Youth Projects in India by Dayamudra Ann Dennehy

My Background

  • My name is Dayamudra. It's a Buddhist name. It means "Gesture of Compassion".
  • I'm from Connecticut originally, 1 hour north of New York City.
  • I studied at Doshisha University in Japan, where I lived with a Japanese family.
  • I moved to SF after university and got my MA in Education/ESL.
  • I taught ESL in Indonesia for 3 years. I also volunteered teaching ESL in Guatemala and Hungary.
  • I have traveled the world and I speak 8 languages.
  • I have taught all levels of ESL at CCSF for 18 years.
  • In 2007, I made my first trip to India.
Nagpur. December 2007

On my first trip to India, I led Communicative English workshops in Nagpur for students from the DALIT community at a Buddhist youth retreat. "Dalits" are the group traditionally-considered "untouchable" in the Vedic/Hindu caste system.

Nagpur 2007
  • The Dalit community has great respect and gratitude for Dr. Bhimrao AMBEDKAR, who lived from 1891 to 1956 in India.
  • Dr. Ambedkar's community was considered "untouchable" and faced oppression, discrimination and violence.
  • Ambedkar excelled at school and graduated from Columbia University in NY and passed the Bar at The London School of Economics.
  • Dr. Ambedkar was India's First Law Minister in Independent India and was the Chief Architect of the Indian Constitution.
  • Thanks to Dr. Ambedkar there were human rights and legal protections for all Indian citizens.
  • Dr. Ambedkar's community, formerly known as "Untouchables", is now known as "Dalit". Dalit friends greet one another by saying JAI BHIM, "Victory to "Bhim", or Victory to Dr. Ambedkar and his vision for a truly-democratic India.
  • Jai Bhim International is a global community of friends committed to youth education, inspired by Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar and his great vision. Jai Bhim!

In 2008, I formed Jai Bhim International in The U.S. as a 501c-3 non-profit organization. I am the Founder and Creative Director, and I lead Communicative English workshops every December in South India. I lead all the fundraising for our projects from my kitchen table in San Francisco.

In December 2008, I returned to Nagpur with scholarships for Dalit students, raised from contributions by friends and family.

Nagpur 2008

In 2009, I was invited to Kerala, south India, and my friend Arun and I held our first Communicative English Retreat with 15 students. We called this project "Jai Bhim Kerala".

Kerala 2009

From 2009 to 2016 JBI also supported Sakya Hostels, where 50 Dalit children live and study.

Sakya Hostels in Tamil Nadu

At our second retreat in Kerala, in 2010, we had 65 students, 50% young women. We practiced Communicative English, Public Speaking, Master Student Skills, and activities such as yoga, dance, music and meditation. We have held these retreats every December since then, for a mixed group of boys and girls.

Kerala 2010

Since 2007, many friends across the U.S. have supported our programs by volunteering, fundraising and mentoring our team.

Our volunteers, interns and mentors
Our fundraisers
Our Family Friends in Connecticut, the first investors in our projects.

In 2014, we launched our own school, Lokuttara Leadership Academy, where we teach English classes, lead public workshops and host community programs. Arun Boudh is the Director.

The Academy

In 2016, we built our own boys' hostel, where our Residential Students live.

The Hostel

Our Academy leads Communicative English workshops.

English Workshops

Since 2009 we have hosted an annual 6-Day Communicative English Retreat every December.

Our December Retreats

The Academy also offers other programs throughout the year.

Academy Programs

This year we plan to launch a new Residential Program for girls, in July.

Please join us in support of our new girls' hostel!

On Sunday April 23rd, JBI is hosting our ANNUAL INDIAN BRUNCH FUNDRAISER!

1-3 pm, at the New Delhi Restaurant, 160 Ellis Street. Tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at the door. Please join us, as a guest or as a volunteer!

We will be launching a new initiative this Summer, presenting our projects in a brand new way. Follow us for updates!

Jai Bhim!
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Dayamudra Dennehy

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