Aide et Action (AEA) was founded by Pierre Bernard Le Bas in Paris, France in 1981. AEA was the first global sponsor based organization and India was the first country to be supported. AEA started supporting India through initial partnership with ActionAid (UK) and ASSEFA (Association for Serva Seva Farms). Consequently, in 1985, AEA registered and established an independent office in Chennai, India.

AEA adopted a 3 year planning cycle for its programmes. To ensure that the programmes were being planned and executed well, the first Etats Généraux (ETG) was conducted in the year 1998.

AEA also developed the Global Development Plan which gave insights on how to give factual shape to the ambitions of the ETG. The Global Development Plan translates the ETG resolutions into clear objectives, growth plans, and aspired results, thus designing the road map for the organisation.

As a strategic step, AEA transcended national boundaries and was constituted into regional entities in different parts of the globe. The operations of South Asia Regional Office commenced in the year 2005. In the same year, AEA initiated processes to reach out to institutional resources. The first iLEAD center was started in Tamil Nadu and its first intervention was in Sri Lanka. Following its success, the iLEAD programme was started in Sri Lanka in 2006.

AEA developed nine thematic local approaches in different regions to ensure maximum efficiency. The South Asian region initially adopted five of these local themes developed by AEA. These were Access & Quality of Education, Livelihood Education, Inclusive Education, Emergency & Post Emergency Education and Health & HIV/ AIDS. The remaining four themes, Migration, Early Child Care Education, Women Education & Empowerment and Education for Global Citizenship were added soon.

In the ETG III, the idea of adopting a ‘Project Mode’ of work was brought forth. This meant that henceforth, each project would have a specific timeline, objective and outcomes that were designed beforehand as opposed to the earlier mode of an open-ended programme. All these changes were connected with the rapidly changing global socio-economic, political and educational contexts.

In accordance with the success of its programmes, AEA moved forward with a mission to become an institution that is recognized as pioneers in promoting education as the key to development & empowerment.

AEA identifies innovative projects based on which ‘key concepts’ and core universal features are developed. The objective of these key concepts is to influence National and International Policy makers and enable replication of best concepts beyond boundaries.

Vision & Mission


A world where dignity is ensured for all men and women through education.


To make education a lever for human development.


Liberty / Respect / Solidarity / Integrity / Equity

Our Strategy

We use EDUCATION as a strategic tool to bring positive impact in the life of underprivileged children and youth. All our actions are guided by nine themes and 5 core concepts.

Our Board

South Asia Advisory Board Members

Rukmini Rao

Rukmini Rao is a social and rural development activist working with women at many levels of Indian Society but particularly with the poor, underpriviledged and vulnerable. She was conferred with “WOMAN OF THE YEAR – 2014” award by “THE WEEK”.

Dr. Kedar B. Mathema

Mathema is the former vice chancellor of Tribhuvan University and former ambassador of Nepal to Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia. He is one of the leading thinkers of Nepal and a respected critic of various development and democracy efforts in the country.

Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha

Wijesinha is the former secretary general of the Peace Secretariat of Sri Lanka. A former professor of English from Sabaragamua University of Sri Lanka, Dr. Wijesinha is currently a nominated member of Parliament in Sri Lanka.

Dr. Vibha Puri Das

Vibha Puri Das (IAS) was the Former Secretary in the Department of Higher Education under the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Prior to this posting, she was Additional Secretary in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Food Processing Industries and Executive Director, Central Social Welfare Board.

India Board Members

Mr Sharad Chandra Behar

Mr. Sharad Chandra BEHAR joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1961. As an IAS Officer, he held a number of important positions in the Government of Madhya Pradesh (central Indian State) and Government of India where a major part of the career was devoted in the area of education. After retiring from service in 1997 as Chief Secretary to the Government of Madhya Pradesh, he worked as Vice Chancellor of Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism.

Ms Claire Calosci

Ms Claire holds degrees in education science, psycho-pedagogy and socio-ethnology from the University of Paris. She has around 38 years of experience related to sustainable development and has worked in Mali, Congo, India and Vietnam. From 1993 to 1996, she created and directed Aide et Action in Benin.

Mr Sanjeev Kotnala

Mr. SANJEEV KOTNALA, is Brand and Marketing advisor, Facilitator, Trainer and a Certified Life Coach specialising in Life & Mid-life-transition coaching. He has a rich and varied professional experience, having worked with some of the biggest names in the media and advertising industry like Citibank, Motorola, ITC Welcome group, Hero Honda, Yamaha, Dainik Jagran, MTNL, Maruti, and Oriental Insurance. Prior to 2014, in his last assignment he was the Vice President – Marketing for Dainik Bhaskar Group- India’s Largest Newspaper Group.

Our Team

Ravi Pratap Singh
Regional Director

He is involved in building the vision of AEAI-SA, developing strategies for resource mobilisation, developing projects and strategies for geographical expansion and contributing to the process of the internationalisation of Aide et Action. His areas of expertise are strategic planning and programme development, participatory approaches and practices in education, livelihood systems and natural resource management. He has been associated with civil society organisations in India and many other countries in Asia and Africa.

Aishwarya Mahajan,
Regional Head – Livelihood Education

Dr Aishwarya has over 15 years of experience in the development domain. A Doctorate in Sociology, he is a specialist in the field of Livelihood Education. Currently, he is also the Regional Manager of Jaipur.

David Willaims
Regional Head- Finance and Administration

David is responsible for overall financial management of AEAI-SA. He has over 20 years of experience in financial management and specialises in financial management, audits and information technology. He holds a Post Graduate degree in Public Administration.

Regional Head – Programme Development & Support

Sajeev provides strategic directions & support to the operational units of AEAI-SA. He has over 20 years of experience and is an expert in areas of Programme & Project Development and Management, Micro – Planning, Participatory Rural Appraisal. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Development and Post Graduation in Systems Management.

Sreedhar Rao
Regional Head – Human Resources & Organizational Development

Sreedhar guides and provides strategic directions for HR&OD practices in AEAI-SA. He holds a Post graduate degree in Social Work (HR) and has over 30 years of experience in HR & OD domain. He is a certified specialist in HRD Audit, Competency Mapping, Psychometric Testing and OD facilitation.

Umi Daniel
Regional Head- Migration

Umi Daniel has over twenty years of experience in the development sector specializing in the theme of Migration. In the capacity of Regional Head- Migration he provides technical, managerial, capacity building, research and advocacy support to internal & external stakeholders of AEAI-SA on the rights and entitlements of unorganised migrant labour in particular and specific to education, nutrition and protection of migrant children.

Meera Shankar
International Coordinator – Sponsorship

Meera has over 20 years of experience in the area of sponsorship. In the capacity of International Coordinator – Sponsorship, she provides technical, managerial, capacity building support to South Asia and other AEAI Regional Offices.

Our Partners In Change


Foreign Contributions (July-Sep 2017)

Foreign Contributions (Apr-June 2017)

Foreign Contributions (Jan-Mar 2017)

Foreign Contributions (Oct-Dec 2016)

Foreign Contributions (July-Sep 2016)

Foreign Contributions (Apr - June 2016)

Foreign Contributions (Jan-Mar 2016)

Foreign Contributions (Oct-Dec 2015)

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Aide et Action International - South Asia
16/20, Gilchrist Avenue, Harrington Road, Chetpet, Chennai - 600 031,
Tamil Nadu - INDIA
Telephone No: +91 44 28365516/17/19/20

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