The HUGGS' program is located in Visakhapatnam (Vizag), India, where our students live and where HUGGS sponsorships are awarded and administered.
Since 2006, the HUGGS program has been administered in India through SNEHA (Society for Nurture, Education and Health Activities), an Indian NGO. HUGGS in India is managed by an Administrator and a Coordinator, under the direction of the Board of Directors, with valuable advice provided by an Indian based Consultant.
The Indian Administrator for HUGGS Canada, David Benjamin of SNEHA, is responsible for the disbursement of all finances and for the overall work of HUGGS in India.
Full-time HUGGS Coordinator Madhu Latha is responsible for the welfare of all the students including liaising with the families and schools. She has full responsibility for all aspects of the HUGGS Study Centre (HSC) and related programs for the students.
Student Selection Process
HUGGS Canada selects students every year from eligible Grade 10 graduates. Once a student has been accepted HUGGS provides the resources necessary for each one to succeed. To identify those with potential to succeed in academic studies, HUGGS requires student applicants to have an average final Grade 10 mark of 75%.
Application forms are distributed to students in designated schools in Vizag.
- In January, applications are reviewed, and those eligible for sponsorship receive a home visit from the Coordinator.
- The team conducts interviews, with a HUGGS Canada representative in February.
- Selected students submit their Grade 10 final exam marks in May.
- Final selection for student sponsorship is completed in June and students receive confirmation of their sponsorship.
Students continue to receive HUGGS support for six years, as long as they maintain the HUGGS academic requirements of a 70% grade. A variety of educational options are available to them.
Most HUGGS students begin at Junior College, also referred to as Intermediate College. This is a two-year program equivalent to Canadian Grades 11 and 12.
Polytechnic College - Diploma
Some HUGGS students choose a three-year program at a Polytechnic College, which they can start immediately after Grade 10. This Diploma qualifies students for engineering technician jobs, or gives them the option of a lateral transfer into an Engineering Degree, which HUGGS is unable to sponsor due to the high cost.
After completing Junior College students have a variety of options for their three or four-year Bachelor’s Degree studies at institutions that are affiliated with Andhra University.
A sixth year of HUGGS support is available to students who wish to focus on career studies. The popular choices include B.Ed. (teacher training) and specialized computers courses.
During the two month summer break students attend courses to improve their English and Computer Skills.
HUGGS Canada is a registered Canadian charity, empowering youth through education in South East India. HUGGS focuses on promising young people who have the ability to excel in education, but are without the resources to study beyond Grade 10.
Thanks to our generous donors, we sponsor young people in Visakhapatnam (Vizag), to complete their secondary and post-secondary education. Students are selected based on financial need, academic ability and family encouragement.
Today more than 30 HUGGS graduates are working in their communities in careers including nursing, teaching, engineering, finance and computing.