Mona Foundation Canada was formed by a group of Canadians who know and appreciate the valuable mission of Mona Foundation in promoting education and gender equality globally. We also believe that the keys to alleviating poverty are universal education, gender equality, and community building. Mona Foundation Canada is a sister organization to Mona Foundation Seattle. Our relationship is one of consultation, collaboration and mutual reciprocity of two independently constituted yet sister organizations who draw their inspiration from the same source, share common goals, values and guiding principles, and who leverage each other’s experience, resources and learning in the field to optimize impact and effectiveness.
Mona Foundation Canada is a registered charity. The purposes of Mona Foundation Canada are:
For more inforamtion, contact Caroline@monafoundation.ca, or Geraldine@monafounation.ca.
While in the past several decades we have made progress, poverty still impacts 80% of our world population. World Bank confrims that $1 invested in education and skills equals $10 in economic growth.
Our approach and framework to development act as a guide and influences the way we think of social action and change. At the heart of this framework lie our beliefs about the nature of human beings.
As of 2016 statistics, 767 Million live on less than $1.90/day, 6 Billion people live on less than $10/day, and 18% of world’s 7 Billion people cannot read or write.
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world," and one of the most critical investments we can make. Education is the key to reducing poverty, eliminating gender inequality, and creating a sustainable planet. “It is a proven fact that education is one of the most powerful instruments for reducing poverty and inequality and lays a foundation for sustained economic growth.
The principles that guide our work are Baha’i inspired and universal in their nature and include:
Oneness of the world of humanity – that each person, regardless of economic status, has the right, the capacity and the responsibility to be the main actors of the process of their own development, and contribute to the betterment of their communities.
Coherence of material and spiritual dimensions of human reality– that development should not only be defined by materials goals, e.g. the building of the infrastructure or academic achievement, rather, and perhaps more importantly, by the degree to which the participants in the process are commmitted to spiritual values such as justice and equality, and have the moral capabilities such as integrity, trustworthiness, etc. needed to serve their own interests and also contribute to the betterment of their communities.
Equality of men and women – that community development can only happen when men and women have and enjoy equal rights and opportunities and equally participate in this process.
We support program components that ensure students excel academically and ethically to serve and contribute to their communities' sustained positve change.
Mona Foundation Canada currently supports three projects: Zunuzi School in Haiti, Barli Institute in India, and Badi School in Panama.
Work with local organizations who know best how to meet the needs of their communities to provide access to education through scholarships and educational supplies. Why build classrooms and provide scholarships? Because 57 million children around the world are out of school — and the majority of these are girls. We also know what every extra year of primary school, a girl’s wages increase on average 10 – 20 percent. Additional classrooms increases the enrollment capacities of the schools we support so more children can attend school. Scholarships enables the children from marginalized families access and receive quality education.
Empower Women and Girls
We believe women empowerment has multiplier effects and benefits for all. Girls empowerment programs teach students how to question established traditions and practices, and ‘social norms (e.g. early childhood marriage, no schooling for girls, etc.,) while also learning to think about the issues independently, give voice to their thoughts and use their own experience and feelings as a valid source of knowledge. Empowerment enables girls and women to equally participate in, and contribute to the betterment of their communities. When women are empowered and earn income, they spend 90% of it on family and directly impact the economic growth of their communities.
We emphasize and support teacher training, particularly focused on the empowerment of women and girls to ensure quality of learning and commitment to service. Why focus on teacher training? Teacher training is essential to quality of teaching and learning if we are to realize the benefits of education. While access to education has improved in the past several years, evidence shows that children from poor families, rural areas, marginalized groups, and girls still face significant barriers to getting a quality education and lack the basic skills they need to earn an income. Trained teachers ensure quality learning.
Zunuzi School in Haiti
Anis Zunuzi Baha'i School is an oasis of hope in the midst of chaos outside its walls. Offering excellent academics, arts and music and Youth Empowerment Programs to connect the students to, and restore their pride in their cultural identity, the school educates 355 K-12 students, of whom 55% are girls.
Anis Zunuzi continues to prioritize providing students with a good academic education that is in line with the Haitian Ministry of Education, and a strong moral education that fosters individual and community transformation. These complementary educational efforts support the education of girls and boys in a manner which supports both material and spiritual prosperity for the individual, their families and communities. Unlike many schools in Haiti, Anis Zunuzi unwaveringly promotes a violence-free environment of learning. The school continues to see a high passing rate of state exams. The 9th grade exam was passed by 91% of Anis Zunuzi 9th graders.
What we support: Scholarship for students. $50/month support one student for the entire year.
Badi School, Panama
Badi School started in 1993 as a kindergarten in the carport of a trailer home. The school is now a K-12 school serving more than 396 students, of whom 57% are girls, and is recognized for excellence in academics, arts, music and technology programs impacting the lives of thousands in the neighboring communities.
From its start in 1993 as a kindergarten in a carport, Badi School has grown into an impressive K-12 institution and has been recognized for excellence, both in Panama and internationally by the Ibero-American Council on Education (comprised of universities and other educational organizations from Spain, the U.S. and Latin America) as one of the best. Recognized not only for its excellent academic education but also for its outstanding programs in arts, music, computer technology, and community service.
Despite their disadvantaged backgrounds, Badi School students have earned the highest scores in national exams, won awards in the arts and film and have been accepted at prestigious universities in Panama and the U.S., many with scholarships because of their excellent academic record and history of community service.
What we support: Scholarship for students. $50/month support one student for the entire year.
Barli Institute for Development Rural Women, Indore, India
Barli educates and empowers young, rural women to lead the social and economic development of their communities. Based in Indore, the Institute has so far trained more than 8,200 young women from 830 villages. 94% of Barli graduates contribute to the income of their families.
Each year, Barli trains 109 young women and girls from underserved communities through a six-month residential program using local teachers and trainers from among their peers. It is a holistic curriculum with experiential and hands-on classes: literacy, health and hygiene including HIV, transfer of solar technology, organic agriculture, overall personality and social development through a specially-designed, “Developing Myself and My Community” curriculum, gender equality and income-generating skills like stitching and tailoring to contribute to the process of personal and social transformation and sustainable community development.
At the end of the training Program, interested and eligible trainees appear in the Cutting & Tailoring examination conducted by National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), an institution under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. In 2017, Barli trained 218 girls of whom 94% now contribute to the income of their families.
What we support: Scholarship for girls. $30/month provides for education, food, board, tailoring certification of one girl, impacting 100 people upon graduation.
Giving Circles offer an opportunity for members to take a more hands-on approach to philanthropy - learn more about a project, and then follow its progress to see the impact of their efforts.
A Junior Youth Group in Vancouver was inspired tby the stories they heard and decided to support Mona by fundraising for the Barli Institute in India. They chose baking as their platform for service and raised $700!
Here are a two examples.
Squamish Giving Circle has hosted yard sales, musical coffee houses and family home-cooked meals. These events are geared towards people who have never heard about the Mona Foundation, drawing them to an event they enjoy and combining it with an opportunity to learn about the work of Mona. These small efforts make people curious and often result in participants wanting to become more engaged.
The Vancouver Women’s Group was formed by Irene Mansouri in 2011 to bring women together for a social and spiritual gathering on the first Thursday of every month. 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 51 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.”
Interested in initiating your own service project and forming a circle? Contact us: Geraldine Guilfoyle, email@example.com, or Caroline Khazei, firstname.lastname@example.org. We can support you withinformation and promotional material materials.
to educate rural women in Indial 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.