We had the honour of having Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria and her husband Mr Anthony Howard QC who visited Asha’s Kanak Durga slum community on 3rd October. HE The Hon. Ms Dessau is the Patron of Australian Friends of Asha for slums Limited (AFOA).
They were accompanied by Mr Joshua Puls MVO, Official Secretary (Office of the Governor), Mr Michelle Wade, Commissioner- South Asia (Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources) and Mr Matt Lowe, Executive Director (Economic Development & International Veterans).
The Asha team welcomed them to Kanak Durga slum community where the guests spent time interacting with the Asha’s University students, Women’s Association and Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) and visiting the community. Asha Graduates and Ambassadors like Shiv, Venu Gopal and Sarannya shared their stories of how far they have come from their early days.
On their maiden visit to Asha, Ms Dessau and her husband were fascinated with how Asha is transforming so many lives for the past 29 years. While the Asha university students shared their journey from the slums to the best colleges in Delhi University, the Women’s Association shared their struggle from being restrained into the four walls of their homes to becoming champions of women’s rights in the community. The Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) also showcased their work and its impact at the grassroots level.
While meeting the students, Hon. Ms Dessau exclaimed, “I thought to talk about the importance of education and community work but I am so happy to hear the same from you all, keep the good work going”. Addressing the women, she said, “Women are the keys for the upliftment of a family and the community at large. Keep inspiring and train the next generation to follow and prosper.” Mr Howard, a judge of the County Court of Victoria, can also be heard saying how amazed he was with the whole experience.
We wholeheartedly appreciate HE the Hon. Linda Dessau AC, her husband Mr Howard QC and other officials for visiting us and hope that the long-standing association between Australia and Asha will only grow in the coming days.