Every child has the right to play
– Article 31, UN Child Rights Convention
Our favorite charity is Magic Bus. It is a completely phenomenal organization.
R met Matthew Spacie, the founder and chairman, in Bombay many years ago and was involved as Matthew started Magic Bus. Matthew lived and worked in Bombay and started to play rugby with a group of street children in 1999. As he spent more time with them, he realized that the ability to play in wide open spaces and learn through playing and having fun had a huge impact on the children – on their attitude and their perspectives. So, Matthew started Magic Bus.
The number of children in need of help in India is staggering1-
- 11 million children live in slums or on the street. 2.3 in Bombay alone
- Most will be exposed to crime before they are 8
- 14% of children in India are involved in child labor
- India accounts for 20% of the world’s out of school children
- Over 60% of street children start their day with substance abuse
- About 900,000 prostitutes are under the age of 18
Magic Bus works with these children – street children and at risk children, the poorest of the poor, to help try and change the trajectory of their lives. A lot of organizations in India work on the basic needs – shelter, food, clothing. Magic Bus supplements this and focuses on letting kids have fun and through having fun, teaches them life skills.
Magic Bus has worked with over 18,000 children to date! The video (below) is a wonderful encapsulation of what they do, is incredibly impactful and is exceptionally well-produced – watch it!
We spent Thanksgiving in London for the Magic Bus Annual Gala. Held in Whitehall, it was a phenomenal event and the auction that night raised a significant amount of money – including funding for a second “magic” bus. It is so great to see an organization that does so much good that is also so superbly run.
This post that is long overdue from our visit to London, but it is perfect to post this now because… for all of his efforts in creating a sustainable organization and for all the accomplishments of Magic Bus, Matthew was recognized with an M.B.E. this year! Congratulations Matthew and the entire Magic Bus team!!!
You can help! Here’s how:
- Donate your time and volunteer (flexible options available)
- Donate to Magic Bus – if you are in India
- Donate to Magic Bus – if you are outside India
- You can also give in kind – there’s lots of stuff they need (scroll down a bit)
from the video ↩