Timberline Foundation

The Akshara Program

The Akshara Program seeks to break a cycle of poverty by providing comprehensive educational and emotional support to children in specific villages near Pune, India.  It mentors each participant through to an initial professional or vocational placement, tailored to the individual's capabilities.

The Programme was launched in 2005 by individuals at or associated with the nearby Mahindra United World College of India.  They were motivated, quite simply, by the painful disparities in opportunities and prospects for children attending their school and those in the nearby villages.

Timberline encountered the program in 2009, and immediatly recognized it as exciting, effective, and ground-breaking.  Akshara sought to reinforce existing institutions rather than supplant them, to enrich local schools rather than replace them, and to rely on integrating itself with families and communities and offering guided options rather than imposing them from outside.

It was comprehensive in its mechanisms.  Its initial success and its potential for more were dramatic.

Timberline has supported the work since 2009 with a series of direct and matching grants.  The Foundation established the Akshara Fund as a restricted fund into which contributions designated for support of the Programme are placed and from which grants in support of the program are made.  We gratefully accept outside contributions designated for the Akshara Fund.  Currently we match the first $2,000 of such contributions each year dollar for dollar.

The Akshara Program furthers Timberline Foundation's mission of "education for global citizenship" by extending educational opportunities to some of the most humble and disadvantaged members of the global community.

It does so in a way that reinforces their inherent dignity.  It is successfully confronting the real-world challenges of translating education into opportunity in a South Asian village setting.

[ Download a PDF of the Annual Report ]


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