Caring for vulnerable children living in the slums and villages of India

history and mission

History and Mission 

GPM was founded in 2012 by former hi-tech executive Jacob Sztokman turned social entrepreneur. 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. Troubled by what he saw and motivated to help make a difference, Jacob met with grassroots Indian NGOs who provided research, experience and expertise, and instilled in him the belief that change is possible. Together they developed a model for combining long-term and short-term solutions by bringing international volunteers to work on food distribution and literacy.   This model became the foundation of GPM.

In June 2012, as Jacob left hi-tech behind for good, GPM opened its first 8-week volunteer program in India, with three volunteers providing nutrition and literacy for 500 children every day. By the end of the school year, GPM had grown to 35 volunteers per year providing daily hot nutritious meals for 750 children. In June 2014, GPM is providing nutrition and literacy for 1000 children, with the help of 40 volunteers per year.

GPM operates in partnership with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the world’s largest Jewish humanitarian aid organization, and 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 works in collaboration with local grass-roots organizations, women’s empowerment groups, the business community and the Indian Jewish community.  

2013 at a glance

Thanks to the support of partners, volunteers and donors all around the world, GPM achieved the following outcomes in 2013:

  • Provided 180,000 nutritious hot meals to 750 children ages 4-14 attending classes in the slums.
  • Enabled 825,000 hours of learning for children living in the slums. These classes were provided by the devoted and skilled teachers of our partner organization REAP.
  • Dedicated over 600 volunteer hours to the children living in the slums, delivering informal classes in English, Math, Science, Geography and Hygiene.
  • Supported the economic empowerment of 160 women in local self-help micro-financing groups, enabling them to support their families and strengthen the slum community
  • Engaged 45 Jewish young adults – 10 from India and 35 from around the world – in nurturing a Jewish peoplehood consciousness through events, “mifgashim”, and joint volunteering
  • Equipped a central kitchen in the Kalwa slums with essential cooking equipment to help local women cook food for the children in the slums.
  • Provided 80 hours of classes in Jewish Social Justice values, Jewish Indian History, spoken Hindi and Indian Culture for Jewish young adult volunteers.
  • Developed strong partnerships with JDC and JDC Entwine to bring Jewish young adults from around the world and local Jewish Indian young adults to volunteer with the Hindu and Muslim children living in absolute poverty in the slums of Mumbai.
  • Formed a dynamic partnership with award-winning NGO REAP that provides dedicated, professional and nurturing teachers in the slums.
Click here to learn about GPM humanitarian projects
And volunteer opportunities