Visiting a project is a treasured activity for many Asha volunteers. We see the optimism of the project partner, feel the energy of the teachers, and hear the merry laughter of the children. Regular visits and the close connection we maintain with projects has led to the score of 100 from Charity Navigator for transparency and accountability. Asha’s funds support good projects doing impactful work and this is a direct result of Asha’s model of regular visits, frequent communication, and close collaboration with project partners.
Here are some visit highlights from 2019.
Atman visited Kadam Education Society, a new project. He saw for himself how confident the girls were, and how they supported each other. “It was a humbling and inspiring experience to meet the Kadam team. I was impressed with the amount of work Kadam has done, particularly with the support and constant involvement of the girls themselves.”
At any time Kadam typically works with 30 girls, each of whom in turn are working to help 5 other girls in their communities.
Raj visited Saha Nivasa. He was very moved to see the very high regard the villagers had for Mr. Chenniah and Ms. Suriarajini, the couple behind Saha Nivasa, and how much they were involved in the day-to-day lives and hardship of the people.
Sahanivasa provides supplemental education for children in government schools. 30 teachers are appointed for 10 high schools helping 1033 students. 15 teachers are appointed in 15 primary schools, helping 570 students.
Bhavna visited Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya, where she also sponsors a child. As always, she comes away impressed by the “safe, beautiful, respectful, and loving environment created for children to thrive in.”
Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya is a boarding school for 400 children from impoverished families in northern Karnataka, teaching music along with the regular curriculum and helping their students get started in careers in the performing arts.
Melli had the opportunity to participate in several activities related to school teachers organized by Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement that runs the Mobile Science Van project. She was a judge in a new initiative to encourage teachers to aim to be the best. She gave a guest lecture on “What is the Goal of Education” at a teachers’ workshop, and observed with pride government school teachers from the Mobile Science Van project become resource persons at the same teachers’ workshop. She was a special guest at the book release function for a dictionary of Jenukuruba language, a tribal language spoken by one of the tribes in the area served by the Viveka Tribal Center for Learning.
Mobile Science Van project takes Science Lab equipment to upper primary and high schools in HD Kote taluk, reaching over 9000 children in this rural area. The real gain has been how some government teachers have blossomed because of the support provided by the project.
Melli also spent time with Madurai Seed Narpanigal, spending time talking to Asha Fellow Karthi about various plans for the study centers, with Vicky about the job that his journey in Seed has helped him get, and with Arun about his dream for becoming a change-maker himself.
Madurai Seed Narpanigal works with 300 children in a poor area of Madurai. It was started and run by youth from that area, and helps children complete their education and fulfil the potential that is cut short by poverty.
Akshay will be in India in December and plans to visit Sandhya Sanwardhan Sanstha, an organization to help mentally disabled children and supported by Asha Athens, and Pawan Public School, a project that aspires to create an ideal educational model for rural and and supported by Asha Seattle and Asha Stanford.
Dk will try to visit in Bhilai, a brand new project at Asha Silicon Valley. More on their visits in future posts.