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1773977-934827-thumbnail.jpgIn my recent work with Heart+Passion, a foundation dedicated to expanding voluntourism opportunities for travelers of conscience, I've learned that one of the best ways to get under the skin of a place is to seek out one or more of a region's most accomplished NGOs. My colleague and I did not want to miss such an opportunity in Mumbai, so we requested a meeting with Aseema. Thankfully, they obliged.

Aseema, Hindi for "Limitless", is a non-governmental organization (NGO), registered under the Bombay Public Trusts Act, whose mandate is to protect and promote the human rights of underprivileged children. Aseema executes this mission through the management of a full school for underprivileged children from Mumbai's slums ("street kids").

Aseema was established in 1995 in Bandra, Mumbai and conducted its first classes with 18 students. Since that time, Aseema has grown to serve more than 700 children, has adopted and reconstituted an abandoned neighborhood school and has broken ground on a second education center outside the city. Perhaps more important, in the last year, Aseema has seen the first of its alumni graduate from college and enter the workforce as professionals.

Our visit to Aseema and their school in Bandra instantly became the highlight of our trip. Aseema's dedicated staff conveyed both warmth and purpose and their school radiated both efficiency and love. We spent almost three hours with the staff and students of Aseema and left wishing we could have spent more.

I could attempt to craft words to describe our experience, however in this instance I think it best to rely on the age-old truth that a picture's worth a thousand words. Visit our photo gallery to get a sense of the people of Aseema and their accomplishments.

For us, the key memory is that of otherwise option-less children being given a chance to soar. Nowhere is this fact more apparent than in the art produced by the students in their art classes. To view some of this uplifting art, visit the Aseema gallery. While there, consider making a purchase of one or more of their products, or making a donation. Having visited, we can say first hand that the products are worth it and the support is worthy.

Reader Comments (1)

These pictures are priceless. Absolutely priceless.
December 13, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjenni

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