Mona Foundation has enjoyed the support of a number of Canadian friends in the past several years. Most significantly; the non-profit organization, International Emergency Medicine Education Association (IEMEA) partnered with the Mona Foundation to assist in meeting the needs of Anis Zunuzi School in Haiti, and helped build a beautiful community center on its grounds. Vancouver Women’s Group has been supporting Mona Foundation since 2012. Since its inception the group has raised sufficient funds to provide scholarships to 33 students at Zunuzi. To formalize the activities of the friends of Mona in Canada, and scale the base of support, four very committed friends of Mona Foundation, Caroline and Afzhin Khazei along with John and Geraldine Guilfoyle, consulted with Mona Foundation Board and with the help of Diba Majzub submited the application as a non–profit organization in accordance with the B.C. Societies Act. Mona Foundation Canada received its Certificate of Incorporation on October 27, 2016.
Interested in initiating your own service project and joining the circle? Contact Geraldine Guilfoyle, Geraldine@monafoundation.org or Caroline Khazei, Caroline@monafoundation.org. We will support you with information and promotional materials and will do everything possible to make your service project a success.
Mona Foundation assists community-led educational initiatives to provide quality education, especially for girls, and over time to build capacity to address community development at greater and greater levels of complexity. A key to positive community transformation lies in universal education and gender equality. Lives are transformed when students not only strive for excellence in academics, arts and sciences, but also learn and commit to give back and serve their communities so everyone can grow and prosper. This is the singular mission of Mona, which is made possible through its supporters.
Mona Giving Circles offer an opportunity for members to take a more hands-on approach to philanthropy, to learn from each other, and in so doing, multiply the impact of their collective support for a particular project to which they have committed. In consultation with Mona Foundation, Anis Zunuzi School in Haiti was chosen as our first project to support.
Why Anis Zunuzi?
Adopting Anis Zunuzi as our first collective project to support was a natural choice as many of the Vancouver area supporters of Mona Foundation had a knowledge and interest in this school. Some had been long-term supporters of the school but were unaware that other individuals in the area had also been supporting the school. Some group members had visited the school and had been struck by the atmosphere, educational approach and the impact it was making on the surrounding area.
More about Anis Zunuzi
For the last several years, the Mona Foundation has provided scholarship support and funds for capital improvement for Anis Zunuzi. Schools are not sponsored by the government in Haiti.
Anis Zunuzi is a not for profit school run by a local board with oversight provided by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Haiti. It follows the national curriculum and provides additional training in spiritual education, leadership development and musical literacy.
Most families cannot afford to send their children to school unless they receive scholarships or educational support. Nationwide, less than 22% of children graduate from primary to secondary school, but with the help of the Mona Foundation, 97% of middle school and 80% of high school students are able to continue their studies and graduate from Zunuzi. Forty-three students received full scholarships to attend the school in 2016, but the staff at Zunuzi and the Mona Foundation had the goal to see that number increase to 72 students by the end of 2016. The school is also looking to raise money for new textbooks, dictionaries, and literature in 2016, as well as expanding its summer camp to include kindergarten students. There is a capital requirement to rebuild the perimeter wall around the grounds, in order to provide students and staff with greater security.
Goals of the Giving Circle
Interested in initiating your own service project and joining the circle? Contact us. We can support you with information and promotional materials. Geraldine Guilfoyle, Geraldine@monafoundation.org or Caroline Khazei, Caroline@monafoundation.org.
The underlying basis for all activities of IEMEA stem from the belief that the keys to improved health and social conditions lie in universal access to education for children and health care workers. Education of local health care providers is a method of capacity building that has long term benefit to under-resourced communities. As one strategy to raise human resources and in service to the community, IEMEA offers training seminars and courses to educators, as well as to those interested in becoming involved in the development of their own communities. These courses generate funds, which are used to support education in under-resourced countries.
IEMEA has supported schools in: Vanuatu, Nepal and Haiti. Most recently, IEMEA has partnered with the Mona Foundation to assist in fundraising to meet the needs of Anis Zunuzi School in Haiti. For more information visit www.iemea.org.
The purpose of these monthly meetings is for a group of women to come together to socialize and discuss educational and spiritual topics that may be of interest to the group. Mrs. Fereshte Lotfijo kindly organizes these meetings and prepares both the social and spiritual portions of the program.
Consisting of about 20 members at its start, the group has grown to 30 regular members who also may bring other friends as guests along for the events. Ms. Mansouri first shared Mona Foundation’s work with the group in 2011. The group members were immediately inspired, and wanted to help. The women decided they would dedicate a portion of their meeting each week to raising funds and providing scholarships for students at Anís Zunúzi school in Haiti.
Shahin Dehghani serves as the group’s treasurer, which means that each month she brings a gold box to the meeting to pass around for donations while she tells the stories of children at Anís Zunúzi and provides the latest updates on students. To-date, the Vancouver Women’s Group has provided 33 scholarships to students at Anís Zunúzi!
Mrs. Dehghni believes that the group keeps on growing because everyone enjoys being together to socialize and share meals, and at the same time focus on helping deserving children with no access to education. The group really enjoys the experience of being together. “We usually finish the meetings at around 2:30 or 3 in the afternoon, but nobody wants to leave. They want to linger and talk,” Mrs. Dehghani says, “We are in awe of the generosity and support from the Vancouver Women’s group, and are proud that the work of Mona Foundation is being recognized and supported by a group which truly demonstrates the values of community, education, and fun altogether.”
It is said that "Youth Can Move the World." We certainly believe this, and hope that with the example of service set by this group of wonderful youth others will be inspired to do the same.
Interested to help and form your own youth group? Please contact us: Geraldine Guilfoyle, Geraldine@monafoundation.org; or Caroline Khazei, Caroline@monafoundation.org. We can support you with information and promotional materials and help you get set up to start building a better world for everyone, one person at a time.
Mia Dickinson and Sheida Moghaddam, shown in the picture, are two members of this Circle and hold special events in support of Anis Zunuzi School. Two events were held, combining cultural sharing and food with a slide presentation on Mona Foundation and Anis Zunuzi School. The events raised $2000 with 11 participants at the first event and 15 at the second event.