Asha for Education
I first volunteered with Asha when I studied at Cornell in the mid 1990s and have stayed involved since. Their efforts are among the most sincere and most successful in basic education in India, with an all-volunteer staff and hundreds of active projects. One of my memorable Asha experiences was surveying tsunami relief efforts in 2005 with my wife, in Chennai and nearby, coastal villages. Asha does not usually provide disaster relief, but when needed, they had the resilience to organize and provide everything from food to boats to backpacks for school, for thousands of children and families.
More recently in 2008-2009, the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire captured hearts around the world. Of the millions who saw it, many wondered what they could do to help children from India’s slums.
Asha for Education volunteers have funded and organized dozens of projects in slums across India, including the slums shown in Slumdog Millionaire. Below is an excerpt of an article I wrote in early 2009 for the main Asha for Education web site, to help spread the word about Asha’s good work. In the article, I included several photos I had snapped in India of related Asha projects.
I’m updating this later in 2009 to add: the article and photos have been viewed by millions of people around the world via Asha’s site, my flickr stream, and web sites who have republished the photos and badges. The photos have also been used in unrelated fund raising campaigns for Asha. I couldn’t be happier to help tell the stories and rally support for these kids, to help give them the opportunities all children deserve.
Helping Children From India’s Slums
The Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire has captured hearts around the world. Of the millions who have seen it, many wonder what they can do to help children from India’s slums.
Asha for Education volunteers have funded and organized dozens of projects in slums across India, including the slums shown in Slumdog Millionaire. Asha has been working to help these children for more than 10 years, with 93 education projects focusing on children from the slums.
One of the best things you can do to help is to make a donation to Asha for Education — please use the Google Checkout form on the right side of this page. Asha has been given the highest possible rating by Charity Navigator and has been a top-rated nonprofit on many Charity Navigator lists, including “10 Slam Dunk Charities.”
In the sunny metropolis of Chennai, a 115-year-old school called Olcott Memorial is dedicated to educating the poorest children. The Chapter Coordinator of Asha Chennai, Lakshmi Suryanarayanan, is also Headmistress at Olcott Memorial. Lakshmi oversees the many education projects focused on helping children from slums in Chennai, funded and informed by Asha volunteers around the world.
Project Bridge is Olcott Memorial’s attempt to bridge the digital divide. There is a growing divide between children from poor families, whose access to computers is almost nonexistent, and the growing computer use by children from wealthy families. Future plans for Asha funding at Olcott Memorial include purchasing increased Internet connectivity for their computer lab, teacher training, and improving science labs.
Any amount you donate can mean the world to a child, and because Asha is run by volunteers, 100% of your contribution will reach the children. If a general donation is not specific or personal enough, consider giving with Asha’s Support A Child program.
Something else you can do to help: spread the word. Using one of the linked images below or in any way you prefer, share a link to Asha for Education on your website, blog, profile, or in email. If you know someone who may want to support basic education in India, send them here! Please link images to http://www.ashanet.org/
Please link images to http://www.ashanet.org/