BOSTON–Each year, American India Foundation (AIF) offers the unique opportunity to experience the impact of the programs on the ground through interactions with beneficiaries.
Nalini & Raj Sharma, Anu Chitrapu, Sundar Subramanyam and Nirmala Garimella, from the New England chapter, participated in one such AIF Mission trip recently, visiting program sites in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
“This was an extraordinary trip with such a dedicated and altruistic group. My heart is filled with joy knowing that AIF is impacting and elevating so many lives” said AIF Board Member Raj Sharma.
Sundar Subramanyam, NE Gala 2020 co-chair said “This being my first mission trip, I was most impressed to see the real impact that AIF’s programs have made to the beneficiary schools, Universities, healthcare and the communities they help support. The quality of education these programs help provide is also impressive. This was plainly evident to me by the knowledge, excitement, enthusiasm and gratitude exhibited by the children, students, teachers and staff we met and interacted with”.
They met children benefitting from interactive, engaging and fun learning tools in our education programs DE and LAMP as well as marginalized youth, from urban and rural areas, receiving skills training through the MAST & ABLE programs. Seeing the work and impact, long time supporter Anu Chitrapu vouched “The Mission trip was one of complete immersion! We saw the AIF programs in action in villages, in settlements in forests, in slum areas within cities … and what we saw was hope shining through the eyes of children and young adults.”
They interacted with community health workers (ASHAs) trained under the MANSI program, as well as young professionals from the US and India who are doing service for 10 months in various NGOs and social enterprises under AIF’s Clinton Fellowship Program.
Inspired by the trip, Nirmala Garimella, AIF Major Gifts officer for New England and Chicago chapter said “We were transformed after hearing the stories of 9 year old Ezra, a young girl from our LAMP (Learning and Migration Program) program in Gujarat, Satyavati, the fiery ASHA worker in MANSI (Maternal and Newborn Survival Initiative), Saniya from MAST (Market Aligned Skills Training) and Sajida from a DE (Digital Equalizer) school in Mumbai. These women and girls – by their determination, courage and belief that they can accomplish a lot with proper intervention, access and opportunity – exemplify the work of AIF programs on the ground”.
AIF New England chapter will host its 14th Annual Gala on March 28, 2020 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. This year’s gala will highlight AIF’s transformative impact on women and girls in India. AIF’s multi-pronged interventions in education, public health and livelihoods primarily serve the needs of women and girls, who are among the most disadvantaged in society. These interventions advance the cause of gender equality. They strengthen and uplift communities and ecosystems, and they contribute directly to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
For more information and to register online please visit aifnegala2020.givesmart.com
The American India Foundation is committed to catalyzing social and economic change in India, and building a lasting bridge between the United States and India through high-impact interventions in education, livelihoods, public health, and leadership development. Working closely with local communities, AIF partners with NGOs to develop and test innovative solutions and with governments to create and scale sustainable impact. Founded in 2001 at the initiative of President Bill Clinton following a suggestion from Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee, AIF has impacted the lives of 5.6 million of India’s poor. Learn more at www.AIF.org