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.
Sep 1, 2009

ASSET Partnership with MILLEE-Carnegie Mellon University

I am very pleased to announce a partnership with the MILLEE project directed by Professor Matt Kam of Carnegie Mellon University. I serve as adviser to the MILLEE project.

MILLEE stands for : Mobile and Immersion Learning for Literacy in Emerging Economies.

It is centered on Cellphone applications that enable children in the developing world to acquire language literacy game-like environments. MILLEE aims to make localized language learning resources more accessible to underprivileged children, at times and places that are more convenient than schools. The design methodology is based on best practices in commercial language learning packages and the traditional village games that children in the developing world play.

MILLEE has received major technology and financial support from Nokia and the project is being implemented in schools run by the Byrraju Foundation in Andhra Pradesh.

MILLEE will be implemented on a pilot basis at ASSET India Foundation's newest location in Hyderabad "Arunodhaya" which serves more than 100 children of sex workers and HIV infected parents.

May 15, 2009

Major support from Dell

I am delighted to inform you that Dell Foundation awarded another $20,000 grant to ASSET India Foundation- $10,000 for PCs for the center in Bangalore and $10,000 for instructors salary support.

In addition Dell India staff members will actively volunteer and provide support in the following areas at each of the ASSET centers:

1.Recruitment of students 2. Selection process of students 3.Admissions of students 4. Recruitment of teachers 5. Orientation to teachers 6. Orientation to students 7. Initiation of classes/ Batch inauguration 9. Industry visits 10. Workshops and classes by visiting faculty 11. Monthly/mid terms/ end term evaluation 12.Arrangement of career counseling to students 14.initiation of placement contacts 15.Conduction of pre-placement activities 16Conducting of final tests. 16.Placement week 17.Preparing placement reports 18. End term reporting with case studies and press coverage 19.Post placement follow up and mobilization of second batch 20.Certificate ans award distribution ceremony

Also, Mr. Hersh Goel, an Honors Pre-med student at the University of Arizona will be working as a summer intern at ASSET-Delhi. In addition, Ms.Ruchika Agrawal will be submitting her application for a fulbright fellowship focusing on issues relating to trafficking and ASSET's role in the rehabilitation of trafficking victims.

Feb 18, 2009

ASSET Progress Report

1. All the seven existing ASSET centers have been brought under the management of SMILE Foundation(http://www.smilefoundationindia.org/e_learning.htm) which has an all India presence. SMILE's regional offices will be involved in the recruitment and retention of students as well as the monitoring the performance of teachers and program coordinators. 2. An ASSET center has been opened in Mumbai, in the heart of the Kamathipura red light district in partnership with Prayog and managed by SMILE. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been requested to provide volunteers to meet with students on a regular basis.

3. Students from ASSET/SMILE centers have been placed with Nokia, Cafe Coffee Day, Fun Cinema and HDFC Bank.

4. ASSET just received a $20,000 grant from Dell Foundation for additional computers and teacher salaries. The Purpose Prize award of $10,000 as well as the SHG Foundation grant of $10,000 were received in December 2008. Won the Globalgiving contest first prize of $10,000 by raising the largest amount in a 4 week period

5. At the request of one of our major donors, I have been investigating entrepreneurship models similar to the ones implemented successfully by Grameen in Bangla Desh. I have done due diligence on many of them but none of them was a good fit until I found one successfully implemented by Hand in Hand, a very reputable NGO in Tamil Nadu. (http://www.hihseed.org/). They are a large Microfinance organization and have set in operation 1,400 computer Citizen center kiosks in rural Tamil Nadu.

ASSET adviser Kunal Garg will be meeting with the director of the HiH Citizen center program in order to conduct a focus group among ASSET trained girls and their mothers working in teams.

1. HiH will provide full training, hardware, e-learning tools and all access to various services

2. ASSET will explore providing loans of Rs.30,000 (~ $600) at 18% interest to each mother/daughter team to start these kiosks

3.The monthly income ranges from Rs.1,000 ($20) to Rs.10,000 ($200) depending on location and services offered.

4. The Rs.10,000 per month locations offer banking, passport, photoshop and numerous other services.

Why HiH model may be a good fit for ASSET:

1. Girls trained by ASSET who cannot take up employment for any reason can use their computer skills and work at home with their mothers.

2. HIH is very interested in partnering with ASSET to assist the mother/daughter teams.

3. HIH will bring the best practices to the ASSET partnership

4. The Rs.10,000 per month income is above what sex workers earn in a month and will be a strong deterrent for the mother to get out of the flesh trade and keep the daughter out as well.

5. ASSET will consider starting a pilot project with two or three centers.

Funding

1. For the pilot projects, ASSET India Foundation will consider providing the funds for the loans.

2. Global Giving Foundation is trying out a new fundraising platform developed by give2gether.com and wants to do a pilot for the ASSET computer kiosk project for a $50,000 fundraising campaign. Global Giving will pay give2gether and will not cost ASSET anything. The money raised will be used for microfinance loans through HiH for ASSET girls and their mothers.

Project MILLEE – Mobile and Immersion Learning for Literacy in Emerging Economies

I serve as an adviser to the MILLEE project which uses mobile phone game technology for teaching English to students in rural India. ASSET is involved because of the challenges in finding good English teachers and keeping them.

ASSET would like to provide inexpensive mobile phones to its students so that they can continue to learn and practice English usimg the MILLEE technology. ASSET's request for 30 used laptops has been approved by Infosys.

Dr. Matt Kam, my colleague at Carnegie Mellon and Project leaders will use the 30 laptops for MILLEE field work in India in the summer of 2009.

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