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Asha Education Online Fundraiser

September 2008
Asha Education Online Fundraiser

Each year, people from around the world come together in a demonstration of great goodwill to help educate underprivileged children in India. Work an Hour (WAH) by Asha for Education, is a summer-long, global, online fundraising campaign based on a simple concept. Participants are asked to symbolically work an hour toward the cause of children's education by donating an hour's worth or more of their salary. Asha’s eleventh annual online fundraiser, Work an Hour (WAH), began on July 15 and concludes on September 15, with the Indian Independence Day on August 15 as a critical milestone.

Asha for Education is a global non-profit organization dedicated to the education of poor and marginalized children in India. Started in 1991 by three students in Berkeley, California, the Asha family has now grown to more than 1,000 volunteers in more than 60 chapters worldwide. With minimal overhead costs, mostly borne by volunteers, Asha for Education is able to send 100 percent of the donations to the projects. Volunteers visit all projects to assess their suitability and capacity before funding can commence. Projects are also monitored regularly through a steward who reports back to volunteer project directors.

The first WAH campaign started in1998 and raised more than $30,000 from close to 700 donors. The tenth WAH campaign in 2007 raised more than $140,000 with almost 1,250 donors worldwide. This year, Asha hopes to raise a record $200,000 toward fifteen projects across rural India.

Children from rural communities suffer from hunger and ill health because of their parents' poverty. They also lack social support infrastructure such as schools, books, teachers, and grievance centers. In many ways, these children lose out to their peers in urban India.

Asha for Education recognizes the gaps in India's efforts to combat these problems in rural India and seeks to fill them by supporting grassroots, community-based NGOs that are working to strengthen the educational needs of India's children. By increasing access and opportunities to education for all children in India, and those in rural communities in particular, Asha for Education volunteers believe that a better standard of living can be achieved for the rural population. Asha’s 2008 projects are based in rural parts of the country and focus on innovative ways of strengthening the school systems through better infrastructure, teaching methods, adequate supplies, and well-trained teachers.

Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org), the premier independent evaluator of charities in the United States, has awarded Asha for Education its highest rating in the categories “Top Ten Charities Worth Watching” and “Top Ten Slam Dunk Charities.” This is primarily in recognition of Asha’s low overhead efficiency in fund raising, and donor privacy policy. For more information about Asha for Education, please visit www.ashanet.org

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