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Asha for Education
October 20, 2009

I have found Asha for Education to be a very strong volunteer organization. In working with the Berkeley chapter, the organization has been a a way to unite both Indians, who want to be more involved with improving the country of their heritage, as well as non-Indians, who are looking to get involved in grassroots development. Our chapter is based on the collaboration of undergraduates, graduate students and working professionals. Because Asha for Education is a flat, non-hierarchical organization, everyone has a equal voice and thus, all our decisions are based on a wide range of perspectives. Asha for Education goes through an involved vetting process to ensure that the money we raise goes to well-deserved grassroots organizations in India that have the greatest potential to enact change in their communities through education. We require that our partner organizations in India give regular updates on the status of their schools and institutions so we know exactly how are money is being spent and what impact it is having. I have personally been deeply involved with the planning of our annual culture show fundraiser, Images of India, which is now on its 19th year. While putting on this event, I have seen the loyal following of the show's regular attendees and witnessed how Asha for Education has become deeply entrenched in both Indian and non-Indian communities in the Bay Area. Even in these times of economic troubles, we still have a group of supporters who regularly donate to our chapter, recognizing the need to maintain international development and realizing that Asha for Education is one of the best ways to channel their donations to this effort. Asha for Education as a whole also finds innovative ways to fundraise, such as the Work an Hour campaign, which is an online fundraiser that asks people to symbolically donate an hour of their time to help underprivileged children in India by simply giving an hour's worth of their wages or salary. Using this simple premise, in 2009, this campaign was able to raise over $100,000 in just two months. Asha for Education is entirely volunteer based, and every one of our volunteers cares deeply for this cause. We are a zero-overhead organization, which means that all the operational costs are borne by the volunteers and 100% of the money we raise goes directly to our projects and the children who need it most. As such, if you're interested stimulating socioeconomic change in India, Asha for Education is one of the most worthy organizations to work with.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that I can look at Asha projects in India, see pictures, and hear anecdotes that all attest to how the money we have given them has improved the lives of the students in those schools.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

deeply committed to this cause and willing to put in hours of work to put on fundraisers, research potential projects to fund, communicate with grassroots organizations in India to find the best way to spread education to disadvantaged children

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I coordinated the fundraising efforts for the Berkeley chapter of Asha for Education.