Friends of ANKURI
Priscilla truman diamond
Priscilla Truman Diamond has been a friend of ANKURI since her first trip to India in 2006. She provided support and materials to ANKURI in its early years and feels enormous pride in its success. Priscilla has a B.A.in English from the University of California at Riverside and an M.B.A. from New York University with a major in Accounting. She spent several years in New York, working for both an international accounting firm and an international investment bank. She and her husband relocated from New York to Ojai, California in 1989. She currently is a senior manager at the Santa Barbara County Education Office. Soon to retire, she looks forward to becoming a more active supporter of ANKURI.
Susan Yacubian Klein
Susan has extensive experience working in the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) world having spent 13 years in Armenia in the former Soviet Union first developing and establishing a craft center to provide income for women. The center is now thriving as an export business of children’s knitwear and has employed over 600 women in a cottage craft industry. After the center was on its feet, Susan worked for 7 years with the Armenia Tree Project, an environmental organization, doing poverty reduction through micro-enterprise development in deforested, mountainous areas of Armenia. She now brings her skills to ANKURI. In addition she is consulting with LifeStitches, an NGO in Arua, Uganda, working on craft production for income of HIV positive women. Her children live and work in the US and she travels between the US, Armenia and India.
Jane Roberts lives in the UK, and works as a Nursing Sister in a large city hospital. Her speciality is in Orthopaedics and she manages a large out patient department, with an added interest in Health Education for women and children. She learned about ANKURI in 2003, and has followed its development from the start.
She lives in Gloucestershire and has four grown up children, one of whom has also spent time at Dehradun with ANKURI.
Jane hopes to attend medical camps, and will travel to Dehradun to support ANKURI on a regular basis.
Alice Schulman is a dedicated knitter and fiber crafter whose patterns are published in the US. She began working with the ANKURI knitters in 2013, focusing on developing the Craft Centre's products and skills. She spent many years in the financial services industry and currently works as a senior executive for a US financial regulator. She earned degrees in history at the University of California at Berkeley (B.A.) and the University of Rochester, New York (M.A.), and taught at both universities. She has two grown children and lives with her husband Jack Libeu in Northern California but will commute to Dehradun as often as possible.
Kathy Knauss has worked in Administration at Vassar College for over ten years. She currently is the Executive Administrator to the president of the college. In her previous position, Kathy managed the Alumni Travel Program at Vassar. During a trip to India in 2006 she met the tour leader Rachna Dushyant Singh and Susan Yacubian Klein, a Vassar alum, and has stayed in touch with Rachna and Susan ever since. In April of 2013 Kathy made her second trip to India where she stayed in Dehradun and helped teach English to the students in the after school program as part of Ankuri's voluntourism. She found the experience to be life-changing and will use her many contacts in the travel industry to help promote voluntourism, especially to ANKURI and elsewhere to India, to others. Kathy holds a B.A. in Psychology and Business Administration. She lives with her husband and two sons in New York's Mid-Hudson Valley.
Carly Alvarez was first introduced to ANKURI in September of 2012. After receiving her B.A. in International Relations from the University of San Diego, she traveled to Dehradun to volunteer for ANKURI's literacy center. Carly spent two months tutoring and developing curriculum for the literacy center, teaching English lessons daily. From the US, Carly helps ANKURI coordinate future volunteer trips and plans on returning to work at the Literacy Centre. Carly currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts, conducting political research for the Albert Einstein Institution.
Rachel Edwards has worked as a teacher and Head Teacher (Principal) for 30 years with children aged birth-11 and their parents and carers. She has also worked as an early years trainer and adviser. Rachel believes that EVERY child, wherever they are born in the world and in whatever circumstances, deserves the BEST start in life so that they can become the BEST they can. Rachel learned about ANKURI through her close friend Jane Roberts. She visited Dehradun in October 2012 and was inspired to support the work of the project to enhance the quality of education for local children. Rachel is currently the Head Teacher of a school for children aged 4-7 and advisory Head Teacher for a locality of 7 childrens' centres who work with children from birth to 4 and their parents. Rachel has four children aged 21-26 and a grand daughter, who is a constant reminder of how important it is to get the early years of child's life right in order to set the foundations for the future.