About Us

Sofia Educational & Welfare Society (SEWS)

Sofia Educational and Welfare Society is a Delhi based non-government organization registered under the Societies Registration Act with its head office in Old Mustafabad. The organization, founded in 2004, has been working in the area of education, skills development and livelihoods for women, girls and young people, healthcare, violence against women and girls, gender discrimination and declining child sex ratio through community outreach work. with an aim to make women and girls financially independent and self-reliant, Sofia under its livelihoods program provides a range of vocational training in trades such as cutting and tailoring, fashion designing, beauty culture, computer accounting, calligraphy and Computer Application Business Accounting Desktop Publishing (CABA-DTP) to women and girls, especially from underprivileged community. It is now expanding its ambit of work to include the marginalised community of persons with disabilities.

In its almost two decades journey, Sofia trained more than 26,500 women, girls and boys under its various vocational training programs. Out of which around 72% of women and girls are placed with different employers in Delhi while some of them have set up their own business.

With support from BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL), Sofia presently runs four vocational training centers in East, West and Central Delhi. Sofia is also associated with BYPL to create awareness among children, adolescents and youth around energy saving in 14 divisions of North-East district, East district and Central Delhi and has reached out to over 16 lakh consumers. Besides, Sofia has also worked with India Power Corporation Limited (IPCL) to create awareness on energy saving in Gaya and Asansol district of Bihar and West Bengal respectively. The organization has also been the Vocational Training Provider (VTP) of Directorate of Training and Technical Education, GNCT, Delhi.

Sofia also runs authorized study centres of National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India for 14 different vocational courses and National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL), Govt. of India for promoting and teaching Urdu, Arabic, and calligraphy, and has trained more than 4,000 candidates till date. The organisation has also worked with street children and school dropouts under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan of GNCT, Delhi in the past. Under its women empowerment program, Sofia in the last Nine years has worked with Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), Government of NCT of Delhi to prevent domestic violence and crime against women and girls in north-east district of Delhi and has reached out to over 7,500 women and girls (survivors). Harshit Info Solutions Pvt. Ltd has also supported Sofia in holding community-based dialogue and organize community-based events around domestic violence and other forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls in north-east district of Delhi.
child education

Child Education

Sofia is empanelled with Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) and has been working on the implementation of its schemes at the grassroots level in Delhi with an aim to help the eligible families avail the government schemes available for minorities in the area of education, health and financial aid. Sofia is also running Sofia Smart Centre supported by Tech Mahindra Foundation in which we are providing vocational trainings i.e. Fashion Designing and Professional Cooking to Domestic Violence Survivors, widows and single mothers to make them entrepreneur and self-reliant. The organisation also works with Delhi State Legal Services Authorities (DSLSA) and organises free legal aid clinics for creating legal awareness among the underprivileged section of society and facilitates them to get free legal services on various issues. This apart, Sofia with support from Delhi Urban Shelters Improvement Board GNCT, Delhi runs 15 night shelters for homeless across Delhi NCR. We are providing services of our shelter homes to approx. 1500 people on daily basis. With the support of Goonj, we also assisted 43 people to start their livelihood by provision of sewing machines to 20 domestic violence survivors who started their boutiques and stitching centers from their respective homes. Apart from this, we also started 2 boutiques with 2 groups of 8 domestic violence survivors at Brahmpuri & Dayalpur colonies. We also provided 15 pushcarts to people in which 8 are domestic violence survivors and 7 daily wagers to sell cooked food, snacks and fruits & vegetables.

Journey Of NGO Sofia

How was the NGO Sofia started?

Passionate Suhail Saifi started teaching children in 1999, when he himself was a college student. A decade has passed and the initiative has become a full-grown organization- Sofia Educational and Welfare Society. Initially Mr. Saifi used to teach both girls and boys but gradually moved focus to the education, skill development and empowerment of girls. The society we live in tend to neglect girls in an unapologetic manner, while for a better, healthier and smarter societal development, the participation of women is as crucial as of men. It has been a motivation and agenda of Mr. Saifi, to create greater opportunities for women and girls by increasing their employability through education, skill training and better health care. In his early days, young Saifi understood that the only way to improve the lives of the girls is to educate them and make them economically strong. Through years of efforts in convincing, motivating and promoting girls and their parents to send them to schools, Mr. Saifi has made a mark in the area. It was not an easy task in the beginning, as the parents was very reluctant. The relentless work of the organization and the support of volunteers and funders started to show results. In 2004, Suhail Saifi founded Sofia Educational and Welfare Society, in Mustafabad, Delhi
to broaden the work that he took on himself. Various courses in vocational training and skill development training for women and girls like embroidery, beautician course, tailoring, computer training, calligraphy etc. were started. By the end of 2004, as many as 150 girl students started to attend the classes. The primary focus at that time was on educating dropout girl children. Soon the mission of the organization became educating the under-privileged girls and mainstreaming and still remains.

This 17 years’ old organization has already supported more than 22500 women, girls and boys by imparting academic education and job skills. It’s a great honour to state that most of these girls are financially independent today; they are either in jobs or are self-employed through the support of Sofia. Today, 550 girls and boys are attending the classes daily at Sofia educational centre in Mustafabad, either free of cost or at highly subsidized rates.

These days, we also work with survivors of rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment and dowry harassment. We have made a team of 156 local women who visit homes in Mustafabad & Brahmpuri and other localities to find out the cases of marital discord. Such couples are then counselled and provided regular follow-ups. Sofia has helped thousands of families re-settle through the counselling sessions. In the cases where men are not interested in conceding, Sofia provides legal help to the women to fight the case and get alimony from the erring husband. Along with that, incident of child marriage in the area has reduced significantly through the efforts of Sofia Educational and Welfare Society.

In recognition to the work that Sofia Educational and Welfare Society is doing, Delhi Government has included Mr. Saifi as

– A member in the Delhi State Inspection & monitoring Committee under the PC & PNDT Act,
– Governing Council Member, for the Asha Kiran Complex, Avantika, Rohini for persons and children with intellectual & psychosocial disabilities
– Member, District Level Committee under Rules 39 & 40 of the Delhi Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, 2018

Since 2009, Sofia Educational and Welfare Society has also been working for the promotion of Urdu and Arabic languages and calligraphy. The programme is supported by the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language. Sofia holds educational seminars for the children studying in Madarsas across Delhi and NCR.

Sofia Education and Welfare Society was empaneled with the Delhi Minority Commission in 2012 and since then has worked extensively for mainstreaming the children of economically weaker sections, irrespective of the community they belong to. Sofia does not only disseminate information about the various government schemes among the beneficiaries but also help them avail benefits of these schemes by helping them procure required documents and certificates.

For the relentless work to uplift the girl child belonging to marginalized sections of the society, Suhail Saifi has been honoured by more than 30 organizations so far. NGO Sofia Educational and Welfare Society was bestowed with the Best Educational Service in India by the Saifi Welfare Association of India.

Sofia Educational and Welfare society contributes in helping to improve the health and livelihood status of women and adolescent girls from disadvantaged section of the society through its life-changing education, skill development, legal advice and support. Along with that, we also provide on the spot counselling and as an outcome of that the decreasing number of cases regarding violence against women, eve teasing and abuses in the society has been a great motivation. Sofia Educational and Welfare Society also served the youth through employability skills training along with promotion of Urdu Language by conducting calligraphy workshops.

Sofia Educational and Welfare Society has been steadily investing in building there in-house capacity to be able to customize and adapt their modules to fill the knowledge and capacity gaps in the field. However, raising funds for specialized educational training modules having their intrinsic worth as capacity building and empowerment tools remains a major challenge for our organization.

I am glad to announce that during outbreak of Covid 19, we got the opportunity to tie up with Hamdard Foundation, Tech Mahindra Foundation, Goonj, BSES, Action Aid, Tata Power, IGSSS and many more. With the support of our esteemed partners, we distributed dry Ration kits, Hygiene kits, masks, sanitizers, cooked meal and financial assistance to needy people along with counselling sessions during the Nationwide Lockdown and also beyond that period. As a special initiative, we have collaborated with Goonj to provide livelihood opportunities to more than 45 people who were badly affected by communal violence in North East Delhi and outbreak of the pandemic.
Under this initiative with the support of Goonj, we provided 20 Singer motorized sewing machine to domestic violence survivors, widows and single mother who wanted to start their own set up from their houses. Apart from this, we also provided them publicity material such as banners, pamphlets etc to spread information about their set ups. Secondly, we provided 15 pushcarts to those who wanted to start their food stalls in North East Delhi. Out of 15 beneficiaries, 10 are domestic violence survivors or widows. Thirdly, Sofia started 2 boutiques with group of 3 women who wanted to start their own boutiques. These boutiques are fully equipped and furnished professionally. Apart from this, with the support of Goonj, we distributed ration kits to widows in North East Delhi.

Sofia also added a new milestone to set up “Free Legal Aid Clinic” at our two locations i.e. Old Mustafabad and Yamuna Vihar with the support of Delhi State Legal Service Authority.
Going forward, Sofia Educational and Welfare society at this stage may pause and ponder. We may invest some of our meagre resources for measuring the impact of the programs and disseminate the findings. We may also further strengthen our capacity for reaching out to a large number of women, girls and youth from poor and disadvantaged sections of society, especially from the East and North East district of Delhi.

I take the opportunity to thank all our donors, stakeholders and partners and look forward to your continued support in future as well. Last but not the least, we would like to thank all the people for whom we exist- our beneficiaries. It is them who have bestowed their faith and trust in us, and let us enter their lives.

Apart from this, I would like to thank all the team members of Sofia Educational and Welfare Society as well as our Institutional and individual donors like Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), National Council of Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL), BSES Yamuna Power Limited, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited, Tech Mahindra Foundation, Hamdard Foundation, Goonj, Harshit Info Solution Ltd. & others for their invaluable support. And the journey continues……

Suhail Saifi
(Sofia Educational and Welfare Society)

Our Future Plans

Sofia would like to set up 14 Facilitation Centers in across Delhi NCR for spreading awareness to enhance communities’ access to government schemes for Women/ Schedule Caste/ Schedule Tribe/ OBC/ Minorities. The role of Facilitation Centers are as follows:-

Identify reachable place and set up Facilitation cum Resource Centre for Minority Communities; Display proper boards & material related to centre.

Make area plan and conduct door to door survey to make awareness about these centers at community level.

Compile data bank of MPs, MLAs, Govt. departments & office address & contact no; meet & establish networking to facilitate work smoothly & fast.

Identify “Yojna Mitra” who will work as informer and facilitator at community level; conduct meeting with these “Yojna Mitra” on weekly basis.

Distribute awareness material & IEC Material at community level to connect with needy people.

Register clients & complete their formalities related to welfare scheme & provide necessary assistance.

Visit Govt. Departments & offices where people having problem to deal or submit their applications and inform Nodal Agency.

Proposed Location: North East Delhi (4), South Delhi (2), East Delhi (2), Central Delhi (3), North (3).

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