This charity only does not bring more possibilities for kids to study but it also brings awareness that many lacks the education others get.
I volunteered with Asha for Education last year participating in marathon program and raising a good amount of money for the organization. I was also fortunate enough to visit couple of programs run through the organization in India to see meaningful impact on ground level of my fundraising.
The best part of this organization is how well and efficiently it run by its volunteers. I would definitely recommend checking out the local chapter of this organization.
Review from Guidestar
I recently joined Asha San Francisco Chapter and I am impressed with how the projects are run. Based on what I have witnessed, the group is very non-hierarchical, open and collaborative.
Looking at the Form 990, the organisation is sitting on more than $6 million in assets. This is more than enough to cover two years of expenses on programs, so it's unclear why new money is being solicited.
Review from Guidestar
"100% of your donations reach our projects" - This is what every Asha volunteer is proud about. During one of Asha UFlorida's annual cultural event - Praharsha we were selling we were selling food items. Chai was one of it, and was supposed to be very tasty. When one of the guest told a volunteer to have a sip as it was very tasty. The volunteer could have easily taken a cup full and no one would have made a fuss about it, but this is what he said "The money from the sale goes to our cause, unless i buy it i can not drink it." This is the dedication of each Asha volunteer.
Asha is a great organization. There are no overhead costs, the purpose of the organization is simple, straightforward, and effective, and we work with grass-roots programs that work within the community to bring about change. I am a steward for a project and have had a great experience working with a volunteer in India who is extending micro-finance loans to women in an impoverished area of India. At Asha, we make sure that the projects that receive our funds are legitimate and effective projects that really are seeking to bring education to the many underprivileged children in India. These programs not only provide these children with an education, but empower them with the knowledge and skills to find opportunities and escape poverty.
Big positives: 1) It has little or no overheads, so the funds raised can go completely to projects. 2) Since it is completely volunteer driven, volunteers are fully vested in the success of the organization, so overall effectiveness is high. 3) The organization management is "flat" (with no hierarchy), which makes it truly democratic, and gives every volunteer a strong voice. Negatives: 1) There is a constant problem of volunteer burnout, and few roles for long term volunteers to diversify into. 2) Fundraising capabilities remain limited, and therefore the impact of the organization is limited. 3) Constant turnover of volunteers results in a lot of loss of knowledge, and new volunteers keep "reinventing the wheel"
I started volunteering with Asha as an undergrad at Berkeley. I haven't been able to keep up since graduating, but I hope to get back soon. Volunteering with Asha was both fun and satisfying.
I really like Asha. I just joined the UC Berkeley chapter this year and although I don't know much about it yet, the projects that Asha supports sound really awesome.
I have been a volunteer with this organization for more than 6 years now. I have enjoyed volunteering for Asha and find it amazing that a group of individuals with a common set of goals and beliefs can come together in this way and support education related and other causes in India. It has been very gratifying to see that the volunteering effort is paid off in terms of better education opportunities for young children who would other wise not have any access to even elementary education.
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.
I joined this organization as an undergraduate and it was so inspiring to work for such a great cause that I would prioritize doing Asha related work over school work. It is a very satisfying experience to be able to do something/anything to help children gain an education. The most difficult part is deciding which organizations/schools to help keeping in mind our limited funds. All the volunteers I have interacted with are very helpful and super dedicated to the cause. It is like a small family working towards a common goal. Sometimes we have intense discussions on topics but that is only because everyone cares deeply about it. I have never felt like I cannot express my thoughts/opinions with this group of people. They are open to fresh ideas and thoughts. Even though the issue we are working towards is very close to the heart for most of us, we try to make rational decisions about what is important for the children. What is even more inspiring is when you see the feedback from the children, how they are elated at having this opportunity to go to school rather than taking it for granted. It is a very humbling experience to work with this organization.
Asha For Education is focused on Education of the underprivileged children in India. The focus is on education of children as the organization believes that its only through education that a change can be brought about. Its not a quick fix. The organization is completely volunteer based and does not have any overhead. Its a group of dedicated volunteers who are keen in giving back to the society and bringing about a change.
Have been involved as a volunteer with Asha ever since being introduced to it at the Univ of Illinois in 2001. As a Univ chapter, the volunteer group was intimate yet highly enthusiastic and motivated. Served in the capacity of event organizer for the semi-annual fundraiser. Moved to LA for work in 2003 and was involved remotely with the LA chapter, more as a donor this time. Moved to the Cal Bay area after getting married in 2005 and joined the Silicon Valley chapter right away. Involved primarily in fundraising, event organization and donor relations. Love the attitude of volunteers: professional, thorough yet a lot of FUN! The Team Asha marathon program serves as inspiration to do bigger and better things for the chapter and the organization as a whole. The Work an Hour campaign is very innovative and motivating in itself. What I love most about Asha is its flat structure along with zero-overhead, 100% volunteer driven organization! I am Asha :)
I have been an Asha volunteer for the past two years, and have been truly amazed at the things this organization gets done. 100% of Asha's profits go toward helping further education for underprivileged children in India. Unlike many other non-profits, Asha is a very horizontally structured organization and anyone can start off having a direct impact in helping others. What I admire most about Asha is its commitment to helping grass-roots efforts in India that would otherwise have little or no funding to support their efforts.
Its been a fabulous journey so far with Asha. I had joined the organization back in 2002 and had been involved in a lot of fundrasing activites and publicity campaigns over these period. This is an organization which is always welcoming to everyone who shares the philosophy of education as being a source of enlightenment of ones self and who views education as a method to empower the populace. This is a place where every hard work that you put in helps some children in India to gain meaningful education. This is a place where you can express your views freely and boldly. Last but not the least, it is the individuals of Asha for Education which makes it such a unique and enjoyable place to be in.
This past Sunday, thanks to Team Asha, I completed my first marathon! 26.2 miles through the cold (and yes, windy) streets of Chicago! Temperatures in Chicago this past weekend were in the low-30s . . . a far cry from the summer Saturdays I spent training in Central Park. The day before the race, my friends from Team Asha had to shop around for "throw away" sweats (clothes that you buy at bargain basement prices to keep you warm for only about an hour before the race start). Shortly before the gun was fired, thousands of runners all around me began discarding their sweats. The sky over me became cloudy with flying sweaters ;-) Although the morning air was frigid as I waited in Grant Park for the race to start, I quickly warmed up after a mile of running. I followed my Asha coach's advice on how to optimize performance during a marathon. I started at an easy pace to loosen my legs and become comfortable with the race. My first 5K was at over a 10-minute pace. Then I gradually increased my pace. By mile 15, I was running at an 8:45-minute pace. I was enjoying every minute of my run through the lively streets of Chicago . . . the bands performing rock and roll, the frat boys offering runners beer to replenish lost carbs ;-), the cheering spectators . . . then, I hit the "wall" around mile 19. My legs began to cramp up and my feet painfully hit the pavement with every step. The crowds around me seemed quieter. It felt as if my body had burned through all the protein and carbs that I had eaten the week leading to the race and only the protein bloks that I held in my hand and the gatorade that I drank nearly every mile of the race were supplying me with the fuel I needed to continue. My pace dropped somewhat through five difficult miles. By mile 23, I knew that the end was near. This sent a bolt of energy through my body which allowed me to pick up my pace to finish strong. Heading towards the finish line with the Chicago skyline as a backdrop was the perfect ending to my first marathon ;-) I finished the race in under 4 hours, achieving my race goal! I have tremendous pride running for Team Asha, an organization dedicated to raising funds to offer better educational opportunities for underprivileged youth in India. Running in my Team Asha shirt made my first marathon all the more special. Asha has demonstrated tremendous success in raising funds for education of impoverished youth. Yet there are still millions of children in India who do not have access to a basic education. With this in mind, organizers of the NYC/NJ Chapter of Asha for Education reminded me that every contribution to Asha helps children in need. They motivated me to work hard towards reaching my fundraising goal!
Asha for Education is non hierarchal organization, where each volunteer can pursue his/her passion of doing social work. I am associated with Asha for Education for many years. I have seen the dedication of volunteers who spend day and night for a worthy cause. I have seen people across all walks of life coming together to help a cause. Asha for Education supports projects in almost every state of India. Its an zero overhead organization where the spirit of volunteerism keeps it going......
Absolutely an incredible charity organization to be part of, as a volunteer. A few years back we organized a fundraising event with Indian cricketers who'd visited NJ for a camp. That's when my relationship with Asha began. Ever since then, it has been very interesting, to say the least. This year, I've been part of a few unique fundraising as well as publicity efforts. What really stands out with Asha is the decentralized nature of working towards a unified cause. As a volunteer, I've always gotten the needed wisdom as well as guidance from the chapter's senior members. A testament to this is a recent meeting with the co-founder of Asha who had visited the USA on a different business and was gracious enough to stop at our NJ chapter to discuss with volunteers about recent developments in India related to education of children, which is what we work towards. Kudos to Asha for providing such a great opportunity to give back to the society where I come from, even though I'm far far away from it.
I have been an Asha volunteer for the last 4 years. Asha is zero-overhead non-profit organization, projects are closely monitored, and project-related activities are fully documented. Most of all, big percentage of fundraising, events organization, projects decision, project monitoring are done by college students from US and other countries. I am really impressed by this and think that the involvement of students in improving India's education and socio-economic projects should be encourged more.
Asha for Education is a incredible organization to volunteer for. It is 100% volunteer run and all contributions go to educating a kid in India. That was the main driving force for my service in this organization. I have an oppurtunity to meet like minded people and I feel happy that I am able to give something back to my country.
Asha is one of the nonprofits that I volunteer for. It's mission to catalyze socio-economic change in India through the education of underprivileged children is very close to my heart. It gives me the oppurtunity to volunteer from home at my convenience. I also like the fact that it has zero overheads which means all the donations that it receives are used only towards its various projects.
Asha is an awesome charity that is zero overhead and is directly involved with the education projects that it funds. Its very decentralized nature allows every chapter to have its own focus and to be closely involved in the entire process from fundraising to dealing with problems at schools we fund.
I joined Asha first because I wanted to meet other like-minded individuals. At the time, I thought myself to be socially conscious, and wanted to do something for those less fortunate than I was. And not just meet with friends over the weekend limited to chit-chat & plans for the next dinner meet. After living in the US and seeing the "plenty" here, I often felt guilty that while a lot of my people were finding it difficult to get 2 meals a day, here I was complaining about it being too hot at the beach. I thought I would feel better if I did my bit to do something for my less fortunate compatriots. Asha was the only organization in town that did social work in India. I was impressed by the quick response to my casual email to the group, which I came across in a pamphlet at the local library. So when I joined Asha, I was all excited about "giving" something. After 7 years with the institution, I have grown, transformed and taken more from it than given. It has been a very humbling experience to see how much volunteers do towards the goals that they seriously believe in! I have met wonderful people at Asha. I saw how people from all walks of life converged here without discrimination of any sort, and worked unselfishly for the organization. Asha, has set itself out in the community because the only uniting force is the thought of the 1,000 odd kids whose education (and lives) we are involved in. There is no personal privileges or benefits in stake and so it has survived in the community longer than any other group of individuals. Asha gives us the opportunity to use any amount of creativity in its activities. Complete strangers can come together and work perfectly well, because the beneficiary is not among here, we are all working for children. Which brings up what I think is great about Asha - no one denies that children's education is a top priority. We do not have to argue with people or convince them about the credibility of the cause. So far, I have not met anyone who questioned the relevance of our mission to India. They may have questions about how we use the funds etc, but never the basic mission. Asha has helped transform my life, and slowly over the years, that of many of my immediate and extended family members, that we have embraced it as our extended family ourselves. The fundraisers give us a lot of learning exposure, and fun; while the project discussions keep us firmly planted on the ground. It gives us a fresh perspective to view our own lives, and it is an indescribable feeling that a tiny part of my day goes into making someone in some other part of the planet more happy with his/her life. Involving with Asha has helped give me and my family the much needed balance in our lives. And a keen sense of satisfaction that someday somebody is going to make better use of his/her life as a result of my efforts. As I said, we have gotten more out of it than given.
The grassroots nature of Asha allows a volunteer to have a tangible connect with a project in India. This is rewarding and exhilarating and opens a range of possibilities for a volunteer. Volunteering with Asha is a real education on socio-economic issues in India. The non-hierarchical nature of Asha values each and every volunteer.
Asha has given many people like me the opportunity to make a difference. It has provided me a chance to get prespectives on social work, and above all to work with a lot of other volunteers who share similar passion and work towards one goal.
Asha is a great example of how the sum can be so much more than the parts. It has been a vehicle for thousands of ordinary people like myself to come together to make a tangible difference. When you come into the organization, the egos are parked firmly at the gate. No role is too important or too small. All are here to contribute their mite in a genuine spirit of Sarvodaya - ‘universal uplift’ or ‘progress of all’ - a realization of the tremendous truth that all of us are connected, and what happens to one eventually affects everybody else.
I first came to Asha for Education, Seattle in 2005. At that time, I did not understand anything about wholistic education. I did not know how vast India's educational problems were. I was highly suspicious of charitable organizations. Asha was like a mana from heaven. It is a zero-overhead organization (perhaps not legally), but in principle. When I print receipts for donors (I volunteer for the finance team at the Seattle chapter), I pay for the stamps myself. When we collaborate to bring speakers in from India, we all contribute for the expenses of the trip. This principle of zero-overhead is the most important aspect for me. I also found that the people at Asha were genuinely interested in the work we did. We did not want to just pay lip service to the ideal of education, but were willing to educate ourselves and go deeper in the reality of the situation. I am both a volunteer and a donor. Thank you, Saurabh
A no frills organization with very focused activities. Best way to describe it would be a venture capital for education-related projects in India. A flat organization that allows volunteers to contribute and get involved right away. Attracts people who are dedicated but not cocky.
I have been a volunteer for Asha for the past 2 years. What I love about this organization is the spirit of the volunteers. Asha is a 100% volunteer driven organization. Given that the Seattle chapter alone manages around 1 million dollars, one can only imaging the scale of things handled by these volunteers while still keeping their day jobs. It is like everyone is tied by a common thread - a desire to make a difference in someone else's life. I am a project steward for one of the projects and it is immensely satisfying when I receive a mail from our project partners back in India saying that they money that we helped raise, was used for building a shed for children to play, or to setup new computers or to create new learning aids. Being a part of Asha has taught me a lot of things - leadership, spirit of volunteerism, thinking outside the box but above all humility. An appreciation for the life that I have and an understanding of the situation prevailing in my country.
I think Asha for Education is a wonderful organization to volunteer for. It has a holistic approach to their work in education. Also, as a donor I feel confident my contributions is going 100% to various education projects.
I have seen Asha grow from a small student run organization at Asha-Berkely, Asha-Stanford, and Asha-LA to one that now has over 70 chapters around the world. The organization has stayed true to it's roots were the funds raised through donations get to the projects in India. It has been rated as a slam dunk charity by CharityNavigator.com http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=7630 But most of all, the kind and caring volunteers in the organization is what makes it so great. I am proud to be a volunteer with such an amazing organization for so many years.
I have been involved with Asha for Education, Seattle Chapter for a little over 7 years and it has been an amazing journey. I joined with the urge to serve the underprivileged communities in India but little did I knew how this association will shape my life. It provided a platform for for learning through site visits, talks, workshops and various passionate discussions with other fellow volunteers. It truly amazes me on how this organization can function without any paid staff or hierarchy. It might not very efficient (as we know it) for the same reasons but does pretty good job for its scale.
I had been volunteering for Asha for Education for the past six years, and it had been a wonderful and enriching journey. I started working for Asha because I was concerned about giving back something to my country, and to the innumerable number of marginalized children whose rights to education and even safe environment are denied every single day. However as I started getting more involved with the organization I was blown away by the amount of humility, honesty and dedication that the members of this organization posses. Asha for Education is more than just a charity organization, it is a tool for social empowerment and social awareness. Apart from raising funds for those who need the most, Asha had been working with grassroots activists who work relentlessly for the empowerment and social justice for marginalized populations. As an organization Asha is remarkable in its transparency and democratic organization and its constant effort in educating its volunteers in socially relevant issues. It is for these reasons that Asha had been able to attract people from various walks of life to dedicate their time and energy in working together for helping others.
I've been volunteering with Asha's Seattle chapter for the past 6 years and the journey had really been life changing. What stood out for me is really the sincerity, humbleness and dedication of all peer volunteers in empowering underprivileged sections of the society. Another amazing thing about this organnization is really it's flat structure - every decision is made in open public meetings with everyone having just one vote - this is really participatory democracy!
I have been volunteering with Asha for almost 10 years now. The fact that every penny that is raised goes towards the projects and the cause is the main driving force behind my dedication to this organization. I have met many inspiring people thru Asha who believe that basic education for all should not just be a desire but a Right of Every Child... Every Individual.
I have been volunteering with Asha for Education for the past 3 years. It was been a very enriching experience for me. I have had the pleasure of stewarding projects and seeing for myself the change Asha is bringing to the lives of children in India. Also I have been coordinating this year's Team Asha SV marathon program - one of the largest fundraiser event for Asha.
To describe it in one line - 'truly wonderful, enlightening & satisfying'. I have been associated with Asha for Education in many different locations (Florida, Silicon Valley & Minnesota). Also as one of Asha's treasurers in the US I get to interact with numerous volunteers in other locations on a daily basis. Its great to see the same passion for the cause shared by so many volunteers irrespective of their location and regular occupations. Rarely would one get to see an organization function so well without any hierarchy. Everybody's voice gets heard irrespective of the amount of time they've been involved in the cause. I admire each volunteer's humility and the sense of responsibility which result into effective action. No task is considered menial or difficult whether it be performing at a concert, selling food/books/calendars, running a marathon or cleaning up a stage or a stadium after an event. Having performed almost all of these tasks myself apart from my regular duties of being a treasurer I have found much joy and satisfaction knowing that a child somewhere gets benefitted by it.
I have been a volunteer with Asha for Education for more than 3 years. I have run a marathon, organized fundraisers, reviewed projects, conducted site visits and have been involved in most activities at the Urbana-Champaign chapter. I am continuously amazed at how a completely volunteer-driven organization can channel the efforts of concerned folks to take constructive steps towards providing education to kids in Inda. As crazy as it may sound, the completely non-hierarchical and democratic structure actually works well and it gives volunteers a hands-on experience in both fundraising and in deciding how best to spend the money. However, this inclusive approach comes at the cost of incurring delays when the process is held up by debates and discussions - some useful and some not so much.
Most committed group of volunteers I've ever had the pleasure to work with. Very creative with fundraising (marathon training, India-themed social events, India-awareness events, education-related events, etc.). Also, amazing that the organization has ZERO paid staff and commits to putting nearly 100% of donations to funding projects in India. Finally, very proud that the funded projects are secular and apolitical--these are the themes that will bring real change to India!
Asha for Education has provided me a with a way to feel like I'm making a contribution to my mother country even though I have not lived there for 14 years.
I have been involved with Asha for Education (AFE) through UFlorida chapter for over 3 years now. My personal experience with AFE has been very enriching. It has made me aware of problems that ail our society and has given me a motivation to find solutions to those problems. AFE does a wonderful job at supporting the education of numerous underprivileged children in India with really 100% of the donation raise funds going to such projects. We have also been involved in some community building projects lately which I would like to see continue at a bigger scale since having a strong and self-sufficient community is essential for a long-term solution. We also need to be more active in initiatives that strengthen local economies.
Being an Asha volunteer has given me a perspective. Its beyond what we very conveniently consider charity. Having been a volunteer with this organization I've realized a job or duty does not just limit to what you get paid for in cash or kindness. As a social being and a citizen you have responsibilities towards your community, which includes your friends and family, and you have to execute them - period!! Of course the paradigm is very different. You get a job done only when that job pays your bills!! Its difficult to justify either case but for me the former approach has been simple to understand and logical and I'm thankful to Asha for giving me that perspective.
I am currently stewarding a project under Asha for Education for a tribal community in India. Having witnessed functioning of "Asha for Education" as an insider I am convinced and impressed by the transparency and effectiveness of the organization. "Asha for Education" is 100% volunteer driven non-hierarchical,organization. In the process Asha brings a social awareness within the community.
I have been a volunteer for Asha over 5 years now. It has been a great platform for me to affect positive change in India by identifying, funding and interacting with deserving educational projects. I have met many inspiring people, both dedicated volunteers and grass-root workers through Asha. I have gained an understanding about basic socio-economic and education related issues in India. On the whole participation within Asha has helped to make my life more meaningful. Asha is a completely flat organization, which means that you can walk into one of their meetings for the first time and get involved and start contributing right then and there.
I started an outsider observing the volunteer meetings at the Central New Jersey Chapter. I liked the people, their energy, enthusiasm, and genuine concern for the cause of serving underprivileged children. I became a volunteer. Over the course of a few months I became a volunteer and helped with fundraiser event in April 2006. It was a huge success. Then I proceeded to coordinate the 'Work an Hour' campaign for the central New Jersey chapter. It was also a success. Then I served as a chapter coordinator for about two years. Now I am serving in various capacities as a volunteer. Apart from serving a cause which is great, my experience has resulted in personal growth. Be it leadership through peer motivation, or taking up a task, planning it, executing it all with help of volunteers is a huge learning.
I have been involved with Asha Los Angeles for last year or so and have learned a great deal about how the organization comprised of just volunteers is working to bring difference in life of many. I have had opportunity to meet some passionate and brilliant individuals. It is very satisfying to see how my efforts are directly driven towards providing education to underprivileged.
I have participated in Asha-Austin chapter's annual Strides of Hope fund-raising program. Along with helping me train for my first half-marathon, they also made me aware of all the projects which are supported by this chapter. The financial support which ASHA provides for educational and social empowerment projects in India is truly wonderful. And with 100% of your donations going to projects in India, you can be rest assured that your money is well utilized.
Working for Asha for education has helped me more than I myself have helped the organization and the children who get its support. I learnt about so many problems that persist in India and about thousands of ways by which you can do your part to solve them or at least try to lower their impact. While volunteering for asha I have started to learn things which are out of my subject area such as the operation of small schools, their problems and requirements, the RTI act etc. Working for the fundraiser events has given a sense of responsibility and has made me all the more confident about myself. It was amazing to know how such an organization started with a few people and has now grown so big. I am proud to be a part of it. I am really astonished to see the dedication of some of the Asha SV members and am truly inspired by them. Hats off to all those who are a part of Asha.
I have been involved with Asha for Education for over 4 years now. I have come to learn from the enthusiasm and commitment of some great individuals I met through this organization and I remain indebted to them for helping and guiding me. Joining this organization was an eye opener. The information circulated to justify the existence of the organization and its goals brought into light what problems we face all around the world and what needs to be done as part of human society. I am thrilled to be a part of a team which has so many individuals working towards the improvement of life of children and their community with no monetary benefits coming back to the individual. I hope that this organization keeps on growing and helping societies all around the world and bring meaningful changes in life of many.
I have been with Asha for Education since 2003. A few friends and i started working on registering a chapter at University of Florida. It has been a pleasure to work for an organization that is able to help at a root level in India. Over the years, i have had the pleasure of meeting and working with many dedicated volunteers who have devoted their time towards this worthy cause. I would recommend joining Asha for Education chapter to anyone who is looking for volunteering their time for meaningful work. One of the great things about this organization is that it is purely based on volunteer work. We, as a chapter, get to review the projects and decide if we want to fund them. To be able to have direct contact with the NGOs is also a learning experience. We learn about the projects and the people running them. In all, i would say, that working for Asha can be really meaningful and you can actually see where your donated money is going. It has been a pleasure to be part of the Asha team.
I wanted to join an organization that was non political, non controversial, non religious and I wanted to be sure that my time was spent making a difference... no ifs / ands / buts. Primary education is known to be one of the foundations for a good life. And has a strong correlation with a better quality of life. Answer : Asha.. 100% volunteer.. zero overhead... and a bunch of committed (sometimes disparate) volunteers I have been involved with Asha for about 5 years.. A good experience with a satisfying mission
I am a retired University Professor. Prior to retirement I had decided to devote good deal of my retirement life to empowering less fortunate poor children of India through education since many had helped me get to where I am today. Then my wife (also a retired professor) and I discovered Asha a couple of years ago. It is a wonderful organization just the right fit for us. I saw first hand some projects in Tamil Nadu last year and knew then this is what I wanted to do.
I have been with AfE for about 13 years now, and it has been an amazing experience. This was my first time doing anything related to social work of any sort. I was reluctant to join because my view of any of these orgs was that I would need to ask people for money and I hated that. But it is so much more than that, and there are really so many other things you can do, and feel like you are making a real difference. Volunteering with AfE, I have learnt a great deal - one the one side about education in India, and social conditions etc., and on the other, about myself. I have also grown remarkably as an individual. In fact, you can get the same personal growth as you would in a corporate situation without all the competition and with more satisfaction.
AfE has my first foray into contributing back to India in a meaningful way. I have grown as an individual thanks to the experiences and the lessons that AfE enabled. Despite being in Los Angeles, I have been able to help educate orphaned girls in Kupwara, J&K. Watching them build their skills and grow in confidence over the last 3-4 years has been gratifying.
The knack to work towards the education of underprivileged children was inculcated within me during my school days via the literacy program.Little did I know that the values and knowledge that was imparted to me about empowerment via education would become an integral part of my life. Circumstances, the need of the hour and academic deadlines did not allow me to think about the aforementioned values after school. The inner passion and thought was rekindeled only after my husband(more aptly my faincee during those days) relocated to US for his studies.Asha for Education Cornell University chapter motivated him to work for the cause. He became an active volunteer of Asha since 2002. Since then many of our long-distace tele conversations ended up speaking about Asha and directly or indirectly as you may inerpret I became a silent supporter of Asha since 2002. After relocating to US in 2005 I volunteered to work as a web master for Asha Cornell chapter. Slowly my involvement with Asha increased and currently I am one of the board member of the organization. Presently, since 2008 I am coordinating the publicity and public relation activites of the organization. Asha in Indian language means 'HOPE'.The flames of 'HOPE' have helped the organization to grow from 3 volunteers in 1991 to over 1000+ volunteer in 2009.. The biggest challenge as well as achievement of Asha for Education is its volunteers. Volunteers of Asha are located across the globe. None of the volunteers are employed by Asha for Education. Dedication is the backbone while determination and passion is the driving force towards the sustenance and growth of the organization.
I have been an Asha volunteer since I came to US for my graduate studies in Dec 2006. Asha is basically a secular, volunteer-driven, non-hierarchical and bottom-up organization. This is truly a trend-setting organization in this regard and defies principles of top-bottom, hierarchical structures. It has been around for close to 19 years now and has only grown leaps and bounds. I have personally visited an Asha project and seen the difference Asha is making to the lives of children and the community in general. As resonated by the trust chairman of the project I visited, " We dont want all our kids to be doctors and engineers. We want to be able to sustain themselves and their families when they grow up." Asha believes in social justice and we are certainly moving in the right direction, even if its small steps at a time. Since, we are volunteer-driven, the volunteer decides how much time and how he/she wants to contribute to the cause and hence this gives you great flexibility. Being a part of Asha has definitely given me a new meaning to my life. Thanks to the volunteers of Asha for that.
My first brush with Asha was in 2003 when a friend of mine ran her first Marathon and raised funds for Asha for Education. I was a donor and a sideline spectator. Her dedication and persuasion soon got me caught up running my first Marathon and raising funds for Asha the next year. I was so overwhelmed with the dedication of my mentors and the coaches and the Team Asha Marathon coordination team who silently and selflessly put together all the support and legwork that went into the Marathon training program; that I decided to volunteer and give back to the program. Year after the year, the selfless dedication and the passion of the volunteers who take out time from their busy work & personal lives and volunteer their time and effort, continues to amaze and humble me. The passion with which 200+ runners raise funds, the passion with which 30+ volunteers work year round to put together this fund raising cum Marathon Training program for Asha, the 20+ volunteers who work on disbursing these funds to the needy and deserving children, schools and projects in India, is spell-binding. Asha is a zero overhead organization where the goal is that every single dollar raised by the runners, donated by the donors, goes towards educating the children. All projects can be audited and the funds can be tracked. Here is an example of 1000s of selfless volunteers & donors all over the world working towards providing some children with a decent education and a brighter future. Be one of them and expand the number of children who can now afford an education.
Through my involvement with other charities in the US, I heard a lot of good things about Asha For Education. When I moved to Canada, I met a few of their volunteers at an ethnic festival and I decided to join their ranks. For the past two years, my experience has been very educational and enriching. I have learnt a lot about the organization. For a volunteer-run, low-overhead organization, the kind of projects we support and the results we achieve are amazing. It's truly a democratic grass-roots organization where every volunteer can be heard and make a difference. On the other hand, it's been a challenge to scale up because finding similar motivated people is not an easy task. I have nominated myself for the position of Treasurer for the next term and I hope to continue supporting the Canada chapter for the long term. With other motivated volunteers, we hope to become better and bigger, and help even more people in need.
Asha for Education's strong point of being a zero-cost organization was great. The events organized by various chapters not only served the purpose of raising much needed funds, but also created an awareness of Indian culture and values in foreign lands. Asha is well known for the impact that it has through numerous projects and none of it goes to any kind of administrative costs
I have been a volunteer since 2002 and have found the experience to be a very enriching one. The kinds of people and projects that we interact with are doing some exemplary work and their dedication to the cause to amazing. To know that I am able to make a difference in the lives of many children is very full-filling and satisfying.
I have seen Asha's work both on the ground as well as in their meetings in the US. The volunteers are smart, passionate and committed to achieving the highest level of quality possible. The Silicon Valley chapter of AfE went out on a limb to support our Right to Information (RTI) awareness project with kids in rural mountain communities. (In this project, we trained more than 3,000 children on how to use India's RTI act to get information that could help their communities.) This project did not fit their usual funding model, and more to the point, nobody had before tried building RTI awareness through the youth on such a large scale and few people believed that children could make much of a difference. The project has been a huge success - the children's RTI requests have resulted in improvements to schools and teacher attendance, electric voltage, roads. A long delayed road and bridge to a school was finally built as a result of an RTI request, and the children even helped adults in their community use RTI to get their pensions and deal with other problems. But AfE's willingness to try something new and innovative is what made it all possible, and their high standards for measuring success greatly enhanced the effectiveness of our work.
Wonderful experience working with Projects, and also being involved with partners in India. the constant discussions within the chapter and across chapters, on topics that would range from how to successfully impart education to measuring the success of a program, discussions on right-to-information to right-to-education. My eye opened itself to a new world - helping me to educate myself in this process!
I have known about Asha for Education for almost seven years now.. The first time I heard about AfE was through my school friend who was taking a break from her work in the US to return and volunteer her time at a grass-roots level educational project in South India. I could not imagine how a volunteer could do so much for Asha! And then I got to know that all the work at Asha was done through volunteers. And that is the secret behind the "less than 2%" administrative expenses for the entire Asha program. I was so amazed that I decided to support AfE myself someday. And I have been doing that the past two years raising funds for some of the educational projects in India. I have got to work with some of the best people and in an organization that is so transparent and structured. I have had a chance to attend some of the chapter meetings where anyone and everyone can review the projects for the day and provide their own valuable inputs and guidance, at the level of involvement they desire. All in all, I think AfE is, any day, one of the top destinations for my volunteer efforts, time and money.