Valentine Day surprise: @skinnylatte launches education initiative Gyanada

I met Adrianna Tan (@skinnylatte) online in macintosh forums, a lifetime ago, it feels, when she sought support after joining SMU. Macusers were in a ‘secret society’ of sorts in those days, and revelled in helping each other circumvent indifferent officialdom.

Well, we also exchanged smiles with strangers who were pounding on an iBook in a café somewhere. Perks of a minority group!

Well Adrianna was irrepressible and would write and write on her blog, and kept on writing. Eventually and quite dramatically (in my mind) she vanished into the mists of India which had defeated weaker souls.

She revelled in it.

Today she tweeted to announce her Gyanada Foundation. They have a sensible plan, to support existing non-profits in India who operate in slums in Ranchi, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

As they put it, Gyananda hopes to humbly extend a small helping hand to families of disadvantaged local girls to send them to low cost private schools in the area. US$149 sponsors a student.

They begin with 150 girls.

“In the academic year beginning April 2013, we’ll put 150 girls through school — half of this we’ll try to raise here, the other half we’ll try to raise from private donors in Singapore and the US.”

Isn’t this a lovely Valentine’s Day surprise?

Tales from Sweden

Students have an enviable element in their university life nowadays – the Student Exchange Programme. One student, Elizabeth Eu, returned from Sweden to share stories of Lund., over fika. A word I had forgotten as it’s been six years since I sailed with the Götheborg.

Elizabeth Eu, SEP @ Lund

Catching up with Elizabeth, I realised there are few accounts written out of Lund, although Tracey at has done a good job. Well to add to the mix, I posted Elizabeth’s account of the trip and her email to me at the NUS Biodiversity Crew.

It is slightly neglected blog as there are only still just four undergraduate student accounts of any aspect of NUS life. Will work on it.

Meanwhile, its time to write å few more SEP recommendations.