Asha for Education presents Work An Hour (WAH)

August, 2002

WAH 2002 is an international event which is being conducted for the fifth consecutive year and runs from July 4th through September 5th. Participants symbolically donate one hour of their annual salary to Asha for Education. This year's event, has a targeted collection of $100,000. The proceeds from WAH are used to fund projects with larger budgets often ranging between $15,000 and $30,000 per annum. Last year funds from WAH 2001 helped approximately 3,500 children and adults. This year, we aim to reach out to at least 1,800 children and adults. Current statistics indicate that approximately 1000 donors have donated over $66,000 towards this noble cause.

Although Asha For Education is committed primarily to basic education for underprivileged children, through WAH, we support broader development efforts, extending to women's health issues, development of various village communities etc.

The four projects selected this year are-

* Adhikar - Asha for Education will be providing approximately $17,000 to support over 400 children in 15 non formal education (NFE) centers in the tribal villages of Nawrangpur district, Orissa. Most of these children, who are 6 to 14 years old, come from tribal and scheduled cast families with little or no access to government schools. The NFE centers tie into the integrated development program of Adhikar, a people's movement that includes income generation, adult education, forest protection, lobbying and advocacy for adivasis and dalits, lodging cases for the deprived community, community based disaster preparedness, livelihood restoration of cyclone and earthquake rehabilitation.

* Gyanganga, a project conceived by Asha-Pilani, aims to create, with the active participation of the villagers and government school teachers, an environment where education can be nourished and sustained in Jhunjunu, Rajasthan. Jhunjunu has been identified as one of the lowest literacy districts in India by PROBE (Public Report on Basic Education in India). The district also has the dubious distinction of having one of the highest differences in male-female literacy gap. Gyanganga will be working with the villagers of Raila, Gharinda, and Jherli - the three villages comprising the Jherli Gram Panchayat to strengthen the school infrastructure, provide scholarships, and to provide regular health care. In addition, it will also be working with Tarun Bharat Sanghursh to raise awareness and provide means for harnessing water and energy-key resources for a farm-based community.

* Timbaktu Collective - Based in Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, has been taking a holistic approach in addressing the problems of the people they work with. Timbaktu Collective through its innovative project of 'Seeds of Hope' hopes to address the problem of the recurring cycle of dependencies that shackle the local people in debt to the banks and big companies they have to buy seeds, fertilizers and pesticides from. It addresses the loss of nutritional, cultural and bio diversity suffered by the people of the area as a result of their increasing reliance on the cultivation of 'cash crops'.

* Urmul Jyoti Sansthan aims to organize the marginalized communities of Nokha block in Bikaner district, Rajasthan, and bring them into the mainstream so that they can participate in their own development program. The organization had requested funds for educating girls in a 2 six-month residential camps. These girls have had no prior schooling and most of them are married of between the ages of 10-15 years. These residential camps offer a chance for these girls to pass the class 5 examinations. In addition the girls are also taught about hygiene, personal health and other women's issues. Funds raised from Work an hour will help 250 girls over a period of one year.

To participate in WAH 2002, all you need to do is donate one hour of your annual salary to Asha for Education. WAH is primarily an online event, making it possible for people all over the world to participate in promoting development in India.

We are counting on your support to reach our target of $100,000 this year. WAH is a popular event among students and professionals alike, since all we ask you to contribute is one hour of your annual income. You can make donations through checks by mailing them to:

* In the United States Asha for Education P.O Box 641741 San Jose CA 95164-1741

* In India Ranjeet Ranade (WAH-2002 - Donation # ) 713 Block E, Raheja Residency Koramangala - 3rd Block, Bangalore 560 095 Karnataka

Asha for Education is a zero-overhead non-profit organization. All donations are tax-exempt under section 501(c) 3 in the United States.

- nriol.com report

The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.

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