The World Bank data amply demonstrates that education is one of the most powerful instruments for reducing poverty and inequality and lays a foundation for sustained economic growth.
Investing in women is often found to be the most effective means to reducing poverty everywhere. World Bank data demonstrates that gender equality and economic development are inextricably linked.
The individuals most affected are those most ready to affect change. They are the most capable of analyzing and defining the community needs, respecting cultural values, and leading sustained positive change.
Mona Foundation was founded in 1999 by a small group of people committed to making life better for all of our children. The Foundation supports grassroots educational initiatives that provide education to all children, increase opportunities for women and girls, and emphasize service to the community. Our goal is to alleviate global poverty and support community led transformation such that no child ever goes to bed hungry, is lost to preventable diseases, or is deprived of gift of education for lack of resources.
We believe that the keys to alleviating poverty are universal education, gender equality, and community building. We also believe that regardless of who they are or what their economic status is, people have the right and the responsibility to lead the development of their own communities. The programs we support have proven records of success, backed by the local community. Since 1999, Mona has awarded more than $10 million to 35 educational initiatives in 18 countries, providing access to quality education and training for more than 246,000 students, teachers and parents. Three principles guide our work:
Everyone deserves the opportunity to receive a quality education. The World Bank data confirms over and over again that universal education is one of the most powerful instruments for reducing poverty and inequality and lays a foundation for sustained economic growth. Mona Foundation finds locally operated programs that educate people of all backgrounds and raise the status of girls and women. We believe that sustainable development is a process of individuals, communities, and institutions building capacity—where local people lead the process of their own development. Educated communities are healthier, more sustainable, and less vulnerable to economic volatility.
Providing equal educational opportunities to girls and women yields a higher rate of return than any other investment that can be made in the developing world. Equality not only guarantees basic rights, it enables girls and women to have a voice and equally participate in the development of their own communities. It is also vital to promoting the robust, shared growth needed to end extreme poverty. World Bank data demonstrates that gender equality and economic development are inextricably linked. Studies show that providing educational opportunities specifically for girls and women has a direct effect on a nation’s economic development.
“Educating girls is the most powerful and effective way to reduce global poverty.”
A core value of Mona Foundation is the belief in Oneness of Humanity. In practice, this means that we believe all people have the right, capacity and the responsibility to lead themselves and their communities. The individuals most affected are the ones most ready to affect change. Supporting communities in their own self-advocacy promotes empowerment, rather than dependency. Many students we support work with their communities to establish literacy programs, women health centers, parental trainings, cleanliness drives, tree plantations, and many other programs that stimulate harmony and community building in their communities.
Mona is our Malala, except that Malala lived after the attempt on her life and Mona did not. Mona was 17 years old when she was arrested and later executed in 1983 in Iran for her beliefs as a Baha'i and for teaching children's classes. Mona loved children and had volunteered in an orphanage since the age of thirteen. Her youth and courage and dedication to justice, education and service inspired us to name the foundation after her.