Asha for Education (Asha) took roots in 1991, at the University of Berkeley, CA, when three graduate students decided to bring about a socio-economic change in India via education of the underprivileged. Since then, Asha has grown and has more than 1000 volunteers affiliated to 67 chapters worldwide (http://www.ashanet.org). It is the pure heart of volunteerism in its founders, Sri, Deepak, and Sandeep that brings students, professionals, the young, and the not-so-young together as volunteers!

37% of Indians live below poverty line and 26% are illiterate. 35% of the world’s illiterate are Indian. Work-an-Hour (WAH) 2011 is Asha’s yearly campaign and lasts from July 15th to September 15th. WAH seeks donations from people who realize what a long way that primary education can go in preventing child labor and in developing responsible citizens. Being literate makes one aware of his/her fundamental rights and duties and enables one to contribute positively to society.

With 20 projects spread over 70 schools and 4415 students, the campaign features projects that support children of migrant workers, sex workers, underprivileged girls, and children with disabilities. To highlight a few, Shoshit Seva Sangh provides quality education to poverty ridden, landless laborers in Bihar. The community lacks primary education. Funds are needed to house 500 students. Asha Deepa is a residential school for visually impaired children. Remote location, daily wage laborer parents, lack of sufficient donors, and parental separation are demotivators to education. Nishtha andPrerana integrate children of sex workers into the mainstream society, while preventing trafficking of women. Children are sheltered, attend schools, and lead a life free from abuse, but drop-out from night shelter is a challenge.

Over the years, Asha has also played a key role in motivating teachers via training and providing for better pay, and to improve conditions at the institutions. Clearly all projects reflect on a need for additional funding in order for Asha to continue to impact positively on lives of people living under the most unfortunate circumstances; unfortunate purely by being born into impoverished families.

WAH’s request to you is humble. Divide your annual earnings into approximately 8760 hours (that make up a year) and donate one hour or more to a WAH project where you would like to make a difference. 100% of your donation to the WAH reaches the project.

Asha for Education is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization in the US and has been top-rated at 4 stars by America’s premier charity rating company, Charity Navigator. Since 2001, Asha has disbursed over $19.47 million to hundreds of projects in India and has pioneered innovative methods in education to minimize drop-out rate in schools.

Support WAH to reach its goal of $248,230 before September 15th 2011. ‘Donate an hour’ and take pride!To donate online and read about WAH projects, click here: http://www.ashanet.org/workanhour/2011/index.php

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