About Gabriel Project Mumbai
Gabriel Project Mumbai (GPM) is a Jewish volunteer-based initiative caring for vulnerable children living of India by providing hunger relief, literacy support, health and empowerment to children living in the Mumbai slums.
GPM is an innovative and compassionate response to the problems of poverty, hunger, illiteracy, malnutrition and child labor. In the Mumbai slums, children as young as four years old, faced with acute poverty, are often sent to work as rag pickers and sewage cleaners rather than attend school in order to receive a few rupees to pay for food. The GPM solution is powerful and simple: Eat to learn. By providing daily nutritious meals to children attending class, GPM ensures that children are able to receive hunger relief and literacy. GPM thus addresses both the immediate and long-term needs of vulnerable children, alleviating hunger while facilitating the path towards education which is a key factor in changing their lives.
Founded in 2012 by former hi-tech executive Jacob Sztokman turned social entrepreneur, GPM is built on a vision of changing the lives of children in Mumbai’s slums through literacy and hunger relief while educating young Jewish adults about the ethos of care, global responsibility and tikkun olam that are at the heart of the Jewish people. This program aims to change the trajectory of the children’s lives while offering young Jewish adults a meaningful and life-transforming experience.
GPM operates in close partnership with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the world’s largest Jewish humanitarian aid organization, with Entwine,
JDC’s young adult platform, and with award-winning local NGO REAP that runs classes for children ages 4-14 in the Mumbai slums, as well as many other wonderful sponsors and partners around the world. GPM also works in collaboration with local grass-roots organizations, women’s empowerment groups, the business community and the Indian Jewish community.
About GPM Founding Director Jacob Sztokman
On a visit to Mumbai in 2011 while working for an internet security firm, Jacob toured the city’s slums and was deeply moved to work on the issues of poverty and illiteracy among the children of India. After many sleepless nights, he began speaking with grassroots Indian NGOs that not only provided research, experience and expertise, but also inspired him to take action. Together they developed a model for combining long-term and short-term solutions by bringing international volunteers to work on food distribution and literacy. In June 2012, Jacob left hi-tech behind for good, and Gabriel Project Mumbai was born.
Jacob was born in Melbourne Australia and immigrated to Israel in 1993. Jacob’s professional life has been in the world of Sales and Marketing, and has worked for companies including SafeNet, IDT, and DSS. In 1998, after several years volunteering with food distribution to impoverished families in Jerusalem, he helped establish Shachen Tov, a volunteer organization that has since grown to provide food and empowering over 1000 families in over 15 cities around Israel. Jacob brings to Gabriel Project a unique combination of management experience and deep commitment to social justice. He is driven by the fundamental belief that we must take responsibility to help alleviate human suffering around the world.
לא עליך המלאכה לגמור ולא אתה בין חורין להיבטל ממנה." ”
“You may not be able to complete the work, but you are not free from the obligation to try”.
Learn more about the GPM Vision, Mission and History
Or read more on the GPM Blog