From the archives

AI is bubbling with activity! We have hired our first ever executive director, Meera Rao, whom we will be introducing to you in July’s post. We are also busy planning our annual gala, which is scheduled for September 26 in New York City. On behalf of the AI team, I invite you to join us for an evening of entertainment and good food. So, please save the date. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please email I hope you will attend.


This month’s post is an archived article by Maya Daver-Massion, who, at the time she wrote it (a year ago), was attending Hong Kong International School. She is now enrolled at Columbia University and is a member of AI’s growing team.

For their senior project at Hong Kong International School, Megan Helmig and Maya Daver-Massion decided to focus on a sustainable community support project that they could continue to build on at the conclusion of their school year. Having grown up in Tokyo and funded three microcredit banks in India with her family through Asia Initiatives, Maya was familiar, and comfortable, with the microcredit model.

Megan and Maya decided to fund a microcredit bank. Starting from scratch on their own wasn’t as straightforward as it seemed. The learning curve was steep. They had to refine their planning and organizational skills as well as meet the challenges of fundraising and mobilizing the support of potential donors.The support they received from fellow students was fantastic. To catalogue each phase of the project with its associated obstacles and reassessments as well as the lessons learned, they launched a blog.

The results were positive and the project worthwhile, as you will see from the above highlights. Now that each has finished a year of college, they hope a project like theirs can inspire other high school students to get involved in efforts which, at first, may seem impossible to pull off, given the distances involved. That wasn’t the case, as they discovered. In fact with clear goals, organization, and persistence, a lot can be achieved no matter where in this world you find yourself.

As seniors in high school in Hong Kong, Maya and Megan demonstrated that you can change lives for the better without leaving your own zip code. If you are intrigued by this idea, and think you would like to work with a team of talented, intelligent, passionate, and dedicated individuals, send me an email: I look forward to hearing from you!

And thanks for reading!

Surkhab Peerzada, Jr. Board Member (archived notes from Maya Daver-Massion).

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