Going Places

geetajyoti
Last week, Geeta and Jyoti from our Residential Program learned that they have been selected to attend United World Colleges for the next two years!

Jyoti will begin the new school year in August at UWC Mahindra College, the alma mater of several of AIC’s founding directors, and Geeta will be heading to Germany to attend the newest UWC campus there, UWC Robert Bosch College! We are so incredibly grateful for the stars that aligned so that they could receive full scholarships to attend UWC. UWCs are prestigious IB schools that bring students together from all over the world in the spirit of global peace and understanding, and we have no doubt that our girls will have much to contribute to their new schools.

Thank you to the many wonderful people who advocated for them throughout this process, and of course, the countless supporters who have helped them get to where they are today. Finally, we are proud – SO proud – of these two lovely young ladies and their hard work and achievements. These two are going places (literally!) and we can’t wait to share their upcoming adventures with you!

Brick Walls

“The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
– Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

She was standing near the flag pole, dressed in her gray salwar kameez uniform. Her eyes, shining with the pride of achievement, visible even from a distance, constantly flitted in a particular direction, as if seeking some sort of reassurance. I followed her gaze and saw a middle aged couple – her parents, I guessed. She was Suman, a 13-year old student of the AIC Education Outreach Program and the Chief Guest of our Republic Day function at Ashraya. Read more…

A family retreat

In July, the Residential Program kids had a long holiday weekend. And, after a hot, dusty summer (March – June in Pune) and a month at boarding school in the heart of the city, how better to spend a long weekend than in the rural outskirts of Pune, enjoying the lush greenery and clean, crisp air of monsoon season? Read more…

An interview with Aakash

For anyone wondering where Residential Program big brother Aakash has been recently (since there hasn’t been much mention of him in the blog and he hasn’t been in too many photos), we figured a little update was in order. Aakash, who turns 21 (!!) next month, has been working and living with extended family in the area since last year, after having initially transitioned from the Residential Program to shared accommodations for working/studying young men. He comes over to spend time with the rest of the kids when he gets a break from work, and last week we took the opportunity to catch up with him about his plans, goals and life of late. Read more…

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…

New Faces!

We have new faces at AIC!  Just two weeks ago we welcomed Bunty and Manali to the team, and we are thrilled to have them on board.

Bunty comes to us with years of experience teaching, and will be our Education Outreach Program Director following Claudia’s (very, very sad!) departure in January.  She brings a desire to inculcate the love of learning in our children and a commitment to effectively manage of those who directly influence our children, our teachers.

Manali is a recent graduate of Rhodes College in Tennessee, and as a dualcitizen of India and the US she brings the perfect background for her new role: the Onsite Program Administrator.  She will be liaising with our directors onsite and our CEO in the US to take care of volunteers, our accounting needs, and our Child Sponsorship program.  Manali brings an award-winning work ethic and a much-needed attention to important details.

Please help us welcome them to the AIC family!

More Diwali festivities

Pooja, helping with the rangoli design

More rangoli
Note that almost all of the children are the same height as Sangeeta (or taller!)

Spending time with AIC’s new CEO, Christie Pettitt-Schieber

Tushar, Geeta, Poonam and Santosh

Organizing the CD/movies cupboard

Cleaning out the water filter (no need to call a professional when you’ve got a Tushar in the family!)

  

New Diwali outfits

  

Pooja and Rahul

 

Awww…brotherly love (this probably didn’t end well)

 

Geeta, Poonam and Kajal, looking so…OLD!
Everyone has been enjoying some much-needed time at the Residential house this week!  And of course, Diwali vacation wouldn’t be complete without the activities that have become annual traditions for the AIC family – firecrackers, lights, diya painting, rangoli, getting to pick out a new Diwali outfit (seriously, the children start planning their Diwali outfits six months in advance!), not to mention lots of cleaning, organizing, and some good old fashioned time together as a family.  
More soon from our other programs!