“It is our duty… as humanitarian organizations, as simple citizens of the world, to do what is expected of us, which is to show our shared humanity.”*
Although the secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross was speaking specifically about the refugee crisis in Europe and the urgency needed for action there, his message of a common humanity shared by everyone on this planet is one Asia Initiatives and its supporters identify closely with, whether the issue be education, sanitation, maternal mortality, self-defense, food security, farming, water and wells, child care, or access to financial markets. Whether in Asia, Africa, or the Americas, each of us, as “simple citizens,” can play a role. We may not be able to cure the ills of the world, but, by pooling, and targeting, resources, we can do something to make life just a little better for a woman, a girl, a family, a village.
We invite you to don your donor cap for Asia Initiatives’ 15th anniversary gala in New York City, on Monday, October 12, 2015. It’s not just a party although there will of course be food and entertainment and lively conversation in an elegant setting, including a dance performance, Bollywood dancing, stories from the field, and the long-awaited live SoCCs game plus a winner of the game! Geeta Mehta, founder and president of Asia Initiatives, has a progress report for our guests on AI’s rapidly expanding SoCCS pilot projects in India, Ghana, Kenya, Costa Rica, and the United States. This will be followed by an awards ceremony and discussion, at which time our guests of honor, Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, and Nirmal Mattoo, nephrologist and philanthropist, will receive the third annual M. S. Swaminathan Award for Lifelong Commitment to Social Justice.
This event is about the fund-raising. During the cocktail hour, guests will have an opportunity to bid in the silent auction. To see what’s already in the line-up, please click here. For the live auction, we have, so far, a Japanese tea ceremony in a nature preserve up the Hudson River, dinner at Devi (New York) with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and three days in Delhi in a luxury apartment. We are counting on a lively paddle-raiser as well.
Please know that every dollar we raise counts, whether for tickets, auction items, or paddle-raiser, and goes, under careful stewardship, toward improving the lives of someone, somewhere, like these smiling women in Ahmedabad, India, who, with funding from AI, were able to establish self-help groups plus a resource center as a safe place for vulnerable girls.
Join us on Monday, October 12, at the New York Athletic Club, from 6:30 p.m., as we celebrate 15 years of doing our duty as a humanitarian organization, and simple citizens of the world, acknowledging our common humanity. For details, and information on tickets, please see www.asiainitiativesgala.org
– Anne Papantonio, Board Member
*Elhadz As Sy, on the PBS NewHour, Sept. 21, 2015.