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Measuring success of our teaching

Every Ann Foundation volunteer instructor I’ve interacted with has told me about the improvement they see in their wards from week to week. While affirmations of this sort are undoubtedly gratifying, a more concrete form of assessment scheme is critical to gauging the success of this initiative and using that knowledge to inform and improve our teaching methods as we go forward.READ MORE

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Volunteer Visit to IELC Blind School

Deepa Padmanabhan is an ESL Volunteer for Vellore Project. She joined the Ann foundation in 2010. During her trip to India, she had the opportunity to visit students at the IELC School for the Blind.

She recalled her interaction with the children and teachers of IELC to us with enthusiasm saying that it was a truly motivating experience. During their meeting, she was pleasantly surprised when the children welcomed her by introducing themselves in English. They spoke to her at length about their hobbies and their ambitions. Many students included learning English among their favorite activities, and some even expressed their desire to become English Professors. In fact, she says that two students from the school, Anbu and Sandini, have chosen to major in English Literature at the undergraduate level. She quotes a student who said to her, “English classes are very useful to me, they are great “. It was heartening for her to see their eagerness and motivation to learn.READ MORE

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The Sundarban Project

The Sundarbans project is one of our newest projects. This project is located in the Sunderbans region of India. The idea of the project was initiated last year when Kallol Gosh, Director of Samaj Unnayan Kendra, met with Ann Moideen, CEO and President of Ann Foundation. Both of them discussed potential teaching English opportunities for children in the slums of the Sundarbans. We were able to meet up with Nilanjana Chakrabarti, project coordinator of the Sundarbans Project, and discuss more about this exciting project.

Sundarbans is located is a remote part of West Bengal with limited access to good schools and scarcity for teachers. Most of the teachers do not want to teach due to its location; however, with the power of technology, Ann Foundation opens a world of opportunities to children in the rural areas.READ MORE

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New Project in Bargur, India

The Ann Foundation is always looking for ways to make all of your generous donations reach more people and meet the needs of more children. This time we’re doing it with a new project in Vellore, India.

Ann Foundation has already sent a trusted volunteer to Vellore, a city in southern India, to set up the infrastructure for this new project. She will soon be sending us the pictures and information from the field, which will be uploaded on the site.

We are excited to start this new center and build on other successful English and technology courses that empower and educate young people, giving them new chances for their futures.


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BULU Blind Center

This Blind Center was first initiated by some Missionaries who came to Cameroon. It all started in 1977, in Bavinga in Muyuka, in the Meme Division of the South West Province. When these Missionaries left in 1980, the government of Cameroon took over and a Presidential Decree was signed. So it has effectively been operating for 43 years now.

Access to this school by the blind population of Cameroon, is through admission. Talking to the Delegate of the Bulu Blind Center, he says admissions have already started, and is still going on. So far 20 students have been registered, and they carry on various activities. However, these are not all the blind people around that area, there are a lot more of them. Since entering into this center means paying some fees, most of these blind kids are not able to pay and thus, cannot attend. They stay at home and help themselves with the other senses God has given them. Some go about begging in the streets, while others are condemned in their houses. They are afraid to be knocked about by passing objects, since they are not educated, to walk in the streets like those who complete from such centers.READ MORE

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Reduce Stress and Anxiety with the Ann Foundation Audio Meditations

As a board member of the Ann Foundation and the founder of Aiki Healing, a practice of Chinese medicine focusing on stress reduction, Kay Hutchinson created for the Ann Foundation, a series of audio relaxation meditations specifically designed to empower people who have disabilities with the ability to detoxify and relax their bodies deeply, and also increase energy when faced with stress and fatigue.

Kay shared, “We wanted to give people with special needs some affordable tools to help manage stress effectively, while allowing donations, made through the purchase of the tracks, to fund our educational and health care mission programs that Ann Foundation provides to children with special needs in India, Africa and other countries. Thus, people can access a way to improve their health and also contribute to the health of other people by funding our other programs. Everyone wins as a healing wave is created.”READ MORE

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Looking forward to a fulfilling year our tanzanian volunteers speak


I am a student in my final year at the University of Nairobi completing my bachelor’s degree in commerce. I am passionate and committed to ensuring that every child is accorded an opportunity to pursue their dreams and not begin their lives at a disadvantage because of not having access to formal education.

I was seeking an opportunity for online volunteering when I came across the Ann Foundation and was really inspired by the work being done all over the world. I want to be part of the solution and my desire is to not only empower these children by giving them the English language but to increase their confidence and capabilities so they can beat the odds of their past.READ MORE

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A New ESL Project in Chennai, India

On December 5, 2012, Ann Foundation offered me the opportunity to lead the orientation class of our new project in Chennai, India. Through this project, 30 children of diverse ages will receive ESL classes via Skype in partnership with Mr. Damodaran, who heads Breaking Barriers for the Physically Disabled. Taking on this challenge and meeting the children was an unforgettable experience. The reception was warm, and the children were full of energy. They introduced themselves in English by telling their name, class and school.

On December 5, 2012, Ann Foundation offered me the opportunity to lead the orientation class of our new project in Chennai, India. Through this project, 30 children of diverse ages will receive ESL classes via Skype in partnership with Mr. Damodaran, who heads Breaking Barriers for the Physically Disabled. Taking on this challenge and meeting the children was an unforgettable experience.READ MORE

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Developing the ESL Curriculum for Ann Foundation

I was looking for an opportunity to give back to the community, and I was lucky to get acquainted with the Ann Foundation.  I started off as an ESL teaching volunteer for the Project at Sowbhagya Illam, Dindigul. However, soon I was given the responsibility of managing the curriculum team and co-ordinating with ESL volunteers. When the project started there was no defined curriculum. Each volunteer made their own lessons, but we felt the need to standardize our curriculum. So, we created lesson plans based on textbooks and started incorporating them into our daily teaching, since Ann felt it could help their regular academics and improve their language skills. However, based on the assessments, we realized that these lessons were not helping improve students’ language skills adequately. We came up with an alternative plan, and started piloting new grammar and speaking lessons. It was encouraging to see improvement, and we observed that the children were more involved in the ESL classes than before.READ MORE

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The Chennai Project

Often referred to as the gateway to South India, Chennai played an important role for India right from the 1st century. And in the 21st century the city still holds its status and has been noted as one of the fastest growing cities in the world (Forbes Magazine). The city is home for several industries and services (especially IT) which is commendable but the flip-side is equally disheartening. In this growing city/metro there is a need to look more closely and reach out to those underprivileged who are willing to pursue but are deprived of the basics like education.

Our next project takes us to a historical town located to the north of Chennai, Tiruvottiyur. It is famous mainly for the magnificent Thyagarajar temple. The town adorns its history gracefully but the present takes a back seat when it comes to education especially with the children from slum areas.READ MORE