Asha for Education is a non-profit organization dedicated to the support of basic education in India. Asha, which means hope in many Indian dialects, was founded at the University of California, Berkeley in 1991 and has since grown to over 50 chapters scattered throughout the United States, Europe, East Asia and India. Each of these chapters raises funds to support various education-related projects in India.
Since its inception, Asha has partnered with more than 800+ NGOs from across 24 states in India and has disbursed in excess of $32 million. In 2014 alone, Asha has disbursed $2.85 million and has supported the education of 250,000+ kids in India directly and many hundreds of thousands more indirectly.
Asha Seattle’s StoryAsha Seattle is a chapter of Asha for Education. The Seattle chapter was formed in December 1994 by a diverse group of students and professionals from the Seattle area (for a first-hand recollection, please go here). Asha is a secular organization welcoming volunteers irrespective of religion, race, gender or caste. We have no religious or political affiliation.
Our emphasis is on the following:
- Form close partnerships with groups in India. We attempt to maintain regular contact and visit the groups we work with to form a stable long term relationship.
- To maximize effectiveness of our efforts we seek to support groups in rural and economically poor areas.
- Provide assistance in different ways such as financial, material and technological support to the groups in India.
- We strive to learn about and disseminate information on different social issues faced by the affected people in India.
- We organize talks by different grass roots activists in India in the Seattle area.
The aim of the group is to generate awareness amongst the local community in-order to collectively support and provide financial assistance to grassroots educational movements in India. Every year, the group brings together the community with a fun-filled and colorful events, and in thence doing so generates funds to support several education projects. Members of Asha Seattle not only help provide financial assistance to the projects, but also attempt to maintain a close contact and personal involvement with the organizations and projects in India year-round. Our volunteer meetings are open to anyone interested in social and developmental issues.
To maximize the chapter’s outreach, the group selects diverse education related projects from various parts of India including rural education, education of girl children, vocational training and non-formal education, education and support for physically/mentally challenged children as well as teacher training programs. Asha Seattle works closely with other Asha chapters to ensure quality support is provided to educational efforts in India.