Asha for Education is a global network of volunteers dedicated to bringing about socio-economic change in India by focusing on improving access to primary education in the country. Asha traces its origin to the University of California’s Berkley campus when a few students got together in 1991 to think of ways of contributing to the development of India, the country of their origin. Education was identified as a key catalyst for affecting positive and sustainable social and economic change in India. Basic education became the key focus area for the group and the group was christened Asha (which means hope in Sanskrit), to represent the hope that had brought these individuals together and the hope that they aimed to bring into the lives of children in India.
Asha has grown to become a global charity organization with 50+ chapters operating across the North America, Europe and India. The organization has more than 1000 active volunteers and several thousand supporters around the world. Asha has supported close to 400 projects from 1995 to 2004, disbursing approximately US$ 6.07 million in the process.
The London chapter of Asha was founded in 2000 and it comprises of 20 core volunteers and over 150 supporters and is actively engaged in fund raising to support underprivileged children in India through several projects across India in the area of primary education.
- To support and promote education of underprivileged children in India by working with project partners in India.
- To actively track progress and evaluate effectiveness of projects being supported by Asha for Education’s London chapter.
- To mobilize resources by promoting monetary donations and volunteerism amongst individuals and corporations looking to contribute to socio economic development in India.
- To support and cooperate with people and groups already engaged in similar activities.
- Volunteerism: Not a single person working with Asha is paid a salary, stipend, honorarium or any form of financial reimbursement. There is also no paid membership to be an ASHA volunteer.
- Zero Overhead: Since there are no paid staff, we operate with near zero overheads (the overheads we incur are incidental expenses such as bank charges, web site payment processing charges, which are typically covered through contributions by volunteers).
- Flat Structured/Non – Hierarchical: No volunteer has to deal with bureaucracy to participate. There is an “open-inbox” or “open-phone” policy in Asha for Education. No individual has more say than another
- Non – Discriminatory: Asha for Education does not discriminate in its membership or in its selection of philanthropic project activity, on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, lifestyle, and groups protected by applicable state or federal discrimination laws.
- Decision – Making: Decisions are made collectively by the core project team involved in a project through meetings, conference calls or emails.
- Mutual Respect: Whenever there is any disagreement, everyone should respond in a respectful manner, focusing on the issue rather than the individual. Communicating in a respectful manner builds a constructive environment to resolve conflicts.
- Financial Submission: Asha is required to submit their financials as per relevant local laws to maintain non-profit or charitable status.