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Folks --

I just received some compelling details from Ashoka, describing the work of just a few of their many "Fellows." Please read some of these snapshots below. I think you'll be impressed with the cost-effectiveness of money donated to Ashoka to support innovative social entrepreneurs:

(1) With an approximate $11,000 investment over 3 years, Ashoka enabled Jeroo Billimoria to launch Childline, India's first 24-hour emergency telephone service for street children, featuring follow-up support services such as police assistance and health care. Launched in Mumbai (Bombay), Childline has answered more than 400,000 calls and directly provided assistance to more than 20,000 street children in the city over the past two years. This is a mere 0.55 cents per child. The model has spread to 14 cities nationally and within ten years Jeroo plans to replicate it in 158 cities in India and Asia.

(2) For about $50,000, Ashoka helped Rodrigo Baggio accelerate the growth of the Committee to Democratize Information Technology (CDI), a network of 200 self managed computer schools in the urban slums of 13 states throughout Brazil. He has trained almost 75,000 students (who might have otherwise turned to drug trafficking and violence). CDI is now opening schools in Japan, the United States and Colombia with partners such as AOL, Microsoft and Starmedia. Ashoka's investment amounts to just 0.66 cents per student!

(3) For $23,000 Ashoka enabled Ngozi Iwere to develop the first model program for HIV/AIDS prevention in Nigeria benefiting several hundred teachers and more than 5,000 youth both in and out of school. It targets and involves the entire community instead of focusing on small high-risk target populations. Her Community Life Project works within existing community networks to develop and aggressively disseminate prevention and treatment information.

(4) For approximately $20,000, Ashoka enabled Dr. Vera Cordeiro to develop 'Renascer', an organization providing critical outpatient follow-up care to poor children who have suffered acute illnesses. It has spread to 11 hospitals in 5 states throughout Brazil, befitting more than 11,000 so far and reducing hospital re-admission rates by 60%. Her approach integrates health care, skill building and education services for children as well as for their families based on multidisciplinary teams and community support. Since 1998, five consultants from McKinsey have worked with her organization on a 'pro bono' basis to spread the model nationally. The first lady of S. Africa, Graca Machel plans to import it to southern Africa.

(5) For about $27,000, Ashoka enabled Isabel Cordero to develop imaginative and effective solutions to aid the return and recovery process of people displaced by political violence in Peru. Partly, in response to Isabel's prodding, the government has given formal recognition to the needs of displaced people in a 'National Agenda' and created a 'resettlement and support program' that incorporates a number of the strategies that Isabel has developed.

(6) For about $9,000, Ashoka enabled Preeti Pai Patkar to develop consistent and practical ways for the prostitues in Bombay India and their children to break free of the patterns of poverty through access to education and new skills in order to build new lives. Her organization 'Prerana' (Inspiration) is working with one of the chief colonies of prostitutes in the main red light district of Bombay and she has nearly 100% of the children enrolled in school. Her model has been recognized as a success by the state and national governments.

(7) For just about $28,000 over 3 years, Ashoka helped Jacek Strzemieczny bring civic participation to more than 60,000 students in Poland by opening a dialogue between local government officials, school administrators and the students to formulate school curricula and local government policies. This makes schools self-managing and responsive to the needs of their students and communities in the new democracy of Poland.

(8) For about $30,000 Ashoka helped Mary Allegretti save more than 7,000,000 acres of the Amazon Rain Forest in Brazil -- that's less than a penny per acre. She developed the first system of extractive reserves by setting aside areas for jungle dwellers whose livelihood depends on the forest. By developing and encouraging a sustainable use of the tropical forest, it has also benefited more than 70,000 rubber tappers and 200,000 native inhabitants in the Rain Forest.
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