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The American India Foundation (AIF) celebrated 15 Years of building bridges between the United States and India through high-impact interventions in education, livelihoods, public health, and leadership development.
Hosted by Ajay Banga Co-Chair of American India Foundation and CEO, Mastercard, the event highlight was a photo-exhibition showcasing the best of AIF’s work over the last 15 years through field photographs documented by Prashant Panjiar, India’s leading photographer. Also present on the occasion were Alex Counts, AIF President and CEO and AIF Country Director Nishant Pandey.
Speaking on the occasion, Ajay Banga said “AIF’s verticals of education, livelihoods, leadership & health, have developed very quickly to become models that proof of concept can be taken to scale with the involvement of state governments, local corporates and partner NGOs. These programs have impacted over 3.7 million lives of India’s poor and we hope they will serve to inspire others to take up the cause of disrupting poverty in India.”
By engaging with a staggering range of stakeholders from young Americans and leading philanthropists to grassroots NGOs and government agencies, AIF has evolved to be more than a philanthropic organization over the last 15 years – it has become a social ecosystem designed upon principles of trust, transparency, and partnership, bringing people from all walks of life together in a movement to better whole communities and transform India into a more open, equitable, and vibrant democracy.
In order to meet India’s long-term development challenges, AIF realized the need to be responsive, open, and adaptable to rapidly changing needs on the ground and listen closely to the voices that often go unheard. AIF’s programs in Education, Livelihoods, Public Health, and Leadership Development are designed to have an emphasis on inclusive models that focus on the unique needs of girls and women to achieve gender equity as a basis for sustainable change.
Founded in 2001 at the initiative of President Bill Clinton following a suggestion from Prime Minister Vajpayee, AIF has impacted the lives of 3.7 million of India’s poor and aims to reach 5 million by 2018-2019.
AIF’s education programs ensure that some of the most marginalized groups have access to high-quality educational opportunities and gain critical life skills alongside 21st century knowledge to prepare them for success in today’s globalized world.
AIF works closely with the public and private sector to create inclusive and sustainable livelihoods for individuals, families, and communities across India with a long-term goal of equalizing the informal and formal sectors to provide equitable opportunities for all citizens.
AIF promotes maternal and child health by combining increased access to healthcare, improved service delivery, innovative care-based approaches, and capacity-building for healthcare professionals in highly remote areas.