Our founding partner MelJol was created by Jeroo Billimoria in 1991, when ethnic riots arose across Mumbai, deepening societal divisions. Aflatoun’s founder developed an effective approach to bridge social differences and create peace agents amongst upper and lower class children. The programme MelJol implemented sought to bring together children from diverse socio-economic backgrounds to learn about each other’s lives, cultures, challenges and achievements.
MelJol’s efforts and consistent advocacy for children’s rights played an important role in and paved the way for Aflatoun’s vision to equip every child with social and financial skills. The organisation redefined its child rights education and saving concept, naming it Aflatoun Social and Financial Education Programme. That is how Aflatoun International was conceived, providing children with the skills they need to confront challenges in an increasingly intricate society and stimulate the economic development of their communities through social enterprises.
The programme was applauded by government leaders in many Indian states and it has now spread to eleven states in the country. Together with fourteen local NGOs, MelJol is implementing Aflatot, Aflatoun and Aflateen in and outside of the school system. According to the 2016 annual survey, more than 514,406 children in 3,923 schools have benefited from MelJol’s work and more than 3,782 teachers have received training on Aflatoun’s child-centred teaching methodologies.