ASSET India Foundation

The primary mission of the ASSET is to provide computer literacy for education towards alternate livelihood and as a means of AIDS prevention. The program is designed to assist the children to attain a level of education and familiarity with technology that will enable them to free themselves from being chained to the same profession. The ASSET India Foundation supports Education of the children using Computer Based Functional Literacy and small business ownership using Microfinance.
Mar 2, 2011

New partners and centers

Greetings!

We are in the final stages of our evaluation of a new partner organization in Chennai. They have a number of projects and one of them is HIV/AIDS intervention working with HIV-infected women and sex workers. They work primarily with the mothers and support their children monetarily. These children are in the younger age group. What we have done is identify their siblings that fall in our target group. They live in central Chennai and attend school in the surrounding areas. Our program would be a new project for them in terms of teaching and working with our target age group.
 
This is their website - http://www.tcds.in/

One major advantage is the proximity of the training center to the high-tech and automotive manufacturing corridor for job placement and getting volunteers.

Similarly, in Delhi we have completed the evaluation of the site for a new partner (Apne Aap) based on our successful partnership in Kolkata. Also the management of our website will be done by the staff and students of a non-profit organization based in Kolkata that serves children of sex workers.

The partner changes have been necessitated by the lack of adherence to our guidelines and policies by the current partners.

Also ASSET India Foundation has been selected to participate in the YouTube Nonprofit program and is listed as a SUPERSTAR on GlobalGiving!  This is the highest level that an organization can reach on GlobalGiving!

Dec 2, 2010

ASSET partner Dr. Sunitha Krishnan//Donor visits ASSET-Mumbai

Greetings!

ASSET India Foundations partner in Hyderabad is Prajwala, founded by Dr. Sunitha Krishnan. She has rescued more than 5,000 girls from sex trafficking. Her talk (link below) is touching and inspiring. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZE1Ia8yG50A

Also, Mary Ellen Pitruszynski, Executive Director of Sooch Foundation, one of ASSET's major donors visited the ASSET center in Mumbai. Below is her note.

************************************
From: Mary Ellen Pietruszynski <mpetro@sooch.net>
Date: November 26, 2010 6:33:49 PM PST
To: Ray Umashankar <rayu42@gmail.com>
Subject: Visit to ASSET in Dharavi


Hi Ray:

    Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope you are doing well. I have copied you on several emails I have sent tonight as a follow up to my trip to India and specifically in Mumbai.  We had a wonderful visit and as you can see from the tone of my correspondence we were very impressed with the quality of work being done by both SMILE and Prayog (not to mention Innovaid, as well).  Particularly, though I am continually impressed with your ability to seek out organizations  in India who collaborate with you to deliver a high quality service to the people who need it.  I want you to know that Jasdeep and I were both so impressed with the project in Dharavi and ultimately with your ability to get that work done from your remote location in the US.  I will be reporting this to our board and although they will have many questions I hope that we will be able to continue to support ASSET and particularly the work we witnessed in Mumbai.

    In addition, I would like to ask if you may be able to consult with our friends at The Miracle Foundation.  I know you have met Caroline Boudreaux, their founder.  The COO, Elizabeth Davis is continually more involved in the workings on the ground in India.  As you know this can be complicated. I know Elizabeth could benefit from conversations with you regarding your experience, successes and issues you have had to deal with in the process of growing ASSET.  Please let me know if it would be okay for me to put Elizabeth in contact with you.  And please let me thank you for the great work you are doing, Ray.  I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to witness it!

Very truly,
ME

Sep 1, 2010

Using Microfinance for student fees

ASSET-Mumbai students, guests at annual function
ASSET-Mumbai students, guests at annual function

I am pleased to report the ASSET center in Mumbai again has achieved 100 % placement for the students in the last batch. This center is located in the heart of the red light district in Mumbai.

Mary Ellen Pietruszynski, Executive Director of Sooch Foundation- a major ASSET donor- will be visiting the ASSET Mumbai center in November 2010. As we continue to grow, our biggest challenge is to build on the success and make the ASSET project viable over a long period of time.

For the long term sustainability, I am exploring the use of microfinance for student fees. In this model, students will take micro loans to cover the tuition cost and repay within 6 - 12 months after being placed in a job. ASSET India Foundation will be the guarantor for the loans. Average student loan will be $ 100 to $120 ( Indian Rupees 4500- 5,000). This will include annual maintenance for the computers but not the replacement costs. Computers will be replaced by ASSET as and when needed. Here are some preliminary ideas: 1. Each center will train a minimum of 100 students per center Maximum 120 students per year in 3 batches 2. Annual budget per center is $9,000, including annual maintenance of computers and student transportation 3. ASSET is in the process of identifying reputable microfinance organizations in each city where ASSET has centers. 4. Each center should produce the photo and short bio of each that ASSET will post on its website. 6. Donors can donate to the ASSET Microfinance fund pool and request that the money be use fpr particular student (s) 7. . Computer costs not included in loan amount. SMILE and ASSET will identify seperate funds for computer replacement.

8. ASSET has retained the services of INNOVAID (www.innovaid.in) to assist in establishing the microfinance.

ASSET/INNOVAID plan to set up a pilot program at the ASSET Mumbai center by January 1, 2011.

I would greattly appreciate your thoughts, comments regarding this plan.

Thank you

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