American India Foundation (AIF)

Mission

The American India Foundation (AIF) is dedicated to accelerating social and economic change in India.

Vision

To contribute to building an India where all people can gain access to education, health care, and employment oppurtunities and where all Indians can realize their foil potential.

To build a trusted bridge between the dreams and aspirations of individuals who care about India and their realization.

To provide a secure channel for philanthropic funding in the United States and its effective investment in the best Indian non-governmental organizations that have innovative and scalable projects.

To build a professional organization that is secular, transparent, credible and accountable for all its activities.

Contact Person in India

Mr. Shankar Venkateswaran, Executive Director

Mr. Alay Barah – Livelihood Program & Relief and Rehabilitation

Ms Smita, Director – Education Program

Ms Namrata Asthana, Program Coordinator – Service Corps Fellowship Program

Mr. N. Sundera Krishnan, Digital Equalizer Program

Geographical Area of Operation

Entire Country (At the moment, Jan 2005) the programs supports are in Gujarat, A.P., M.P., Karnataka, Hariyana, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, W.Bengal, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Orissa.

Target Group

Poor and Marginalised people with the focus on women, disabled, Dalits, Tribals and other weaker section. It may be both in rural areas as well as in Urban areas.

Grants

Education

Our Strategy : Achieving universal elementary education is the main focus of AlF’s education grant-making. AIF believes that elementary education is the government’s responsibility and to that end, our grants support innovations that demonstrate methods of educating children who are not receiving a quality education from the existing system. AIF seeks to engage the government to adopt these models into the mainstream education system so that parallel education structures are avoided.

AIF focuses its grants on two specific areas that will have a great impact on increasing the number of children who receive a quality elementary education. These areas are :

1. Increasing the retention of children in school through raising the quality of education by:

Improving leaning achievement to bring students to grade-level knowledge

Improving physical facilities

Reducing teacher shortages

Improving outdated teaching processes

2. Increasing access to education of children who have never been to school or who have dropped out of school by:

Creating additional educational venues and altenative educational facilities.

mplementing curricula and teaching methods that are sensitive to the needs of first generation learners.

The target – group are generally Girls, Dalit, Migrant Children, Sex-worker’s children, Dop-out and never school gone children and HIV positive children. It may be also Disabled Children and such children who have been generally neglected.

Livelihood

Our Strategy : AIF livelihood grants focus on giving poor people greater access to resources and on providing them with alterative opportunities to sustain themselves. AIF believes that building livelihood is about increasing income as well as assets; and Alf places women at the center of its efforts.

To achieve these aims, AlF’s livelihood strategy has three parts :

1. Improving natural resource management by :

Increasing water-harvesting and storage.

Protecting forests through greater community ownership.

Increasing agricultural productivity through better technology and crop diversification, thereby protecting the environment.

2. Increasing access to capital through micro-finance by :

Providing collateral-free micro-credit for a diverse range of livelihood options.

Providing additional inputs such as insurance, health care and training in entrepreneurship that result in increased incomes and better overall development.

3. Improving livelihood of the urban poor by:

Providing skills training.

Creating organized support systems for workers in the informal sector.

The livelihood program should be an integrated approach of skill training, business development plan, placement and proper marketting network.

Relief and Rehabilitation

AIF supports for the relief adn rehabilitation of profile affected due to some disaster. It has given supports to victims of Gujarat Earthquake for the projects such as :

Entrepreneurship training for children.

Watershed management in drought prone areas.

Educating children of migrant workers in salt producing areas.

Provision of micro-credit to women.

Relief and Rehabilitation program is also generally focused mainly on ‘Livelihood and ‘Education’ for the victims.

Digital Equalizer (DE)

The DE program trains and equips teachers and students to utilize digital technology in their existing educational curricula. AIF establishes DE centers in clusters of 10 underserved schools in a given area for a period of three years.

Each DE center has five to ten multi-media computers, access to uninterrupted power supply, high-speed Internet connectivity, and educational software. Teachers in the school receive training on utilizing Computer Aided Learning (CAL) to supplement text books and to open up new worlds for their students.

Through the DE initiative, AIF has trained over 1,500 teachers, who have in turn enabled 35,000 students who had previously not had access to computers and the Internet to become digitally proficient.

Some of the other noteworthy accomplishments of teachers and students participating in the DE program include:

Created school websites at 80 percent of schools with DE centers.

Developed over 500 multimedia lessons in eight different languages.

Initiated over 80 tele-collaborative projects connecting students within India and across the world.

Alf supports each DE center for three years and after that time assists in making them self-sustaining through engaging local corporate and government institutions. The state governments of Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are investing in DE centers along with AIF. And many DE centers are now being supported by business in local communities, who see the value in enabling children to access the world of digital technology.

Service Corps Fellowship

The goals of the program are to cultivate passionate and skilled American leaders with deep exposure in India’s development and to provide Indian NGOs the services of skilled Americans Selection to the Fellowship is highly competitive. Since its inception, the Fellowship has sponsored 71 Americans to work with over 30 Indian NGOs. Through their experience, the Fellows get direct exposure to the pressing development challenges of India, and they respond to these needs by implementing projects on a range of issues, including public health, human rights, micro-finance, education, women’s empowerment and the environment.

Selected accomplishments of the 2003-04 class of Fellows include :

A status report on the elimination of child labour in Kamataka.

A marketing strategy for the horticulture products of a women’s cooperative in Himachal Pradesh.

A survey on the strigma faced by people living with HIV/AIDS in Delhi.

An art therapy curriculum for street children in Chattisgarh.

How / When to Apply

NGO/VO may apply any time in the year. But it is suggested to first submitt a concept paper which should have basic information about the organisation and in brief about the project with budget.

When the concept note is approved then generally the field is visited and detailed proposal is invited.

AIF New York Office

American India Foundation, C/o Mckinsey & Company, 55 East 52nd Street, 29th Floor, New York, NY 10022.

Tel : 001-888-AIF-51ND, Tel : 001-888-243-4463, Tel : 001-212-891-4654, Fax:001-212-891-4717

AIF California Office

American India Foundation, 647 Calaveras Boulevard, Milpitas, CA 95035. Tel : 001-408-934-1600,

Fax : 001-408-934-1612

AIF India Office

American India Foundation, 15/11 Ground Floor, Sarva Priya Vihar, New Delhi 110016.

Phone/Fax; 91-11-51 82 88 01 www.aifoundation.org email : name of the person with dot in between e.g. namrata.asthana@aifoundation.org

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