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

women's empowerment

Women's Empowerment: The Masala Mamas

GPM projects facilitate women's empowerment by supporting women's micro-financing groups, and helping to boost the local economy while enabling women to provide for their families through a growing social enterprise. 

The Masala Mamas, the women's cooperative that prepares daily, hot nutritious meals for the Eat2Learn program in school, began as a women's micro-financing program. GPM has helped the women build their social enterprise through the Eat2Learn program, in which they prepare and deliver hundreds of daily, nutritious meals to children in the Love2Learn school. The women use their knowledge and expertise about what the children enjoy and need, and ensuring that the nutrition program uses fresh, healthy and nutritious ingredients that the children love. They are centered in a professional kitchen that was built with the help of GPM, sponsored by The Good People Fund.  

The central kitchen is used not only to provide children with nutrition but also to make malnutrition treatment packs as part of the Dr. Gerald J. Friedman Infant Malnutrition Intervention program. This work has also enabled the women to build their social enterprise. They now operate out of a cafe storefront in the Kalwa slum where they serve the community and continue to build their social enterprise -- which has positive ripple effects for their families and the whole community. 

The women's empowerment program is now being replicated in the Shilonda villages in remote rural Maharashtra, where a group of women are creating their own social enterprise starting with delivery of hundreds of daily meals to kids in school. 

The empowerment of women in the slums is an important part of GPM's community development programming. GPM gives the women of the slums the tools and technical support that encourages the women to seek their own economic empowerment; which in turn helps the community and the families struggling to survive in the harsh realities of the slums of Mumbai.This central kitchen serves as a base for the production and delivery of hundreds of daily meals to children in schools, encourage attendance in classes run by the dedicated teachers, and bring some economic security to dozens of Kalwa families.

In 2018, the Masala Mamas released a cookbook full of stories and recipes from their cultures, traditions and everyday lives. You can support the Masala Mamas by purchasing their cookbook. And if you buy the book directly from the women, you not only receive a 10% discount but you also ensure that a larger portion of the proceeds go directly towards the women. 

Support the Masala Mamas. Buy their book today!