The Birth of Effect International 2005-2008
The seed for Effect International was planted when Casey Allred left his Idaho farm as a teenager and moved to Albania. While living in Albania, he observed firsthand the immense amount of poverty that hinders people from gaining adequate education and healthcare. Frustrated with unparalleled opportunities, he vowed to make a difference in the world.
Simultaneously, another seed was planted 10,000 miles away in Bihar, India. Bihar is home to some of the country’s poorest people, with deplorable infrastructure and services. It is also home to Bushra Zaman. In her youth, Bushra was compassionate towards the impoverished and she had a strong desire to improve the well-being of humankind. While she was attending a convent school (Nazareth Academy) in Gaya, Bihar, she was simultaneously teaching an orphan girl who was 5 years younger than she was. As the years passed by, Bushra’s plans of opening a school and helping children acquire quality education became more resolute.
In 2007, Bushra came to the United States to receive her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Utah State University. At USU, she was actively involved with the Women’s Center and participated in various other community service activities, but her passion still lied in assisting the impoverished children in her home state. In desperate search for support, she met with the Community Service Coordinator at USU who excitedly introduced her to Casey Allred. Bushra and Casey began discussing the feasibility of working in Sasara, Bihar. They planned to visit the most underdeveloped communities in Sasaram to do a community needs assessment.
In 2009, Casey Allred and Bushra Zaman brought together some of the best students and professors at Utah State University, and Effect International was born with a mission to build schools and bring healthcare to thousands.
First Community Needs Assessment, 2009
Bushra Zaman invited Casey Allred and Rachael Senft to visit Sasaram, a small village in the state of Bihar, India. Bihar is considered the poorest state in India and is wrought with illiteracy. Parween Zaman, Bushra’s mother, also had a dream to build a school for the poor children of Sasaram. She had retired after 30 years of teaching and administrating at a private grade school and was restless to make her dream a reality. Bushra and her mother took the initiative and projected operating procedures and school demographics. With unsurpassed determination, the Zaman family organized half of a dozen meetings with local leaders where several hundred people showed their interest in the proposed school. They surveyed the village, taking names and illiteracy rates, and found over 500 illiterate children. The community warmly embraced Effect International’s model to provide education to their children.
Dream Come True, 2010
On September 20, 2010, Bushra, Parween, and Casey were able to see their dream unfold. Effect International opened its first school in Sasaram, Bihar, India to 92 students aging from 4-13 years old. Parween took the position as principal for the school that is now called Askadeep, which means “Light in the Sky.” The school that was once just a dream, now staffs four teachers and is reshaping luck for 120 students.
The Future, 20XX
Even though we have felt a small taste of success, we are still overwhelmed with the statistics that there are over 770 million illiterate people in the world. Our work will not stop with Askadeep, Help us reshape luck!