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Ghalili Family Gala opens hearts and minds

On December 3rd, on a sunny evening in Rancho Santa Fe, California, guests of the Ghalili family home were greeted with the sounds of harp and piano. Upon entrance, apple cider and appetizers were passed around as people built fellowship. An elaborate festive dinner was served before attendees took their seats. 


Nava Ghalili and family graciously opened their home to neighbors, friends, family, and some new faces to share with them Mona’s mission to education women and children around the world. Amid beautiful California landscapes, joyous company, and delectable food, guests were able to come together for a greater good. Ghalili reflected on the success of the event and said she “found that having an event in a home allows people to feel comfortable, especially when they know the family. There is a level of love, generosity and mutual trust. Everyone felt they were there to learn together with us, all as one”.


Four amazing young women volunteers played the music and helped with serving, as they wished to be part of an event that raised awareness about the importance of the role of education in the lives of girls and women, and guests loved to see the philanthropic nature and ambition in the next generation of Mona Supporters.  


Desserts were made so elegantly to fit the occasion by Nadia Mahalingam and her sister, Nika Campbell.


The unifying nature of this community gala encouraged people to step up from all around to donate items for an auction that fit the theme of the night: from jewelry, to Persian carpets and hair styling appointments. “It was a sign of true unity in wanting to come together to take ownership of supporting children around the world, children which we knew would be the future champions of their communities,” Ghalili says.“I truly learned that awakening our hearts to the importance of the education of girls to the progress of our rather dark society that we see today, is key.”


Guests talked about how they were motivated to give because of the inspiring, personal and heartfelt stories given by Mona Founder and Board President Mahnaz Javid, Board Member and esteemed actor Rainn Wilson, and Nava Ghalili herself. They were also very pleased to be made aware of the facts and figures that led them to understand what it truly does to a community when you educate a child, specifically a girl. 


“What stood out was everyone’s respect and love for each other and the cause that had brought them all together. People who could not afford to give even found a way to give in all different ways and were inspired to do it, which exhibited to us all a true spirit of love and sacrifice.” - Ghalili 


“We had the honor of having guests from around the San Diego region and some from Orange County and all said they felt at home and a sense of family community with everyone which is exactly what we wanted people to feel. We wanted people to take ownership of simple ways they can help contribute to the betterment of humanity, and to do it in a spirit of unity and fellowship.“


Following the event, Guests wrote to the Ghalili Family to thank them for a festive night that warmed their hearts and gave them the opportunity to learn and give, which the Ghalili family was very grateful to know of.


If you are interested in hosting an event for your community, or in learning more about upcoming events near you, send an email to, or sign up here to receive our newsletters.


Can’t make it to an event? You can still learn more about our work and read the stories of our students on our website, or donate today to give the gift of education to a woman or child, and impact lives for generations to come.


We want to extend a huge thank you to the hosts of the event, the Ghalili Family, and all those who attended and gave. Our work would not be possible without the generosity of dedicated supporters such as these.

"I truly learned that awakening our hearts to the importance of the education of girls to the progress of our rather dark society that we see today, is key" - Nava Ghalili