A Very happy New Year to all the ASSET donors and supporters.
Based on the very positive results from the English Helper Pilot project, ASSET India Foundation has entered into an agreement with English Helper (http://englishhelper.com/about_eh.htm) to provide the various modules that will benefit nearly 5,000 girls rescued from sex trafficking at the various centeres in Hyderabad. Similar agreement has been put in place for ASSET students in Kolkata and Delhi as well.
In Mumbai, ASSET will be working in partnership with Kranti ( http://www.kranti-india.org/aboutus ) and Project Crayons which run shelters for children of sex workers. Kranti will be evaluating Akash, a low cost tablet PC as a desktop replacement.
The Forbesgunj BPO project is off to a frustratingly slow start, even though all the important players are on board. The community center in Fotrbesgunj where the BPO will be located is run by our partner Apne Aap. In Forbesgunj, which is on the India-Nepal border, the only income generating opportunity for women is prostitution. The ASSET/Apne Aap BPO is a unique effort to make a difference.
ASSET partner Arunodaya was able to place 100% of the students in jobs after their completion of the training. Please see attached placement report.
It has been a year since ASSET partnerand Prajwala founder Dr. Sunitha Krishnan was on TED. Here is an update from her, a year later: http://www.inktalks.com/talks/sunitha
Also ASSET introduced SMILE Foundation to American India Foundation to take advantage of MAST (Market Aligned Skills Training) program, AIF is training unemployed youth with a 10th-grade education for employment in high growth sectors, matching the demands of local area economies. MAST's goal is to train 1,00,000 youth across India by 2012. Over 61,000 youth have been trained by now with an average job placement rate of 72%. Corporations like Big Bazaar, Westside, Cafe Coffee Day, HDFC Bank Ltd., ICICI Bank Ltd. and numerous call centres and hospitals have recruited MAST graduates. It is our intent to offer MAST training in addition to computer training.
No progress to report on the establishment of a BPO center in Forbesgunj, Bihar where sex trade is the only gainful employment option for girls.
We are in the process of setting up a pilot project in the state of Orissa to train a small group of children of sex workers/girls rescued from trafficking to enter a two year Nursing program
The pilot is being set up as follows:
1. ASSET is working with local NGOs/Government HIV/AIDS agencies to identify five girls from our target population 2. The five girls will already be attending a municipal school and in the high school age group.3. These five girls should be willing to finish the schooling to qualify for the nurses training.4. ASSET will provided the necessary support for having the five girls finish their schooling and help them join Kalinga Nursing college in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.
5. Once this pilot is underway, plans will be made to replicate it in other cities.
ASSET India Foundation has entered into a partnership with the Tamil Nadu Foundation (TNF) to use their computer facilities and teachers to train ASSET students in Chennai. In May 2010.Tamil Nadu Foundation recognized Dr. Nita Umashankar as a professional under forty making the most significant social impact in Tamil Nadu. The partnership with TNF is in place of ICWO with whom we had to cancel the partnership agreement due to lack of compliance.
India recently passed the Right to Education into law and the link below has been submitted by ASSET's NGO partner SMILE Foundation:
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!
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.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>Date: November 26, 2010 6:33:49 PM PSTTo: Ray Umashankar <email@example.com>Subject: Visit to ASSET in Dharavi
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!
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