Frequently Asked Questions
What is AshaKiran?
AshaKiran is a non-profit, 501 (C) (3) organization and was formed in 2006 to fill a community need for the purpose of providing confidential, culturally sensitive assistance and services to South Asian and other foreign born origins in our community that are experiencing “crisis” situations. Due to language barriers and cultural stigmas, foreign-born individuals many not have anywhere to turn when faced with challenges such as domestic violence, sexual assault, developmental disabilities, loneliness, depression, abuse, violence or just need a friendly ear. Volunteers who share similar cultures and languages are available through a 24 hour crisis telephone line called AshaLine "Hope-Line."
What happens when I call AshaLine and how is the call kept confidential?
When you call, a trained AshaLine volunteer will give you information about services in the community to resolve the crisis. Your name and personal information will not be discussed even among the AshaLine volunteers and staff. The AshaLine volunteers sign strict confidentiality agreements and go through extensive training to handle the crisis calls in a caring and confidential manner. Call AshaLine if: you have a personal or family crisis, you have health issues that are critical, and need information on clinics and physicians that might suit your financial and cultural needs and concerns, you have a disabled child and are unsure about what services are available, you have domestic violence issues and need to know what your options are, you cannot speak fluent English and need an interpreter or translator, you need transportation in crisis, legal and/or immigrant situation(s), to name a few. If you are unsure, just give us a call and we'll be happy to address your specific need(s).
What communities are served by AshaKiran?
AshaKiran was founded to serve people in North Alabama and began serving those whom have their origins of South Asian origin (Indian subcontinent), as well as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. However, we now offer our culturally sensitive services to other foreign born individuals with origins in China, Africa, the Middle East, South America and Europe - regardless if you are American or from another country, we will not turn away anyone in need. We also actively engage the local community and provide cross-cultural sensitivity training for first responders.
Where does the money donated to AshaKiran go?
Money from donations and fundraising events are used to support the AshaLine, Emergency Shelter, Operations, Outreach/Workshops and, if requested, endowments. AshaKiran is run mostly by unpaid volunteers and a handful of staff.
Who can volunteer at AshaKiran?
Anyone can. You can volunteer your time for interpreting and translation services (be this by phone, in person, or for documents, etc.), transportation, events, education, take the training to answer calls as an AshaLine volunteer and many more. There are a lot of choices on how and when you can volunteer. If you choose to donate money without volunteering your time, that’s fine too. At AshaKiran, we keep the names of volunteers confidential unless they themselves choose to tell about their involvement with AshaKiran.