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.
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.