Asha for Education is a non-profit organization dedicated to support basic education in India. Asha, which means hope in many Indian dialects, was founded at the University of California, Berkeley in 1991 and has since grown to over 50 chapters scattered throughout the United States, Europe, East Asia and India. Each of these chapters raises funds to support various education-related projects in India.
Since its inception, Asha has partnered with more than 800+ NGOs from across 24 states in India and has disbursed in excess of $32 million. In 2014 alone, Asha has disbursed $2.85 million and has supported the education of 250,000+ kids in India directly and many hundreds of thousands more indirectly.
Asha’s Mumbai chapter has been in action for almost 20 yrs. Earlier it was stationed at Matunga and was engaged in supporting projects run by other organisations in meaningful contribution towards health.
Present coordinator of Asha, who is a doctor by profession, was simultaneously teaching children from nearby slums during the free time, in her clinic. Later both joined hands and Asha Mumbai chapter was started, opposite – IIT main gate. It began with 20 students and now the strength has reached to 240 students today.
Asha Mumbai is always surrounded by dedicated volunteers who helped us from time to time. As the time passed and the strength of Asha went on increasing, need for paid teachers was felt and we got dedicated teachers from among these volunteers.
Asha is not a mere tuition class. Asha is committed to give varied learning experiences to children and make learning a pleasant experience. At Asha, understanding takes precedence over rote learning and race for marks.
To check the understanding, children are assessed from time to time which enable teachers to recognize the level at which each child is. Asha strongly believes that real knowledge lies in the extra-textual experiences.
Hence taking children out on excursions, hands-on activities for conceptual understanding, science experiments, making of science toys, kahani time (story time) is a regular phenomenon at Asha. Besides these, children are engaged in extra-curricular activities like sports, art and craft, drama, dance, hand work, rhythm and movement, film screening, debates etc.
Insistence on learning based on understanding has fetched Asha very good results at SSC board exams.
Asha believes in teaching children, ‘How to learn!’