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AID Boston celebrates tenth anniversary

Posted by Página do Microcrédito em 11 junho, 2007

By INDIA New England Staff

BOSTON — Over the past 10 years, the Boston chapter of the Association for India’s Development raised more than $250,000, and according to Balaji Sampath, a full-time volunteer with the organization, that amount, per year, would have helped a million children improve their math and reading skills.

Speaking at an event on May 13, Sampath discussed a pilot program adopted in 7,300 schools in the state of Tamil Nadu.

“It will take approximately $500,000 per year to continue this program that will work on improving reading and math skills for around two million children,” Sampath said. “This works out to about 25 cents per child.”

The chapter has, in fact, helped nearly a million people through 37 developmental projects and relief operations.

Sampath appealed to the audience to support the plan by adopting a school or a cluster of 100 schools.

Kalpana Karunakaran, coordinator of Tamil Nadu-based microcredit project Mahalir Association of Literacy, Awareness and Rights, explained the successes and challenges related to microcredit programs.

Karunakaran drew upon her personal experience as an organizer of micro-credit seld-help groups in India.

“While this approach has the potential of organizing and empowering rural women, there is still room for improvement in making sure women receive the support they need to maneuver through social and economic challenges that they face,” Karunakaran said.

She said that organizations like AID could play a crucial role in challenging the microcredit nonprofit organizations that they work with to develop a more integrated and holistic approach to empowering women as opposed to a narrow focus on credit delivery alone.

For more information on AID Boston, please visit www.aidboston.org.

Source: http://www.indianewengland.com/

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