AAISW Annual Report for the year 2005
Presented to the General Body meeting held on 12/03/05 in Queens.
This is the second year of the current executive committee's tenure and I am proud to present this report you which will give an account of a year filled with activities and accomplishments. Currently we have 50 registered members. And, the association has entered its 10th year of service since it's formation in 1996.
Looking back to the main events…
HOLIDAY PARTY 2005
The American Association of Indian social Workers celebrated their Holiday Party on January 29, 2005 at the Kerala Cultural Center, Queens, New York. More than seventy members and their families had attended this colorful event. Mr. J. Mathew, an Assistant Principal in the New York City School was the guest of honor. Mr. Mathew is a former President of FOKANA (Federation of Kerala Association in North America) and a familiar with the activities of the Association.
Mr Saji Joseph welcomed the gathering. Mr. John Mattam spoke about the achievements of the past year. Mr. Sajan Thomas was the Master of Ceremonies. During the function Mr. James George, Presented a Check ($ 2125) to the President for the Victim's children of Tsunami in India. The amount was raised by the members from their workplace.
The Web based Child Sponsorship Program was also inaugurated on the day by the Chief Guest.
The highlight of the day was the cultural program and variety entertainment by our children and the members which included singing, dancing, skits and display of exceptional talents that kept everyone in a festive mood. Sajimon Kadavil proposed vote of thanks to everyone who made the party a grand event.
Sponsor a child - a web based project:
AAISW ventured an ambitious and challenging program to sponsor children who are under privileged and under served in India. Our purpose is to provide the adequate economic assistance to deserving children to pursue education in school and get into the mainstream of life. A lot of children are forced to work at very younger age to support their family and are often forced out of school or they do not have the means to continue their school owing to economic hardships.
The site is made user friendly and allows public to sponsor children through our association's help. So far, we have sponsored six children through this program. The program is not only help to spread the broad smile on a child but also makes a wonderful feeling of having helped a child to grow and glow into a fruitful member of the society. I hope in the coming year we can send this message strongly to the public and reach out to get more people sign up for the program.
CSW Review Course:
AAISW organized another refresher course for the members of the Association of Indian Social Workers as well as non members. The refresher course was held at Woodhull Hospital on February 26th 2005. It was a whole day program and about thirty people attended the course. Dr. Crabtree, who is a friend of the Association and a well wisher, deserves our gratitude for conducting the refresher course. If you recall last year's refresher, which was also offered by Dr. Crabtree was a huge success both in the number of attendees and the successful outcome. Special mention to Abraham Thomas for his help in arranging the conference room and the facilities.
Tsunami Relief Efforts:
Following the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami that has hit many parts of Asia including India killing more than 175,000 people and leaving millions homeless, the American Association of Indian Social Workers (AAISW) reached out with aid for the victims and the victims families. AAISW members have collected money from their co-workers and sent $ 2125/- for the victims through CASP (Rajagiri's Disaster management Cell).
Social work Month Celebrations:
The AAISW has celebrated the Social Work Month on Saturday, March 19th 2005 at Chola Samrat Restaurant, Queens. The chief guest of the event was Ms. Caridad Augirre-Pellicer - Associate Executive Director of Metropolitan Hospital Center. Felicitation was given by the guest speaker Nicholas Teodoru, Director, Self Work Institute and TTL of Rockland Psychiatric Center.
The program started with a prayer song of Mary Ann Thaila followed by the welcome speech by Sajan Thomas. The president Mr. John Mattam in his opening remarks pointed out the efforts and future tasks of the Association. The chief guest Ms. Pellicer, in her speech mentioned about uplifting professionalism in work place and making it more productive in the changing world of 'Manage care'. Guest speaker Mr. Teodoru opened a discussion on the topic - the influence of Indian culture on mental health treatment as Providers and Clients. Felicitations were given by Dr. Paul Njalieth and Dr. Francis Jacob.
Mr. Abraham Thomas, on behalf of the association, gave awards to Ms. Pellicer and to Mr. Teodoru. Shilpa James's song was followed by the vote of thanks by Mr. James George.
The General body was held after the celebrations to discuss the feasibility and profitability of an educational trust and future plans.
The AAISW has conducted our annual family picnic day at CROTON GORGE PARK on Saturday, July 2nd 2005. Like always, everyone brought a dish of their choice and the members enjoyed the food with joy of sharing. There was a spectacular show of sports and games competition for the children as well as for the adults. Trophies & prizes were awarded to the winners. Thanks for every one who made the day a grand success.
After the picnic we had our semi annual general body meeting.
We have promised to publish a souvenir but due to the unexpected moving of the editor
Dr. Francis Jacob to Florida, we could not complete the task in time. I hope the new committee will continue to work to publish the Souvenir as soon as possible. Since it's a time consuming task we want everyone's support in this matter .Please send in your articles or any materials to the current Secretary. Advertisement is an important part and we hope to get your help through your friends and family. Members will have reduced rate for compliments with your family picture.
As a part of our social commitment, this year, AAISW has helped 45 poor students in Kerala by distributing educational Scholarships. This program was aimed to fund the school fees and cost of uniform and books for children studying in Kerala. The objective of the program is to show our love and affection by lending a helping hand to the needy children in the community.
AAISW - Navadarsana Scholarship Program:
Navadarsanagram Psycho Social Development Society, Kattappana, Kerala proposed for a scholarship scheme for competent students from families with severe financial constrains in Kattappana educational district. The executive committee has discussed the proposal and was approved by the general body to fund the scholarship program. The scholarship benefited students who seek fresh admissions for Higher Secondary (+2) and professional studies like Nursing, Computer Studies and Engineering etc. Navadarsana Society advertised the Scholarship program in the local news papers and had received hundreds of applications from the Kattappana educational district area. They have selected 31 students - including 21 Higher Secondary students, 5 Nursing students and 5 students from other disciplines. These students though rather very clever and competent in studies were not in a position to find necessary financial assistance. Most of these children are from financially backward families and also victims of family dysfunctions due to marital discord, substance abuse and other social problems.
In July 2005 our Secretary Sajan Thomas, on behalf of the association, has distributed the scholarship to the students in a colorful award ceremony in kattappana attended by a gathering of 300 people including parents, relatives and the recipients. The program was presided by the Superintend of Police Tojan Cyriac. The Director of Navadarsanagram - Fr. Joseph Valiathazhath CMI and local politicians were also present.
A total amount of $ 2326 was spent for this program.
Higher Secondary (+2) students- Rs.2500/- per student-one time contribution
Nursing students-Rs. 5000/- per student ,, ,,
Other disciplines- Rs. 5000/- ,, ,, ,, ,,
Members recommended scholarship program for Nursing students:
The Individual Scholarship program was proposed by the annual semi-general body and was executed by the committee as follows:
Members have recommended nursing students from their local areas in Kerala for educational scholarship. The application included (1) a letter from the Nursing School as a proof of admission. (2) a letter from the previous School Principal or Parish Priest stating the financial need for scholarship and (3) copies of certificates. We have received 14 applications and sent dollar amount ($ 3248) equivalent to Rs.10, 000/- each to all the fourteen applicants. Though they were told not to communicate, some of them sent thanks notes, expressing their gratitude to the Association.
AAISW has been instrumental in placing the fresh graduates and the new arrivals in employment through our contact and referrals. We have been able to help them prepare resume, pass on job info, arrange volunteer jobs, interviews and use our position to secure jobs.
In this year many of our members have been promoted to higher ranks in their career. The Association is proud of their achievements and wishes all of them the best in their new assignments.
As the Secretary of AAISW, I am privileged to present you our annual report, filled with activities and accomplishments over the past one year. As you know this has been a year of great expectations, big challenges and hard work. But we have proved together that we can do a lot. This progress /achievement are the result of cooperation, commitment and participation of each and every one of you who have stood solidly behind us in carrying out the activities.
I believe that the executive committee was able to keep the promise, we made in the beginning of our term, to bring our association to the path of progress and achievements. This was made possible through a lot of tiresome meetings, constant phone calls, mailing letters and many campaigns. Definitely it was the result of dedicated team effort and untiring hard work by our Committee & Board as well. I am privileged to be a part of this great team and hope that in the coming years also the new committee can continue the progress we have made.
Sajan Thomas, LCSW
(Amerian Association of Indian Social Workers)