Givology Staff's Blog

Our Featured Partner of the Week: Asha for Education

[i]This week we had the opportunity to speak with Ankit Shah, a team member with [url=]Asha[/url] for Education and Givology’s Partner of the Week! [url=]Asha’s[/url] organizational goal is to create socio-economic change throughout India by focusing on widespread basic education for all children. [/i]
[url=]Click Here to Donate to Asha Today![/url]

[b][i]What inspires you to work with [url=]Asha[/url] for Education?[/i][/b]
My inspiration to work with [url=]Asha[/url] comes from the organization’s focus on channeling ideas and resources to the many needs of India. It is easy to forget how hard it is to reach everywhere in India. By creating a network of projects for people to donate to, [url=]Asha[/url] provides the opportunity for a donor to donate to a project that they have a specific interest in supporting. It acts as an umbrella organization for 1,000’s of projects throughout India – Not all started by [url=]Asha[/url] but [url=]Asha[/url] has been able to obtain resources for these projects to succeed. We serve as many kids as we can through bridges created by [url=]Asha[/url] with initiatives throughout India. It is exciting how the organization creates awareness through multiple projects with no one more important than another.
[b][i]What makes [url=]Asha[/url] different from other Education based non-profits in India? [/i][/b]
[url=]Asha’s[/url] model is different from a lot of organizations that try sponsoring and completing all their projects themselves. Most projects started by other organizations are normally confined to using only the ideas and resources of the organization spearheading the project. In contrast, [url=]Asha[/url] takes already existing projects and helps provide funding and improve models. [url=]Asha[/url] uses a decentralized approach acting as a hub for resources and funds to be gathered and then dispersed, while other organizations focus on a centralized approach. The drawback is that most organizations miss the benefit of a combined effort from multiple resources.
[b][i]How does [url=]Asha[/url] measure its impact in India?[/i][/b]
[url=]Asha[/url] uses metrics such as dollars raised and projects completed. We measure success by the number of existing projects and the number of projects that are being maintained. We also use site reports every 6 months to see if the funds and projects are being successfully maintained. The amount of site reports received from projects is also a metric of success. Being able to properly monitor these projects helps measure our continued success.
[b][i]Tell us a story about a memorable impact [url=]Asha’s[/url] made on the education in India?[/i][/b]
When I first got to India in May 2010, I got the chance to visit 4 different projects that [url=]Asha[/url] was working with. I just traveled around for 3 days observing the impact [url=]Asha[/url] was having on remote villages in India. It was fascinating to see that [url=]Asha[/url] was able to reach these remote communities with 200 to 300 children. In most villages the parents would normally put these children to work rather than have them focus on education and long-term goals. [url=]Asha[/url] works with social workers to convince parents not to put their children to work but rather forego the loss of income and allow their children to go to school. The fact of the matter was that these children would sit and be eager to learn and socialize with their classmates - while in other villages children would be out in the fields working all day and cut off from interacting with other children.
[b][i]What is a challenge that [url=]Asha[/url] faces today?[/i][/b]
One of the biggest challenges is tied to the same reason that makes it so successful - the umbrella and decentralization model of pulling resources from multiple sources. Donors and volunteers give because they feel a strong connection with the specific project and region. The difficulty with [url=]Asha’s[/url] model is for donors to invest money with what [url=]Asha[/url] is trying to do and seeing what is being accomplished with their investment. People want to feel connected to the projects they are donating to. One of Asha’s goals is to make sure that donors feel connected to the projects.
[b][i]What advice do you give to other social entrepreneurs and educators?[/i][/b]
Do The Work. It is very easy to get caught up in ideas and whether or not things can be accomplished. At the end of the day when people ask themselves why has someone not done this before; if they feel passionate they should go ahead and do the work without thinking about possible barriers – the problems can be worked out along the way.
[b][i]Do you or [url=]Asha[/url] have a motivation slogan?[/i][/b]
Ankit – Optimism and Hope For The Future. Things do not happen by themselves but they can happen if you Do The Work.
[url=]Asha[/url] – Hope For Education. “To support and catalyze socio-economic change in India through the education of underprivileged children”.

[b]About Ankit: [/b]
[i]Ankit Shah is a 2013 graduate of Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania and a former member of the Givology Team. Ankit developed a particular desire to work with [url=]Asha[/url] and traveled to India to immerse herself in [url=]Asha’s[/url] mission to create socio-economic change in India through the education of children. [/i]


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