Ein neuer Beginn und ein herzlicher Abschied

Februar war ein ereignisreiches Monat hier bei AIC. Eine neue Klasse wurde gestartet und mit schwerem Herzen verabschiedeten wir uns von einer langjährigen Kollegin und Freundin. Madhavi war drei Jahre lang Teil unseres Teams als Leiterin des Gesundheitsprogramms und war ein Segen für uns alle. Sie hatte keine Wahl zu bleiben, sondern muss aus gesundheitlichen Gründen gehen und wünscht sich weiterhin ein Teil der AIC-Familie zu bleiben und uns so oft wie möglich zu besuchen. Madhavis letzter Tag vor Ort beinhaltete eine Überraschungsfeier, viele Tränen und noch viel mehr Lachen. Sie erklärte uns: “Es ist ein Tag, den ich ewig voller Freude in Erinnerung behalten werde. Zu sehen, dass alle vier Aspekte von AIC hier in einem Raum repräsentiert sind, dass alle gekommen sind, um die Arbeit, die ich gemacht habe, zu würdigen. Ich fühle eine starke Verbindung und die Leistung, die wir alle gemeinsam zustande gebracht haben.”

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A Reason to Give ~ Ashwini

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When Ashwini was growing up in the Waghri basti, or slum, she suffered from recurrent and extremely painful ear infections that were never adequately treated or completely resolved. Like many children in our communities, she adapted to the situation, and her pain, ear blockage and hearing loss simply became part of life. This cycle of infection, inflammation and irritation weakened her eardrum and caused a growth called a cholesteatoma, which can permanently damage hearing and turn into a potentially life-threatening condition if allowed to expand further into the skull and brain. Read more…

A Reason to Give ~ Sahil

Sahil 1The best word to describe Sahil is definitely masti, or mischief. This adorable 8-year-old keeps teachers and caretakers on their toes with his antics, but his love for trouble caught up with him this summer when the wall on which he was precariously balanced collapsed and crushed his femur. He suffered multiple fractures and skin and muscle lacerations, along with a serious puncture wound from a metal rod that pierced his leg when he fell. After the accident, Sahil was immediately rushed to the hospital, where he was met by a team of AIC administrators, health workers and caregivers. This team stayed with his family throughout the evening and into the night as doctors performed emergency surgery to repair his broken bone and torn muscle tissue. Finally, at around 1:30 a.m., the surgery finished. The final tally: 7 stitches internally, 15 stitches externally, plus two large screws and an external rod to support his fragile bone as it healed from the 3 fractures. Read more…

A Reason to Give ~ Keval

Photo0024Keval’s family is AIC through and through: his aunt is one of the Education Outreach Centre’s longest-running caregivers, and his mother, other aunt, and grandmother are all stalwarts of the Community Outreach Program and have worked at AIC in various capacities over the years. He himself has cycled in and out of the Education Outreach Program, although the firm rules on attendance have proved an obstacle. Keval was a normal, fun-loving teenager until May of this year, when he suddenly lost his ability to walk. AIC supported him and his family through the diagnostic process, which involved countless scans, probes, and tests spread over weeks of visits to specialists and hospitals. It is an intimidating and scary ordeal for any family, but especially so for Keval’s, as they are illiterate and unaccustomed to dealing with doctors and official procedures. Finally, the diagnosis came: rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of muscle cancer. Read more…

Monsoon Days

monsoondays2The monsoon arrived in Pune in July, bringing rain and the seasonally damp air that now, three months later, are starting to be replaced by sunshine and drier days as the rains subside. The monsoon is welcome as it is necessary for the success of crops and for replenishing the municipal drinking water reservoirs after the dry, hot summer months, but it also causes health and safety concerns for many of AIC’s families. Read more…

A Teacher in the Making

On July 12th, students in India celebrated their teachers in an annual festival called Guru Purnima. It’s a day of thanks for the time, knowledge, and dedication they give, and an opportunity to reflect on the impact they make. Teachers, after all, encourage students to grow and often act as catalysts, guiding students as they turn goals and aspirations into reality. In addition to our wonderful staff at AIC, we have a budding teacher among our students this year.

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Love, War and Holi.

Although it has been hot here for months, we ended March with a bang, a puff of color, and a bucket of water to celebrate the start of spring. Holi at AIC was, as always, a vibrant and rambunctious affair, although it was a little light on kids and heavy on didis/dadas this year. At the residential house, Ramu, Sonali, and Sangeeta Maushi played on the terrace with MK Didi, Judith Didi (visiting from Austria), and four of Judith’s friends. Read more…

Au revoir, Claudia!

It hasn’t all been fun and games here in Pune. At the beginning of January, we said a very sad goodbye to Claudia didi. Claudia started her AIC journey in 2010 as a residential program volunteer, then returned last year as director of the Education Outreach Centre. Read more…

Republic Day Celebrations at the Outreach Centre

At the Education Outreach Centre, Republic Day celebrations spanned two days. On Friday, students in the upper grades participated in essay and drawing competitions. They had the choice of several themes, including “unity” and “modern India,” and they produced some gorgeously detailed work. While the older children scribbled studiously in the classrooms below, the terrace echoed with laughter and shouts of the younger kids, who were having a field day, well, having a field day. Between the three-legged races, tug-of-war, and relays, all the children had a great time, and even Manisha teacher got to show off her enviable jump rope skills. Read more…

Republic Day Celebration – Residential Program

On January 26, India celebrated its 63rd annual Republic Day, which commemorates the anniversary of the Indian Constitution taking effect. Schools around the country put on special patriotic programs for students and teachers to show off the best of Indian arts, sports, history, and culture to parents and honored guests. Here at AIC, both the Residential and the Educational Outreach Centre children celebrated with spectacular productions. Bedecked in the national colors of orange, white, and green, our kids raised flags, performed patriotic songs and dances, demonstrated athletic skills, listened to featured speakers, and enjoyed sweets and laddus. Needless to say, a fantastic time was had by all, from the parents and guests in the audience to the student and teacher performers. Read more…

AIC’s Holiday Party

Happy 2013 from AIC!
It has been quite an eventful time. Santa visited the Education Outreach Centre and the Residential House, much to the kids’ delight, and we celebrated Christmas, India-style, at the Centre. We took students on outings to video arcades and malls, welcomed guests from abroad, and celebrated the wedding of one of our teachers. New staff members settled in, and we bid a bittersweet farewell to Claudia didi. Read more…