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. Continue reading “A Reason to Give ~ Keval”

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. Continue reading “Monsoon Days”

Partners in Learning

3U7A9680It’s no secret that active parental involvement in a child’s education enriches the learning experience. This year, one of our main areas of focus in the Education Outreach Program is to provide more opportunities for parents to partner with us and to concentrate on creating deeper, working relationships that ultimately set a standard of solidarity on which children can rely for support and encouragement in school. Continue reading “Partners in Learning”

Celebrating girls

Today, India is observing National Girl Child Day.

It may not seem like much, but it is at least a small start toward addressing the increasingly skewed sex ratio (which in Maharashtra is 883 girls under six for every 1,000 males, significantly below the 914:1000 national average) and attempting to draw attention to the systemic undervaluing of Indian girls. Continue reading “Celebrating girls”

Fall 2012: Health & Community Outreach Programs Updates

In July, we shifted to a new Health and Community Outreach Centre, located in the heart of the slums of Yerwada.  Although it is slightly smaller than our previous building, the new centre’s homey atmosphere and central location within the Waghri and Sikligar communities has made it a very popular drop-in spot and attendance at AIC Health and Community Outreach Program classes and activities is higher than ever.  Mother-baby classes, tailoring classes, literacy training, self-help groups, playgroup, counseling and a myriad of other activities continue to keep Program Coordinator Rashmi and her assistant Anita very busy in the new centre.  

Rashmi is already dreaming of one day being able to hire an in-house doctor to treat our patients and cut costs, as well as completing the construction of a large open lecture/class hall on the first floor of the new building, funding permitting.