Help us dig 20 wells by the International Water Day on March 22, 2013 via Thunderclap!
Asia Initiatives (AI) hopes to raise $20,000 by the International Water Day, March 22nd 2013, which will allow us to support construction of 10 new wells. We are using Thunderclap to maximize our social media reach. If you like, Thunderclap will introduce this fundraising campaign to your friends on Twitter and Facebook, who may not necessarily know about AI’s work and particularly this project. You can do this at: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/1096-digging-wells. The countdown starts now. Make a gift in any amount. No contribution is too small and can be made at our website, or via check. For more information, please email: email@example.com.
Join us for World Read Aloud Day on March 6, 2013:
Asia Initiatives will partner again with LitWorld (http://litworld.org/wrad) and the Earth Institute at Columbia University in celebrating the World Read Aloud Day on March 6th. Our partners in India and Nepal will celebrate this by reading aloud to children. AI is committed to providing scholarships and other help for girls' education, and helping older women who never had a chance to go to school in becoming functionally literate through computer networked Community Learning Centers in remote villages. 800 rural women have become literate through our efforts- thanks to your generous help.
ASIA INITIATIVES celebrated your INITIATIVES in Tokyo, Singapore and New York to bring 2012 to a strong finish. :
AI New York celebrated its young social entrepreneurs at their holiday gathering on December 23rd.
We toasted Erin Vignali, a young member of Asia Initiatives. All funds received that day were donated to BKSS, where Erin is currently working in educating and empowering children, including orphans, in Pune. We will saluted our young interns.
Congratulations to Asia Initiatives Singapore for their wonderful fundraiser on Dec 7, 2012
The first ever fundraiser/ Diwali dinner organized by our new AI Singapore chapter was a hug success. More photos of the event are HERE .
Asia Initiatives Japan Annual Gala on November 30 a big success.
A detailed account in the words of Mr. J.S. Chandrani, president of AI Tokyo is below:
"What a wonderful evening it was! Hisatake Sensei is just wonderful and her creations
heavenly. The evening started with a short explanation of the work of AI, Japan and the what the program of the evening would be. We went into showing the message received from Prof. Swaminathan after which we could connect on Skype with Dr. Hopper and Dr. Manjula at Chennai. They spoke of the work which AI donations have been supporting, which was translated into Japanese for the benefit of the audience. We then showed the photographs Armene Modi had sent about the girls who had got the support from the donations made by AI. The message she had sent was translated into Japenese.
Post which, the mike was handed over to Ms. Farida, who informed the audience about Hisatake Sensei and her activities. After which a recording of a TV program in which Sensei had appeared was shown to introduced her. Mrs. Rahaman, mother of Afifah san and Farida san put a scarf around the neck of Sensei as a sign of respect and honour.After this Sensei took up the creating of the flower arrangements. Each one totally different from the other and unique in look, flowers used and the combination/ presentation. Dinner service was started after the sixth/seventh arrangement with the permission of Sensei. The sit down dinner and the Hiramatsu kept its reputation intact of good food, good wine and good desserts, including those for our vegetarian guests. After dinner, the silent auction of the flowers Sensei had arranged and other items was started. All eleven flower arrangements, and other items were sold out. This was followed by a vote of thanks from the board members present, Mrs. Afifah Yamazaki, Mrs. Tomoko Takeba, Mr. Pradipta Mullick, Mr. Sanjeev Sinha and myself. Post which the guests mixed among themselves and surprisingly were very Indian in their behaviour that no was leaving even after it was past ten thirty pm!
Amongst all, I would like to once again thank all, particularly, Afifah san, Farida san, Hisatake Sensei, Tomoko san, Pradipta san in Tokyo and your goodself in New York and Shri Aftab Seth in New Delhi, for the constant and unstinted support and guidance. Other than this we got support from the Tokyo 21c Club who sent out the information about our Charity Event to their members and lo and behold we had one member participate from that club also."
PAST EVENTS AND PROJECTS:
Asia Initiatives New York hosted a Dinner Dialogue with Dr. Hopper on October 24
Thanks to all of you who came to attend this event. Hopper is the Director at M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, our main partner in India. He gave our New York supporters a wonderful run down of details on our projects relating to Micro Credit, Village Information Centers, Community Learning Centers and Community Hunger Fighters.
Japan Society hosted an exhibition of Modern Masters of Photography portfolio produced by Asia Initiatives on October 10
This limited edition signed portfolio is a collector's item, and was created for Asia Initiatives by an expert curatorial team headed by the former director of the Poloroid Gallery in Tokyo. The Japan Society invited the renowned Eikoh Hoseo, one of the foremost photographers in Japan, to deliver a lecture at this event. More information about the portfolio are HERE. Further details will follow soon.
A big thank you to all who helped make our Annual Fundraising Soiree in New York on June 7, 2012
Ambassador Seth's poetry made people think and laugh. Anne Papantonio dazzled every one with her amazing cooking. Adya Sinha performed a lovely bharatnatyam piece, and we raised funds to support the three projects we had set out to do. These include the Women Lead project in Nepal, the maternal health project in Bangladesh, and the Sewing coop project in India with MSSRF. Photos of the this fundraiser are
HERE while SAHARA TV coverage of the event is HERE.
AI Tokyo May 25, 2012 event accomplished the goals set
Around 60 people gathered at the exclusive Hiramatsu la Reserve to reinforce their commitment to helping eradicate poverty from South Asia. Jagmohan Chandrani, president of AI-Tokyo started the program, and was followed by Krishen Mehta, co-founder of AI eleven years ago. Next followed a presentation by Armene Modi, founder of Ashta no Kai, an NGO that AI has supported over many years in their empowering work with women and children in rural Pune- via skill training, bicycle banks, and girl's and boy's clubs. Besides Armene's project, the nearly 550,000 yen raised will go towards the Community Hunger Fighters project with MSSRF. A huge thank you to AI-Tokyo Board Members Afifah Yamasaki, Susan Considine, Tomoko Takeba, Sanjeeve Sinha, and Shashank Bansal for their great effort. Wonderful memories of the this event are HERE.
AI Singapore Chapter launched
We are proud to announce the formation of this new chapter under the leadership of Piyush Agarwal and his team. AI Singapore held its second meeting on May 12, which was attended by an enthusiastic group eager to start supporting projects in S. Asia. If you or people you know are interested in joining this chapter, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Asia Initiatives celebrated the World Read Aloud Day on March 8.
Adult literacy groups and children's groups in Community Knowledge Centers run by M.S. SWaminathan Foundation in Pondicherry participated in these celebrations by reading aloud. Photographs of our groups as well as groups of children sponsored by our partners LitWorld in several countries around the world can be seen by clicking the link
Asia Initiatives NY co-hosted a talk by Kanae Doi on February 18
Kanae Doi, Director of Human Rights Watch in Japan spoke passionately about the issues of human rights in emergencies such as the tsunami in Japan. This talk was co-hosted with Friends of Todai (FOTI) and Ichokai. A lively question and answer session followed.
Asia Initiatives Tokyo celebrated AN EVENING OF DANCE AND EMPOWERMENT on September 29, 2011.
The evening featuring the renowned Oddissi dancer RADHIKA JHA at the Embassy of India. We are grateful to our sponsors, and to the many friends who came out to enjoy the evening, and the wonderful dinner catered by Spice Magic and sponsored by Jagmohan Chandrani.
We partnered in the Girl's Day Rally on Sept 22, 2011.
Click here to watch the Stand Up for Girls video sent for the event by our partners in Pune- Ashta no Kai. They run Kishori Mandals (Girl's Clubs) to encourage young girls to continue their education, develop confidence to contribute to their communities, and resist child marriages.
Thank you to all of you who came to support our 10th Benefit Soiree on Sept 15th!
The event was a huge success. We were able to raise enough funds to start one new Community Learning Centers with MSSRF. Photographs of the event are HERE!.
A big thank you to Ambassador Aftab Seth for his unforgettable poetry, to Dilshad Dayani for being our star emcee, to Ed Papantonio for being our wonderful auctioneer, and to our hosts Rashmi and Robin Sen, and also to the volunteers:
Racha Daher, Natasha Dubash, Vandana Duggal, Kathy Kurtak, Tara Kuruvilla, Gregory Leslie, Dennis Loh, Heidi Loh, Arjun Mehta, Kelly Nealis, Ed Papantonio, Anne Papantonio, Surkhab Peerzada, Penny Poe, Avanti Pranjpye, Kiran Prasad, Mansi Sahu, Rahul Sharma, Vanessa Singh, Paul Orwitz, Marta D'Allesandro
Asia Initiatives participated in the Girls Day Rally on Sept 22.
We partnered with LitWorld and the Millennium Cities Initiative of the Earth Institute at Columbia University for this important initiative. More information is at HERE.
Students Form a Chapter of Asia Initiatives at Columbia University:
Undergraduate students Kiran Prasad and Rahul Sharma founded Asia Initiatives’ first chapter at Columbia University to connect college students to grass roots community empowerment and poverty alleviation work in South Asia. The chapter runs on the philosophy that empowering self-help groups and individuals through education or financial loans makes them more productive. The will power and strength thus generated spreads to others in a community and makes real development possible. Such partnership with communities has allowed for success of microfinance and related projects run by Asia Initiative partners, along with the inspiration from the visionary Prof. M.S. Swaminathan. This chapter seeks to enable students to invest their time, skills, and energy in contributing to international projects that empower both men and women.
Dinner Dialogue with Steve Killelea:
On April 9th, Asia Initiatives hosted a dialogue with Steve Killelea, the founder of the Institute for Economics and Peace, the Global Peace Index, and The Charitable Foundation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Killelea)
Steve is an Australian venture capitalist and developer of a performance monitoring software called Prognosis which is used by 35% of Global 1000 companies. Steve has received various awards of excellence, and has been Australia's exporter of the year on more than one occasion.
The Dialogue was followed by a discussion with the 23 people who attended.
Asia Initiatives featured on the Women's Day webinar:
• Asia Initiatives was featured on a webinar celebrating International Women's Day entitled Accelerating Opportunities for Women and Girls on Tuesday, March 8. The archived webcast is available on MCI's YouTube account, which is accessible here: http://www.youtube.com/user/MCInitiative?feature=mhum#p/a/u/0/gtRC4eStZD...
The issues discussed included girls' lower literacy and school completion rates; high maternal mortality rates; the too-common dearth of information regarding sexual and reproductive rights; limited access to water and basic sanitation and the impact on women's and girls' time burdens; persistent gender-based salary differences for the same work; excessive domestic and gender-based violence; and under-representation in the public and political sectors.
The panelists included Pam Allyn, Elikem Tomety Archer, Dr. Patricia Culligan,Dr. Geeta Mehta, Dr. Sonia Ehrlich Sachs, and Dr. Susan M. Blaustein, Co-Director, Millennium Cities Initiative, Earth Institute, Columbia University.
Dinner dialogue in support of for Tibetan children's projects:
A big thank you from us and John Ullman to all who came for the dinner fundraiser hosted for "Architecture for Tibet" for Jamtse Gatsal orphanage in Arunachal Pradesh on February 17, 2011.
Dinner dialogue with Pierre Fallavier:
Asia Initiatives NY hosted a dinner dialogue with Pierre Fallavier on November 4 from 7.30 PM. Pierre is the Director of the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, based in Kabul, Afghanistan. The goal of this Unit (AREU) is to inform and influence policy through conducting high-quality research on conditions on the ground in Afghanistan, and to acively disseminate the results to civil society and to policy makers. AREU is one of the foremost research institutes based in Afghaistan and is characterized by its independence. AREU publications an be accessed at www:areu.org.For details and to attend please email email@example.com
Dinner dialogue with Citizen Effect for SEWA:
Asia Initiatives New York co-hosted a dinner- discussion with Citizen Effect featuring Rima Nanavaty on September 20, 2010. The event was attended by over 60 guests. A lively question and answer session followed Reema's thoughtful presentation.
Dilshad Radio Show:
Asia Initiatives featured on the Dilshad FM radio show on August 9, 2010. A recording of the 55 minute show of AI is at www.dilshadshow.com
Poetry Dinner fundraiser with Ambassador Aftab Seth in New York:
Thank you to all those who attended the Poetry Dinner fundraiser with Ambassador Aftab Seth in New York on July 13. Ambassador Seth dazzled every one with his poetry. A friend of Asia initiatives kindly matched the $4020 raised, so $8040 is being sent to MSSRF for Community Learning Centers. Students and interns who have been associated with Asia Initiatives for the past years came from around New York and Philadelphia to help a the event. Photos of the event are at http://picasaweb.google.com/harish.asia.initiatives/PoetryWithProfessorS...
Projects Supported in 2010:
AI Tokyo thanked its supporters on April 17th at an event organized on the occasion of the Holi festival. Combining proceeds from this event with funds raised at the Festival of Lights 2009, the board voted to fund the following important projects that support and strengthen MSSRF bio-villages:
- Down payment on an eco-friendly Kannivadi Farmers' Federation Building
- Three Village Knowledge Centers which provide critical weather, crop and marketing information to rural areas
- Uniforms for the conservation movement staff in Kolli Hills
- Driers for processing millet grains and storage drums for seed banks in Kolli Hills.
Thank you to all of our supporters for helping us to fund these capacity building projects!
Dr. Swaminathan in the news:
Professor Swaminathan visited Friends of Swaminathan in Australia (www.fosa.org.au), our sister organization, earlier this month (top centre photo). A video of his speech at the Asia Society is at http://asiasociety.org/policy-politics/news-asia/looking-another-green-r...
M.S. Swaminathan is also the Co-chair of an Asia Society/International Rice Research Institute high-level Task Force on Food Security and Sustainability. The Task Force will release its report in New York in September to coincide with the opening of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Community Learning Centers (CLCs) with MSSRF in South India:
Asia Initiatives is excited about this initiative with MSSRF. Three Board members of Asia Initiatives Japan visited the pilot CLC in Dindigul two years ago, and inaugurated another one. These centers provide 'functional literacy' in a locale specific manner, so the teaching materials are prepared by MSSRF staff to suit each village, with a goal of brining literacy, and livelihood related information to adults and computer skills to children and young adults (photo top left). Literacy and confidence about using the local post office, bus stop, banks and government field offices empowers people. Based upon the success of these two centers, MSSRF is looking to scale up the program to 15 centers. US$ 100 can educate two students for a period of six months, the length of time needed to make the training meaningful. Our goal is to supoprt 5000 students. We invite our members to provide scholarships for these centers, as well as visit them on your next trip to India.
Asia Initiatives launch in USA held at the Consulate of India:
Asia Initiatives' launch in USA was held at the Consulate of India in New York on Saturday April 18, 2009. An exhibition of paintings by Jaya Thyagaraja and a performance of classical Indian dance by Rimli Roy will be followed by a cocktail reception kindly hosted by the Consul General of India to the USA. Please RSVP to Asia Initiatives here. Please click here for the invite.
Tokyo American Club Women's Group grant:
We are thankful to the Tokyo Amercian Club Women's Group for choosing Asia Initiatives as one of the five charities it supported via its Gala in 2009.
Festival of Lights:
A BIG thank you to all who made the Festival of Lights held on October 8 at the home of the Indian Ambassador such a success. Photos may be seen at Keyshots.org.