As the end of the year draws near, we are deeply grateful for your support, for the tireless work of our project partners in India, and for the indefatigable enthusiasm of our volunteers.
Children are in schools and learning, and our project partners are working hard to close the Covid learning gap. Deenabandhu is a shining example of how dedication and focus on addressing the issue can make a world of difference.
As an organization with a four star Charity Navigator rating, we have an extremely low overhead. We are an all-volunteer group, and 99.5% of all funds raised by Asha Boston in 2022 were sent directly to projects.
Total funds disbursed to projects in 2022: $130,781 for 12 projects impacting 23,000 students. You make this possible.
The students are in government schools, slum areas, or remote rural areas and Asha’s work empowers women and marginalized communities, enhances the curriculum for improved learning levels, trains teachers so that they can be the best possible, provides books for libraries, and more.
Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution and maximize the use of every dollar for a great cause.
Below are some updates.
Madurai Seed Narpanigal: Libraries and reading has been one of the themes for the year. In addition to our support for village libraries in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh (which has spawned more such efforts in nearby villages), study centers like Madurai Seed Narpanigal have conducted several events related to reading.
Libraries in Tamil Nadu: Seeyapoondi and nearby villages have libraries which are also community centers for children giving them access to computers and various learning activities. The libraries are thriving with active participation from the community.
Libraries in Uttar Pradesh: The Asha Samajik Vidyalaya school in Rajatalab expanded its library to much fanfare. The new libraries for children of migrant brick kiln workers are going on well in the areas surrounding Varanasi. And we are very encouraged to get requests for similar initiatives in the area.
Bhagwati Sarla Paliwal Shiksha Samiti (BSPES), near Jattari, Uttar Pradesh: It was a struggle to bring girls back to school after the pandemic in the highly patriarchal society in the area. Slowly, there is progress. Last month attendance was up to 86% of pre-pandemic levels, an encouraging sign. The school Science exhibition as always generated excitement and everyone learned a lot.
Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya (KSV), near Dharwad, Karnataka: KSV has been conducting remedial classes in the second half of the year to bring the students back to desired levels of learning. They are making steady progress and hope to be caught up at the end of the academic year (ending in April 2023). And in spite of the challenges of online classes for children from remote villages they managed to maintain a 100% pass rate with an average score was 74%. The topper had a score of 94%.
Reward Trust: Reward hires youth from the local communities, trains them, and appoints them as teachers in local government schools. Asha funds are 100% used for these teachers’ salaries. This model has been very successful, and following Covid more headmasters/headmistresses were clamoring for these teachers. Thanks to support from a generous donor, Reward has been able to respond to these requests.
Sahanivasa: Sahanivasa teachers teach government school children. They tried to keep students engaged in learning through story-telling and games. Sahanivasa also successfully petitioned the state government to phase in English medium in the government schools. As classes resume the government school teachers and principal are very appreciative of the help provided by the Sahanivasa teachers – they say this supplemental support has helped tremendously in addressing the learning deficits over covid time. Although some covid protocols are still in place, children, and the teachers, seem very happy to be back in school, learning and growing – their enthusiasm is palpable.
Mobile Science Van: This project in Kodagu district in Karanataka, where a Mobile Science Van (Vijnana Vahini) visits 96 government and government-aided schools reaching 13,000 students had to stop abruptly in March 2020. Some corporate donors’ priorities had changed by the time schools re-opened. Thanks to support from Hansa and Jitu Shah this project is being re-started this academic year.
In HD Kote taluk in Mysore district the Mobile Science Van work continues to yield results. Students from remote hamlets have gone on to become toppers in exams. Praveen and Nagendra were students in village high schools without Science labs and enough Science teachers, and today are toppers in the state recruitment exam for the positions of assistant professors in Mathematics. They now go on to teach other students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Viveka Tribal Center for Learning (VTCL): VTCL is transforming itself into a school that acts as a springboard for the aspirations of tribal students. In particular, they are focusing on the integration of Arts and Sports in the curriculum that students have shown an aptitude for. Focus on the curriculum is not compromised – at the 2022 SSLC exam the school achieved a pass percentage of 78.6% with 3 students scoring distinction and 9 students scoring above 80%.
Center for Development, Ahmedabad, Gujarat It is the little things that can make a big difference – and in a girl’s life the space to study and an encouraging environment can make the difference between succeeding and dropping out. The Kadam Resource Centre provides this space and often it is difficult to find a landlord to rent a space for this purpose. They recently moved to a new apartment, hopefully the final one, with funds from Asha. Girls come together and study and stay together, especially during exam times. Most girls are back in school after the pandemic, all actively working towards their education, some in 10th, some in 12th, some in college.