Monday, November 8, 2010

The first part of Saturday in NYC!

The girls and I woke up early on Saturday morning for the main reason we came to NYC: to volunteer with The Hunger Project. We took the metro to the beautiful Chelsea Piers, grabbed some fast food for breakfast, and got straight to work.

The first part of The Hunger Project's big day was a presentation about women leaders in India and Bangladesh, and all the obstacles they face. There was information about what The Hunger Project has done, their plans for the future, and several women who came to speak (both in English and via interpreters) about their experiences. It was very moving to see the devastating problems women have to deal with, and the connection of young girls' malnutrition with poverty and health problems of the entire population, due to the young age at which women often give birth. I was inspired to see The Hunger Project tackling these major issues with a variety of solid, effective strategies.

We got the opportunity to listen to part of this presentation, but many volunteer tasks lay ahead of us so we couldn't hear the entire thing. Some of us made nametags for the many guests who came to see the presentation, others helped direct visitors to the end of the pier where the presentation was, and then later we all helped decorate the main dining hall for the benefit dinner that would happen later that night. We put together flyers with donation envelopes and pens so that dinner guests wouldn't have to take extra steps if they wanted to make a donation. Sure enough, later that night, The Hunger Project ended up raising more than $1 million!

Before we knew it, it was time for lunch which ended up being just a very short break between the morning presentation and the start of preparations for the big dinner. I'll let Gray write about the evening portion of Saturday. It was pretty amazing!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

New York Bound on a China Bus

It’s amazing how not doing in work over Fall Break will set you back two weeks. But I finally have time to reminisce about my experience in New York City as part of AASHA. Any time you’re in New York, you’re going to have an incredibly adventurous and fun time, I had no doubt in that, but I was curious how it would all go down considering I didn’t really know anyone else who was going on the trip, as well as very little details about what was going to happen.

First, we all met up, had dinner, introduced ourselves, and talked briefly about the trip about four hours prior to a ten hour China Bus ride. At midnight we headed to Durham to catch that mysterious China bus. Needless to say, we got to know each other pretty quickly. Within thirty minutes, I was in a deep, drooling sleep on one of the team member’s, Jessica’s, shoulder. Everyone continued to bob in and out of consciousness, but for the most part, I was lucky enough to gain an adequate amount of rest considering the circumstances. I can only remember waking up twice- once we were stopped at a gas station and the other was when other passengers were screaming at the driver for running off the road. All in all, the China bus experience wasn’t too shabby. It got us to where we wanted to go for an extremely low price.

When we got to New York, we headed for our prospective habitats for the next few days. The girls were staying near Times Square and the boys were staying in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. So we all squirmed around NY’s public transit and somehow managed to easily find our place. We settled in and took a short nap and, then, were off to our first volunteer opportunity. We worked at a Senior Center and helped them serve dinner. It was an awesome way to really be immersed in the New York community. We met and spoke with a lot of interesting natives. One who I will always remember is Ace who was a Jewish, American World War II veteran. We also held a small dance party in the eating area where Tonmoy showed his skills to some ladies-He definitely made their day.

After we served dinner, danced, and had our own dinner, we helped clean up the kitchen and talked with some of the people who worked at the center. Tony, who was the chef, and Jackie, who was second in command, talked to us about New York and their work. Jackie even helped us figure out places to go for that night. It was really nice to do something good for the community while being able to interact with a lot of true New Yorkers. Being able to dance and put a smile on the men and women’s faces made it even more worth it.

As we left the center, our minds were open to explore any and all parts of the city. We were all extremely excited to just roam around and find random things to do. All in all, the first day was great. We were able to complete a successful volunteer project and have fun and meet great people while doing so. I honestly don’t think we could have asked for a better first day. From then on out, it was just more crazy New York adventures, and I am so thankful to have been given this opportunity.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thursday, September 3, 2009

new semester, old fun

As a new semester has started and Aasha's planning is underway, I've realized that I'm most looking forward to campus excitement. Our first General Body Meeting is today, Thurs. 6pm and I can't wait to see who we'll get to work with and for (both peers and community non-profits) during the year! Last year we had so many opportunities presented to us, which just seemed to spring up. Working with the Starbucks Doubleshot folks was a blast! Promoting and marketing the drink was great experience in how we can implement these strategies for our events and, ultimately, we were able to raise funds for our year-end goal.

I'm very much excited to see the end result again this year, especially because we'll get to see it unfold before our eyes. In helping Rabbi--sponsored child through SOS, foster and orphan facility in Bangladesh, you'll get to watch Rabbi grow as he enters school and perhaps higher education, enjoys life in a way he may not have been able to before and share in this amazing experience with UNC Aasha.

Last year's fundraising was so successful! We really received a wonderful response from the student community and faculty at UNC and the Bengali community in North Carolina for our efforts to bring awareness to humanitarian issues of Bangladesh to the forefront. At the end of the year, when the time and effort you've put into Aasha, whether it be a couple of hours here and there or several on a daily basis, can be seen through such a gift, why not get involved?

Publicity Chair

Monday, August 31, 2009

New School Year

I am very excited about the new school year! We have a lot planned-speakers, Nastha Night, and a Ping Pong tournament. Most of all, I am looking forward to meeting the new members of AASHA. We are always excited to have new enthusiastic members, especially since we are a new club. I can't wait to see new faces at our general body meeting!

Meeting Coordinator

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bengali New Year Celebration

Join AASHA and CMI at Bengali New year celebration at Pit!
Sunday, April 19th from 4 to 6 p.m. 
If you are interested to reserve a booth, email Nawsheen at

Thursday, April 9, 2009

2009-2010 Exec board

President: Sumaiya Sarwar
Manager: Rumin Sarwar
Meeting Coordinator: Aniqa Shahrier
Treasurer: Afshin Humayun
Publicity: Cecilia Gomes
Education: Nawsheen Khan and Maggie Fitch
Social/Service: Mehrin Islam