Missy Schwartz
April 16, 2009 AT 04:00 PM EDT

Christian Colson and Danny Boyle, the Oscar-winning producer and director of Slumdog Millionaire, are donating £500,000 ($745,000) to Plan, an international children’s development organization that has been active in India since 1979. The money will go towards a five-year program that aims to improve the lives of between 2,000 and 5,000 children from the Mumbai slums. The focus will be education, access to health care, and improvement of hygiene and sanitation. In a statement, Boyle said: “Having benefited so much from the hospitality of the people of Mumbai it is only right that some of the success of the movie be ploughed back into the city in areas where it is needed most and where it can make a real difference to some lives. Despite intimidating odds, extraordinary work is going on to help people break the cycle of poverty through education. We’re delighted that this initiative will add to that ongoing work.”

In addition to Plan, Colson and Boyle have appointed trustees to oversee the trust fund they had previously set up to provide for the on-going health and education of Slumdog‘s young stars Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail. Fittingly, that fund is called The Jai Ho Trust.

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