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

Jacob Sztokman: Founding Director
Jacob is a hi-tech executive turned social-entrepreneur. On a visit to Mumbai in 2011, 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 consulted with grassroots Indian NGOs and together developed a model for combining long-term and short-term solutions by creating development programs in education, nutrition, hygiene and health care. This  formed the basis of the GPM program, which began operation in June 2012. 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 has a Masters degree in Community Development  at Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Jacob brings to Gabriel Project Mumbai 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. He and his wife, Elana Maryles Sztokman, live in Modi’in, Israel with their four children. 


Kenneth Dsouza: Director, India

Kenneth worked as Program Development Officer and Project Director  for REAP, working on Literacy, Women’s Empowerment, Training and Residential Learning, serving over 8000 beneficiaries within the city of Mumbai and the neighboring district of Thane. Kenneth has a background in business and in music, and previously ran his family’s business and worked as a musician, composer and conductor in Mumbai. 

Hayley Dsouza: Volunteer Coordinator and Educational Administrator

A graduate of St. Xaviers College in Mumbai, Hayley has many years of early childhood experience. Her educational knowledge and expertise greatly benefits our volunteers when developing and implementing high quality lessons for the children living in the slums. Hayley is responsible for the day-to-day activities of international and local volunteers as well as acting as an educational mentor when developing volunteer-inspired lessons for the children living in the slums. Her effervescent, dedicated and sociable personality makes the teaching process a joy rather than a chore and in the classroom, she facilitates the volunteers in executing motivational and fun classes. Hayley lives in Thane with her husband and daughter

 Thaiza Dias: Programs Development Coordinator

Thaiza is a Professional in the Social Development sector with two years’ of experience as Project Officer for a London based funding agency that involved monitoring and evaluation of projects in the areas of education, health, women empowerment and infrastructure in India. Thaiza is also worked for the Mumbai based Fair Trade Organization, which works in the area of women’s empowerment through livelihood generation.

David Benjamin Ramrajkar: Volunteer Liaison and Security Officer

David, 32, is a man of many talents. David graduated the Jacob Sassoon High School close to where he lives in Byculla, Mumbai. A former sales executive at RITA manufacturing company, David has chosen to dedicate his time and effort to social justice causes. Not only does David act as Volunteer Liaison and Security Officer at Gabriel Project Mumbai, but he is also a security volunteer for the IJS group (Indian Jewish Security) whose members guard and protect synagogues and Jewish events around Mumbai. At GPM, David accompanies volunteers in the slums and throughout the city, teaches classes and handles all security matters. Not having any teaching experience before starting at GPM, he finds teaching vulnerable children, alongside the volunteers, the most rewarding part of his job. David is a fantastic sports ‘all rounder’ and enjoys, cricket, football, basketball and the Indian board game, ‘Carrom’.


Subhash L. Mahale - Rural Development Coordinator

Mr. Subhash L. Mahale has joined the GPM team as Educational Field Officer for the GPM Love2Learn Program in the village of Ashte in Dahanu Taluka in the Palghar district in Maharashtra, India. Mr. Mahale, a 31-year-old father of two who holds a BA in humanities as well as a Teaching Diploma, was born and raised in Ashte village. A member of the progressive Konkana tribe, he is passionate about education and social change, and is a veteran community organizer. He has been a program coordinator on issues of women’s empowerment, health care, and children’s education, He has many interests, from sports like Kabbadi, Kho Kho, and Cricket, to dancing the Gauri Dance or Adivasi Tarpa dance typical tribal folk dances of the area.  


Vishakha Kamble: Urban Development Coordinator

Vishakha is always working hard! She resides in the Shivaji Nagar neighborhood adjacent to GPM's development initiatives in the Kalwa slum and knows all the families, beneficiaries and vendors in the area. Vishakha has experience in administration, business and accounting and is now utilizing her managerial expertise in coordinating all the GPM urban development programs.


Sarah Bendahan Reiss: Social Media Manager
Sarah graduated from Touro College in 2015 and shortly after began doing work in social media management. Originally from Hollywood, Florida, Sarah moved to Jerusalem, Israel in 2015 with her husband and children. She has helped many businesses grow their social media presence through her knowledge of different social media platforms and her creativity in design. Sarah is excited to be working as the social media manager "for such a worthwhile cause."

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