There are many heartening stories of the scholars’ resolve, together with their engagement with KEI, leading to improbable stories getting played out. From a modest pilot with a dozen students in 2008, our flagship High School Scholarships program (KEIHSS) has grown to support more than 500 scholars each year. Its goal is to first make sure that promising students do not drop out of school due to financial constraints and then to make sure that they achieve their full potential. Besides KEIHSS, many other programs and pilots are in place, e.g., Post Graduate Scholarship (which provides mentoring and aid to post graduate students), Sponsor-one-Child or S1C (which pairs donors with the scholars that they support), and assistance for PhD students applying to US universities. KEI’s Experiential Initiative program brings exposure and opportunities to the scholars, such as the joint workshop on journalism and story-telling with the non-profit “1947 Partition Archive”. An intern program has seen students from the United States spend summers in Kashmir working on various projects. We will also continue to pilot new programs.
Beyond the more measurable direct goals, we are also quite interested in the side effects of our work. Children and young adults witness care coming from the community, and want to reciprocate. A culture of volunteerism, giving, and self-help gets promoted – not only among the scholars but also in donors, volunteers, and the broader community. Most of our funds come from the donations of individuals. Within the organization, KEI strives for clean and efficient governance. The organization is transparent with finances and details are published on our web site.
KEI deploys resources efficiently and this shows in our financial performance metrics.
We do what we do so that some day soon newspaper headlines from Kashmir will talk about our scholars growing to become some of the world's best thinkers, scientists, engineers, sportswomen, writers, journalists, musicians, and artists.