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The Story

“The story of the AGN School is very much the story of Dr. Ayee Goundan and his wife Sarasu. The story of the AGN School is also intertwined with significant contributions by his mother, father, a brother and an uncle and a few friends and associates attracted to the school by its philosophy and Ayee and Sarasu’s example. These family members, friends and associates serve the school in many ways including serving on the GIFT Foundation Board of Trustees, the AGN School Advisory Committee and the AGN Academic Council as well as providing financial support.  

My personal involvement with Ayee and Sarasu and their dream began in Delhi in 1992.  Like Ayee I had worked for many years for Hewlett Packard but I did not meet Ayee and Mason Byles both then from HP California until I moved to India to join the HCL-Hewlett Packard joint venture. This experience helped all three of us appreciate Hewlett Packard’s then remarkable operating vision and principles.  HP actively supported treating all people - women, minorities, employees and customers - with dignity respect, honesty and integrity, with a significant emphasis on community responsibility.  I see these same values infusing the AGN School with purpose and integrity. 
Ayee and Sarasu’s selfless commitment and tenacious efforts to create a great school is serving all levels of society in this area of Southern India including children in the greatest need. Ayee and Sarasu’s education, experience of the wider world, and ability to identify with young people from their own rural area in India placed them in a unique position to create a school which is ideally suited. Already the AGN School has prepared students from poor rural families for a better future in professional disciplines such as engineering, medicine, commerce etc. I believe it is better to provide quality education to a few students from poor families rather then a substandard education to many.
This is not a story like that of Bill and Melinda Gates. This is the story of an “average” couple with a dream and the personal commitment to make it happen.  Neither of them has ever received any remuneration from the school.  I believe that 100% of funds contributed for scholarships are applied exactly as the donor specifies. The school is run on a non-profit basis and has 501-C3 status in the US.  Both Ayee and Sarasu are intimately involved in operations oversight as well as long range planning.
The funds raised by the Rotary Club of Adelaide Parks for the support of Scholarships will help a number of deserving students attend this outstanding school.”
The Opportunity

The AGN School in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, provides education from kindergarten to 12th year for rural students from an area within a 15km radius of the village of Konganapuram. The AGN School was established in 1998 by Dr. Ayee Goundan [who declined a senior position in the USA to return to his native place] in a small house on his parents’ farm in the village of Konganapuram. Since then the school has grown. It now occupies new premises and offers a syllabus which meets US state education department syllabus requirements to a student population of 1400.  The school offers education to paying students and also scholarships to a small number (approx. 8%) of students.

This school has responded to an existing need for locally accessible education for children living in an underprivileged poor rural environment. The school has succeeded in sustaining a high standard of education while managing high growth and continuing financial viability.

A much greater service is performed by providing a quality education (through a school like AGN) to a few students from poor families rather then a bad education to many.”

- Mason Byles (BSEE/MBA, Stanford) benefactor of AGN School

Proposal Summary

This proposal advocates the creation six four year comprehensive support scholarships to be donated to the AGN School of Konganapuram, India orgajnised by the Rotary Club of Adelaide Parks in partnership with the Rotary Club of Salem South, Tamil Nadu, and with the support of the Rotary Foundation and Rotary Clubs in Districts 9500 & 9520 South Australia.

These scholarships will be awarded on application to gifted students unable to cover the cost of attending the school. Scholarships will be awarded to those students who have also been assessed as committed to returning to their respective rural communities at the conclusion of their tertiary education and professional development.

The expectation will be that they will, in the spirit of Dr. Goundan, contribute their professional skills and expertise for the betterment of their   communities.

The total cost of the six scholarships (tuition, books, coaching, clothing and hostel accommodation) for four years will be USD$30,000.

Up Date

We are pleased to announce that the Rotary Club of Victor Harbor in District 9520 has agreed to sponsor one of the 6 scholarships

Up Date .

President Elect Bob Congdon in conjunction with President Jeff Mattner are pleased to anounce that as a result of the three way support from the Rotary Club of Victor Harbor, a 9500 District Grant of AU$5000 and the Adelaide Parks Club that Four Scholarships from year 9 to 12 will commence at the AGN School in the 2010-11 school year.  The AGN School assisted by the Rotary Club of Salem South, Tamil Nado is in the process of conducting final interviews with a view to recipiants begining their schooling before the en of June.

Up Date

President Bob Congdon anounced today that the Rotary Club of Adelaide Parks has been successful in its 2010-11 application for a Foundation Future Visions District Grant of US$2,300.  Bob expressed special appreciation for the donation of AU$6,000 from the 5 members of the Hindmarsh Club who have now been inducted into the Adelaide parks Club.  The club is now in a position to fund two further scholarships making a total of six in two years.

Up Date

 Rotary Club of Adelaide Parks & Australia Awards Fellowships
The Rotary Club of Adelaide Parks has been successful in its application for funds to host Australia Awards Fellowships. Australia Awards Fellowships are an Australian Government initiative and are managed by DFAT. They are provided as part of Australia’s overseas aid program.
Australia Awards Fellowships offer Australian organisations such as the Rotary Club of Adelaide Parks (RCAP) the opportunity to deepen and broaden links with leaders and professionals in developing countries by hosting Fellows from overseas partner organisations, in this case, the GIFT Foundation from Tamil Nadu, India. RCAP has previously funded scholarships for disadvantaged students to attend AGN School, founded by the GIFT Foundation in 1998-99.
RCAP and the GIFT Foundation schools developed this Fellowship proposal with an overall aim of strengthening the partnership and links between the Rotary Club of Adelaide Parks and the GIFT Foundation schools in Tamil Nadu, India. The activity aligns with, and supports Australia’s economic diplomacy and public diplomacy objectives by addressing current and emerging development and foreign affairs issues. The purpose of this project is to enhance the quality of teaching and learning in these schools and, through the schools’ graduates, positively contribute to sustained prosperity and social cohesion in the surrounding communities.
The Rotary Club of Adelaide Parks, as the Australian Hosting organisation, has arranged and funded three Fellows from the GIFT Foundation schools to experience a 3 week study tour of school education in Australia. The Fellows will visit schools throughout South Australia, undertake focused workshops and attend the Australian Council of Educational Leaders Conference in Sydney in September and October. On their return to their schools, the Fellows will undertake leadership activities associated with professional development of teaching colleagues in their schools.


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Meeting information
Location: 111 Hutt Street, Adelaide
               The Naval, Military and Air                          Force Club of South Australia Inc.
Time:      5.45pm for 6.15pm
Day:        Wednesday Nights
Dress:      Neat casual, no jeans or T shirts 


Next meeting October 9th
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