As an organization founded and led by women, Children’s Hope India (CHI) is dedicated to educating the girl child by launching innovative programs that promote accessibility to education while also removing barriers and stigmas impacting girls. So this April 6, while celebrating CHI’s 30th anniversary, the organization is launching the 30×30 Initiative, which will impact 5,000 young people at scale, and will take the girl child into special consideration by ensuring that at least 65% of enrollment is reserved for girls.
This year’s Woman of Distinction honoree is Mona Sinha, noted gender equality advocate and humanitarian.
Returning to an in-person format for the first time in two years, the CHI Luncheon will take place on May 18, 2021 at The Carltun in East Meadow, New York. The reception will begin at 11:30AM and will be followed by the luncheon and program from 12:00 – 2:00PM. The CHI benefit committee, which has been organizing this fun luncheon for 15 years, is Milan Devjani, Aarti Kamat, Moneesha Sani, Madhulika Shroff and Babita Advani and is chaired by CHI executive board member Kavita Lund.
This year’s event will raise critical funds to launch the 30×30 Initiative to create 30 Children’s Hope Education Centers across India. With support from Luncheon attendees, the Initiative will address gaps in the current education system, by providing education to 5,000 individuals including children under 6 years old and after school remedial education to prevent dropouts and support students in pursuing higher education.
“Since we founded CHI 30 years ago, we have been honored to partner with so many communities and schools to make a true difference in the lives of children,” said Dina Pahlajani, CHI’s president and cofounder. “This year, with our 30×30 Initiative, we are thrilled to celebrate our past by making a bold commitment to open 30 new Children’s Hope India Education Centers across India.”
In the 30 years since the organization was founded, it has touched 1,252,861 lives with learning opportunities, meals and nutrition, medical care, mental health support and emergency services in times of great need. The new 30×30 Initiative will scale the model CHI has built to address widening gaps in early childhood education and prevent the tremendous losses in learning caused by the pandemic.
Anuja Khemka, CHI’s executive director, says: “Now we have an incredible opportunity to take the learnings of the past 30 years and build new educational centers that meet the urgent need for early childhood and remedial education. The new initiative will scale the model CHI has built to address widening gaps in early childhood education and prevent the tremendous losses in learning caused by the pandemic.”
This luncheon also celebrates the many achievements of New York changemaker and catalyst Mona Sinha, and through her, the successes of many women who have found their true voice and strengths.
“Who better than Mona Sinha, who has labored so tirelessly on behalf of women and girls, to join us in doubling down on our commitment to lifting up vulnerable children and the girl child in particular,” says Moneesha Sani, CHI’s vice president and luncheon benefit committee member.
Mona Sinha, this year’s Woman of Distinction, has parlayed a career in finance (Morgan Stanley), marketing (Unilever) and restructuring (Elizabeth Arden/Unilever) to work at the intersection of social justice and women’s leadership. Mona is the founder of Feminist Circle Fund (funds gender equality), Raising Change (coaches non-profit leaders on mission-driven funding) and the Asian Women’s Leadership University project (bringing liberal arts pedagogy to Asia). She serves as Board Chair of Women Moving Millions, ERA Fund for Women’s Equality and Board Vice-Chair of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum. She is an executive producer of Disclosure, Sell.Buy.Date and My Name is Andrea. In 2022, Mona launched the Insight Circle Fund which catalyzes funding partnerships and invests in grassroots leaders, facilitating opportunities for individuals and organizations to connect and build communities that amplify equality.
The luncheon will also celebrate the many enterprising ventures of young women entrepreneurs who are showcasing their specialty wares and their vision in a colorful marketplace at the luncheon where a portion of the proceeds will go towards girls’ education at Children’s Hope India. These women entrepreneurs include Reena Mathur of Reemat Designs, Ranna Gill by Ranna Gill, Binita Shivdasani of Kaia Jewelry, Sonika Nanda of Shawls by Sonika, Janine Jeejeebhoy of Babaloo Baby, Priyal Kothari of Jewel Joy and Jharna Jaisinghani of Artistic Affairs.