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.
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