to implement Magic Bus programs across India and southeast Asia that make the dream of a better future a reality for almost 500,000 youth each year. 

Hope is not a fictional story for those in our programs. Rather it is part of their everyday lives because Magic Bus empowers our beneficiaries to write their personal narrative to include delaying the age of marriage, completing school, finding sustainable employment, and creating economic mobility for themselves and their families.

During community visits, I met parents who could provide very little materially yet the hope they have for their children to break the inherited cycle of poverty is palpable and priceless. 

Poverty in India is no secret. The World Bank’s research indicates that 250 million people survive on less than $2 a day. However, The World Bank looks to define poverty not just by measures of material wealth and possessions, it also looks at overall well-being, a more holistic measure of one’s existence. And this is where Magic Bus plays a key role by teaching essential life skills like resilience and providing employability training that allows our program participants to successfully transition to adulthood with a sustainable livelihood. 

While visiting one of our programs in the Mumbai Port Trust area, I met teenage girls who were learning life lessons through the power of sport. After playing soccer with them in the hot afternoon sun, I had the chance to ask them about their future aspirations. To which they shared dreams of being on the first female India National Team to compete in FIFA’s World Cup.

In Kolkata at the Belgachia Muslim Highschool, I met with girls and their mothers in one of our Community Learning Centers that is designed to provide academic support for lower performing students. In this community that experiences high rates of childhood marriage, the mothers shared their hopes for their daughters’ future which included dreams of being a university professor, engineer, and doctor. 

To see the positive influence that Magic Bus has on a community around the right to education and right to gender equality emphasized the importance of our work. And while I didn’t confirm, I suspect that many of these mothers were child brides themselves. Their support of their daughter’s participation in Magic Bus highlighted that mindsets shift, beliefs change, and potential can be realized, in just one generation. 

These are just a few stories of many. Every interaction that I had throughout my time in India served as a powerful reminder of the life-changing impact of Magic Bus programs. 

Join us on our next stage of growth with ambitions to impact more than 3 million youth annually by 2027.