Impact Inspire


Everyone has a story but the stories that are never forgotten are those ones that have an impact on people and societies. In recent times, philanthropy has proven to be a sure way of making an impact because it goes beyond helping people and as far as advancing a society and building a nation.

Very few persons have come to understand this and they are running with this vision. While others still see it as giving to the poor, these ones are looking forward to a future where the world will be rated very low in terms of poverty.

These great personalities are represented in diverse ethnic groups, tribes, nations, and regions, and the inspiring tales written about them can make anyone want to go the extra mile.

One of such kinds is the story of Jillian Haslam, a British entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker, and philanthropist, who was born and raised in India.

Jillian grew up in one of the slums in Kolkata, amongst 12 children born by Roland Terrance Haslam and Margaret Althea Haslam.

They are of the British descent but ended up in the worst kind of poverty because of her father’s love for the Indians and their culture.

Unfortunately, it turned out that Terrance’s love was not reciprocated as the Indians were yet to forget the struggles and pains they encountered during the British colonization.

After India gained independence, they became uncomfortable with the British presence in their country, at a later year; all Britain’s were asked to leave after the Partition in 1947. At that time, Terrance served as a captain in the British Army and has grown fond of the people and their way of living, he decides to stay back to raise his children with values of the country that he held in high regard. Unknown to him, he was making a wrong decision which would lead his family into abject poverty.

Things turned from bad to worse and to worst for the family, so baby Jillian had to grow up in the midst of excruciating poverty, unlike what most in any Western nation can fathom.

Although Britain, they were not accepted by the people, in fact, no Indian organization was interested in giving Jillian’s father a job, and as a result, their financial struggles expanded and they ravaged in poverty.  

They had to suffer starvation, diseases and health crises and as time went by, death called, she lost four (4) of her siblings.

Her story is very touching but the interesting part is that it didn’t end there because in the midst of all those challenging experiences, a woman with a dedicated heart for philanthropy born. The family situation got worsened by the day and it was very pathetic. However, something significant caught her attention which had to do with the help people offered at some point.

It takes a kind-hearted person to recognize any form of help as an act of love no matter how big or small.

Having gone through all those pain and struggles she knew she could only move forward by forgiving others, so she forgave all who had tormented her and was grateful for the help they had given in the midst of it.

Jillian managed to finish her secondary education from St. Thomas Girls School, at age 17. She soon moved to Delhi to stay with her elder sister who had managed to get a job as a secretary in a private company.

She also took a secretarial course and in 1990, she got a job in a private company on a monthly salary of Rs 900.

After a year, she got another job with a German firm at a payment of Rs 1,500 and she moved her mother who was now suffering from cancer to Delhi. She lost her mother  soon after, leaving them behind with their father.

Following her late mother’s health crisis, Jillian was caught up in huge debt; she had taken a year salary in advance in order to pay for her mother’s treatment. After the death of her mother, she had to work as a singer in restaurants for a whole year in order to pay the company back and sustain herself and two of her siblings.

Fortunately, in 1995, something cheering happened to Jillian. She was selected by Bank of America as an executive secretary to the CEO Ambi Venkateswaran, amongst 250 job aspirants who came for the interview.

Having joined the bank, she became active in the bank’s charitable department, her passion and skill quickly distinguished her, and before long she was made President of the Charity and Diversity Network in India for Bank of America, leading their work in four different cities.

In a short time, Jillian had made so much that she was able to move her family from India to Britain.

Things began to turn from sour to sweet and she was excited that the dream of giving back to the society will become a reality in a very short time.

She first founded a coaching and training company in the UK and she was involved in various avenues of philanthropy.

Eventually, Jillian took charge of the Remedia network of charities, which operates majorly in India and the UK.

The Remedia’s motto is, “Lifting the poor from every generation,” and it covers all age bracket from youngest infants to the oldest adults who had no health care and no one to cater for them.

The system was becoming overwhelming, being burdened by the huge amount of needs of the various people it was catering for, Jillian got involved with the system because she wanted to help move it forward.

The Remedia operates like a network, with different branches targeting specific segments of society, including the elderly, the disabled, children, young adults, girls, and women.

She has been dedicated to the system, operating the charities in India and the UK in collaboration with others who are a part of Remedia. She funds the charity with the money generated from her book sales, her motivational speaking and training seminars, and from donors and supporters.

Jillian often visits India, and the poor in other nations and the UK, to meet and spend time with them face to face. She touches them, laughs with them, listens, cries, and then she acts – finding a way to give a chance for a better life to the ones who have no chance.

In 2017, she was recognized and honored with the Mother Teresa Award. The award means so much to her and it is more humbling than others that she has received because it reminds her of the childhood days when she and her family were actually helped by Mother Teresa’s charities. They were on the receiving end of the life-sacrificing generosity of the greatest saint of the 20th century. And now, she’s been honored with an award named after Mother Teresa for her own philanthropic work in the same country.

Meanwhile, her impact has been seen and felt in the lives of many and she has also been honored with various philanthropy awards on almost a yearly basis. Some of her biggest honors include:

Asia Woman of the Year 2012, 1st Runner Up

Star Recognition Award 2015, UK

True Legend Award 2015, The Telegraph

Mother Teresa Award 2017

Hello, Kolkata Humanitarianism Award 2016.

There is nothing wrong with acts of philanthropy that are done because of wealth earned by an enterprising husband, or from a big inheritance, or from a compelled individual who has made great wealth on her own and is prompted to give back to the society, but Jillian is on a mission to see the injustice of poverty end for as many people as possible who still live today like she did all through her childhood.

By Miracle NWANKWO


Dayle Haddon is a Canadian model and actress, above all a humanitarian. Dayle was born 26 May 1948 and was raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Haddon speaks both English and French. As a child, she was enrolled in dancing classes to develop her physique, and she performed well enough to become a member of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens at 13, and was chosen Miss Montreal at 18.

Dayle, who was born naturally beautiful, lived an exemplary life of encouraging women to look beautiful irrespective of their age. In this regard, she is credited as an author of Ageless Beauty: A Woman’s Guide to Lifelong Beauty and Well-Being. Haddon is Jewish.

In September 2007, Dayle traveled to the Darfur region of Sudan, where she interviewed women and children in internally displaced peoples (IDP) camps over a five day period. The visit included briefings from UNICEF staff, as well as visits to UNICEF-supported child-friendly centers, water points, health centers, schools and income generation projects.

Additionally in her travels with UNICEF, Dayle has also toured hospitals and health facilities throughout Angola, and visited women and children in Bolivia. Upon her return from Bolivia, Dayle blogged on The Huffington Post about her visit and the changes UNICEF is seeking to bring about in fighting poverty, HIV/AIDS, and child abuse and in providing education.

Dayle’s real humanitarian journey began when in her career in the fashion and beauty industry. She travelled extensively to South America, Africa, and the Middle East where she came face-to-face with women from different cultures who shared horrific daily struggles. Empathizing with the stories she heard, Haddon realized quality education had the power to provide women with a chance to escape poverty and elevate their own voices, and in 2008, she founded WomenOne,(an NGO) designed to create  an international support system for women, by women. With a focus on education and holistic programming, WomenOne partners with institutions and community-based organizations to give girls the resources necessary to push back against financial and cultural barriers.

 Dayle has this to say herself, “I was in Angola visiting a rural clinic. Women had walked all night with babies strapped to their backs to reach the only medical facility for miles around. A doctor in the clinic pulled me aside and asked if I could help him. They needed two microscopes to do their work better. I assured him I would help, and gave his request to the head of our team. They told me the problem was too small for them. At that moment a light bulb went off, and I felt it was not too small for those women who had walked all night. I realized there was room for a smaller organization to work alongside the larger ones to make the best possible impact, and the idea for WomenOne, focused on global education for girls, was born”


Dayle Haddon found like-minds in the course of helping women and girl-child globally with Amy E. Hepburn, Gamze Ates, Susan Smith Ellis, Shayna Haddon, Carol J. Hamilton, and Amanda Gray Meral. Together in WomenOne, they form policies and programs that touch and shape the lives of women and the girl-child globally.

Through WomenOne, Haddon has partnered with Free the Child, an international charity, to provide scholarships for girls’ education in Kenya. Through her organization, she has raised and donated more than $150,000 for one of Free the Children all-girls secondary schools.

Dayle said this about what will be the focus of WomenOne in 2017. “To get more girls off the streets, and set up more programs – especially literacy programs and more competitive STEM [science, technology, engineering, math] programs. To reach out to more organizations, and bring more people on board. We currently partner with LVMH, the Canadian government, Apple, and L’Oreal, as well as a few smaller companies, but a big part of our mission is to bring new people in the arena, particularly those in the beauty industry, in aims of reducing the number of girls out of school globally. We really are one – this planet is getting smaller and smaller. We are united and connected, and we have to do this together”

By Akor Reuben


Contributing our quotas to making impact in the lives of others, and making a positive mark in the society is very important because it guarantees a better life for so many people across the globe. The impact we make in these lives, engraves us in the hearts of men even when you are not there.

Just like the story of the matriarch, late Winnie Mandela, who recently left the world and whose impacts will continue to speak because it benefitted millions of people, there are also other women whose selfless stories have been shared all over the world, even here on the impact inspire category of Amazons Watch. They have been tagged selfless because they chose to go the extra mile for others. They left their comfort zones to enable them impact in the lives of others.

One of such women is Tsitsi Masiyiwa, the woman behind one of Africa’s self-made billionaires. Tsitsi is the wife of Strive Masiyiwa, founder, and owner of Econet Wireless, One of Africa’s largest Telecommunications service providers. Within Tsitsi’s story, you will find a woman with a heart of gold, pursuing a unique vision and purpose.

Tsitsi Masiyiwa is from Harare, Zimbabwe, born on the 5th of January 1965, as the youngest of five sisters.

She completed most of her education in Zimbabwe, starting from the Chishawasha Primary School Harare, Zimbabwe, to the Dominican Convent School, where she completed her primary and secondary education respectively. She moved further to obtain a degree in business studies from the University of Zimbabwe and also an MBA (Master of Business Administration) in the same school.


In the 90’s, Zimbabwe experienced a surge of HIV/AIDS. During the periods of the disease outbreak, many lives were lost including breadwinners of various homes. At that time, her husband’s telecommunication business was already in existence, and many of their companies were greatly affected by the disease, having lost some of their employees to the disease, there were others who also lost some members of their families.

The disease outbreak was so intense on the people that Tsitsi and her husband always attended funerals of either an employee or a community member. At first, they attended funerals almost every month but it became dire that it moved to every week and it didn’t stop there, it became almost every day. And as lives were lost there was sorrow everywhere.

Tsitsi was broken as she watched the community and children of the lost employees grieve over the loss of their loved ones, and in the midst of that pain, she was filled with a burning desire to lend a helping hand. She took up the responsibility to support the young children and orphans whose happy lives were altered by the pandemic. She was dedicated to this mission and in 1996 she founded Higherlife Foundation with the help of her husband Strive.

Higherlife Foundation, since its inception, has been touching the lives of many children, giving them the opportunity to live again.

The foundation has also moved beyond Zimbabwe to other parts of Africa affecting the lives of thousands of children by providing them with tertiary scholarships to study in top ranking universities around the world. Higherlife Foundation runs one of the largest scholarship programs in Africa, supporting over 250,000, children in the African continent.

In 2008, during the Cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, the foundation supported the resuscitation of operations of the College of Medicine in Zimbabwe, and from 2008-2010 it provided food packs to starving families during drought periods.

Higherlife Foundation has over the years, restructured the foundation’s system to focus on seeking out orphans, vulnerable children, and highly talented students to nurture, and help them fulfill their potentials through education. This strategy has been successfully affected in Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Burundi, where the Foundation has expanded operations and has its in-country presence.


Besides her activities with the Higherlife Foundation, Tsitsi Masiyiwa has committed herself to other areas of philanthropy. In fact, she turns every business into a means of giving to the people. Much like her husband Strive Masiyiwa, she is driven by her passion for technology and innovation, however she is more interested in meeting needs than business.

This interest must be the reason behind the Muzinda Hub, an entrepreneurship and innovations project which she co-founded in Harare, Zimbabwe. Muzinda Hub is an incubator lab for youth digital skills development and business mentorship that leverages technology to promote youth entrepreneurship. It is the fastest growing tech hub in Sub Saharan Africa with more than 1,000 coders. The scale-up of Muzinda Hub initiatives is being supported by Econet Zimbabwe.

Tsitsi is also the founder of Ruzivo, an online interactive digital learning platform targeted at primary and secondary school students. This e-learning platform provides and facilitates the use of blended learning models in class. Ruzivo is designed in a way that it provides services to all students including those in most disadvantaged schools. It has zero-rated e-learning products, offering unique and high-quality educational content, exercises and tests developed locally, based on the Zimbabwean national curriculum to students across the country. Ruzivo disseminates its product in partnership with Econet Zimbabwe and Higherlife Foundation.

Other Philanthropic Activities

Through the story of Tsitsi Masiyiwa, you will discover that she is sold out to meeting societal needs with children and youths as her focus. Beyond her personal initiates, she has worked with many local and international organizations who are also interested in improving the livelihood of children, one of which includes her work with World Vision, Imbuto Foundation, Let Girls Learn, and fund, PATH.

She is also a member of the boards of director of PATH and ENDFund. She co-founded African Philanthropy Forum, a regional affiliate of Global Philanthropy Forum, and she is also a member of the Giving Pledge together with her husband.


Tsitsi is happily married to Strive Masiyiwa and the couple is blessed with six children.

A lifetime of investing in the lives of others is a better way of living an impactful life, each year we discover lists of individuals with a peculiar mindset recognized and celebrated across nations for their charitable works.

Rohini Nilekani is an Indian philanthropist, who has consistently been recognized for her continued efforts in filling up vacuums in her society.

Rohini carries the billionaire’s mindset which is filled with spreading her wealth to others in a bid to build a society that she can be proud of. Her philanthropy investments cut across different areas of human needs including; health care, food, sanitation, microfinance, and education, to mention a few. Little wonder she has consistently been listed on the Forbes Asia’s list for “Heroes of Philanthropy” over the past fifteen years.

The irony of life that explains how people often think that wealth as a final destination to achievement is they fail to realize that “Wealth comes with huge responsibility and is best deployed in the larger public interest,” said Rohini.

According to one of Asia’s renowned female philanthropist, Mei Hing Chak from Southern China, what the above statement means is “that the value of life is actually not measured by the amount of wealth you possess but by the contribution you make to the society.”

Rohini is the beautiful wife of Nandan Nilekani the chairman of Infosys, and the couple has been engaged in championing philanthropic activities in the last decade all over India.

She is a journalist who has spent several years in journalism, working with India’s leading publications such as Bombay Magazine, India Today, MINT and The Times of India.

Under her journalism career, Rohini is a profound personality with various achievements to show for it. She sits on the Board of trustees of ATREE, the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, an environmental think-tank in pursuing sustainable development.

She is also on the Eminent Persons Advisory Group of the Competition Commission of India, and she served as a member of the Audit Advisory Board of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India from 2010 to 2012.

In 2017, Rohini was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

As a journalist, she understands the cries of the masses and she looks forward to meeting those needs the way she can.

She started out with giving long before she came into the spotlights as a philanthropy figure in Asia. With the little she had, she gave to the poor, less privilege and supported young girls with scholarships.

She was so crucial to her charity that she set out to create an organizational structure to channel her giving.

In 2004, Rohini and her husband experienced a major turning point in their business that led to a massive financial increase, after a concise thoughtful thinking, she was sure of what to do with her wealth.

She decided to re-brand her little foundation – Arghyam, into an organization that is concentrating on a particular goal, thereby carving a niche that is different and unique from other foundation and philanthropic movement.

Although Arghram has been in existence since 2001 but in 2005 Rohini redirected Arghyam’s focus on providing clean and portable water for the people of India. Since she was not familiar with the water sector, she took a while to study the sector and also got acquainted with its systems which enabled her to discover the best ways to leverage her resources.

Over the last six years, Arghyam has supported a large number of domestic water and sanitation projects and NGOs in 19 states. The foundation has also ventured substantial sustainable development activities in environmental sectors such as reviving traditional water bodies and rainwater harvesting. Asides the Arghyam foundation, Rohini also has other strategic charity channels that meet other human needs, which she funds with the sole aim of bettering the lives of many (if not all) in India.

Other channels of Rohini’s philanthropic endeavors include:

Pratham Books, a non-profit publishing house of children’s books cofounded in 2004. This organization has succeeded in touching the lives of millions of children by putting ‘a book in every child’s hand” which is the sole aim of the organization.

EkStep, Co-Founded in 2014 with her husband, is a non-profit educational organization that provides open learning platform targeted towards 200 million children in India between the ages of five and 10 years.

In the year 2000, Rohini also founded the Akshara Foundation – a charity organization that provides quality education for underprivileged children in Bangalore, India.

Beyond these above mention NGOs founded by Rohini, there are many more channels through which she spreads her fortune to the society.

We live in a world where there is a great imbalance between the ‘have everything’ and the ‘have-nothing’ which leads to so much discrimination among humanity.

However, there are also very few persons who want to live their lives on a continuous course of bridging such gaps.

Rohini’s greatest pursuit is to bridge the wide gap between the ‘have-everything’ and the ‘have-nothing’ in the society.

She believes that good governance starts from the people, and is the responsibility of the people to create a government of their own: “We cannot be mere consumers of good governance; we have to co-create it,” she argued.

She constantly reminds herself that she is lucky and she has a lot to do for the society.

This explains why Philanthropy is seen as a billionaire’s mindset, because all billionaires love investment, and philanthropy is investing in lives.

“The value of life is actually not measured by the amount of wealth you possess but by the contribution you make to society,” said Mei Hing Chak.

In this week’s segment of rural diamond, we will be showcasing the philanthropic activities of a compassionate humanitarian from southern China – Mei Hing Chak.

Chak was born in Guangdong province of southern China, into a humble household in one of the country’s more prosperous regions. She was raised like every normal child and was taught to live an honest and grateful lifestyle.

She grew up with the belief that “The value of life is not measured by the amount of wealth you possess but by the contribution you make to society”, and with this Chak has spent the better years of her life and wealth showing compassion to vulnerable people in her country.

A self – made businesswoman whose strides and successes in commerce and philanthropy are exceptional, she veered into the field of business after her high school education, instead of choosing the path to a college education, and she has never had a moment of regret about her that choice. Chak took a little loan from her mother to start up her own small garment business, though very small at the time, the business blossomed providing valuable opportunity to gain expertise, which inspired her to delve into other fields including the furniture industry.

Intelligent and resourceful, in business management, one profound scenario played as a major milestone to her company’s growth, Chak left the comfort of her home to live in the factory with her employees in order to follow her organization closely and save cost. This spectacular decision caused a huge increase in the company’s expansions, placing it among the largest furniture logistics enterprises in China. Enlightened by the growth potentials of her company, Chak also gained an insight into the lives of the ordinary people.

Motivated by her concern about the society, she dedicated her resource to meet various needs of the society by donating her money, time and resources to charitable causes. In the hopes that philanthropy will become a social custom in China, Chak company, the Heungkong Group established and funded the Heungkong Charitable Foundation, China’s first national-level foundation founded by the private sector, in 2005.

Through Heungkong Charitable Foundation Chak has been able to meet different needs in 18 provinces and cities in China. The foundation is committed to providing assistance in areas of education, poverty alleviation, and rescue and disaster relief.  It has steadfastly helped people in need and explored the way to sustainable development.

This unique character of Chak has given her a name amongst other Chinese women, as the Country’s first lady of philanthropy. She also received the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in recognition of her philanthropic work but most importantly following the foundation’s “Five 1000” program; to build 1,000 libraries, helping 1,000 disadvantaged students, and leading 1,000 activities manned by volunteers, a major act that has rescued many underprivileged children in China from a lifetime of illiteracy.

She became the first Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy recipient in mainland China and the second Chinese recipient following Li Ka-Shing.

The award is a good definition of “giving honor to whom honor is due” following her rigorous impact in giving hope to many hopeless people in China.

Chak has other plans to meet numerous societal needs and she seems to be taking them one at a time.

A life of success is not termed an achievement until impact is made. Impact is to meet the needs of others directly or indirectly, it is to benefit others through your success and also to positively affect the life of others through your journey in life.
While a number of people are aware of this phenomenon, a large number have left this ideology behind. Speaking of those who are fully aware of this great advantage, let’s consider Leila Janah who is a sun setting on some rural parts of the world.
Janah is the daughter of Indian immigrants who left Mumbai in the late 70’s to the United States in search of a greener pasture. Her parents were learned and had no intentions for education in the states but to raise their standard of living which was a priority.
On getting to US they had their first child Leila on the ninth of October 1982 in Lewiston, New York, near Niagara Falls. Janah was raised in San Pedro, Los Angeles, California in a poor family; she had an unpleasant growing up based on the financial crisis her family suffered at that time.
Her mom who is half-Belgian had a degree in English literature before leaving Mumbai, her father studied engineering but both their certificates were not recognized which led them to struggle for their living.
Janah had to babysit and do other jobs including tutoring to earn a living as a teenager, however through it all she was determined and focused to make life perfect for herself; though she encountered difficulty in climbing the ladder to success but over time she made it.
During her years of struggles, she won a scholarship while schooling at the California Academy of Mathematics, at that time she was 17, the scholarship came through the American Field Services, but Janah desired to spend her scholarship years in Ghana she tried convincing them to allow her spend it teaching in Ghana. She was granted her request and she moved to Ghana where she spent 6 months during her senior year of high school.
While in Ghana, Janah helped tutor young students in the village of Akuapem English language because she had gathered a very practical experience in teaching, which was one of the jobs she did to earn a living back in the United States.
Many of the children whom she taught were disabled in their sight but her experience in Ghana left a mark in her. The teaching experiences in Ghana left her with a burning desire to work for the poorest society in Africa, and many other under-privileged parts of the world.
At this point her humanitarian journey had begun to bear foot print unconsciously. Leila began a continued visit to Africa during her college days.
Grace continued to shine on her and she received admission to study African Development Studies in Harvard University, graduating in 2005. With so much enthusiasm for Africa, she conducted a fieldwork in Mozambique, Senegal and Rwanda while studying in Havard. She consulted to and authored papers for the World Bank’s Development Research Group and Ashoka on social and economic rights.
After graduating from Harvard, she got a job to work as a management consultant with Katzenbach Partners. The job brought a major turning point in her life that established her dreams.
The nature of her job was for her to pay attention to healthcare, mobile and outsourcing companies. While in Katzenbach, she was given a major assignment that opened a link for her to her motherland. The assignment entails managing a call center in Mumbai. She moved to India to begin her assignment when she met a young man who traveled each day by rickshaw from Dharavi, one of the largest slums in South Asia, to work at the center. The situation caught her attention and having to remember her experience in Ghana, she was inspired to proffer a solution.
While thinking of a suitable solution, she resigned from Katzenbach Partners in 2007 to become a visiting scholar at Stanford University with the Program on Global Justice, founded by law professor Joshua Cohen.
She won a business-plan competition at Stanford of $14,000, with that, she already had a solution to the problem of poverty.
She took the money and launched out to establish Samasource (Sama is Sanskrit for “equal”) in 2008. Samasource is a non-profit business with the aim to meet the needs of poor individuals and reduce global poverty through job provision. It involves sourcing people in Africa and Asia to perform digital tasks for companies like Google and LinkedIn. Ever since the inception of Samasource, it has been a huge success, imparting the lives of over 32,265 people.

However, there was a need to enlighten the people, so in 2013, she established Samaschool, a learning arm of Samasource that provides digital skills training and a connection to internet-based jobs that pay a living wage.
In 2012, Janah went on to launch Samahope; a platform that directly sponsors the medical treatments for women and children in poor communities. Samahope is the first of its kind and is in partnership with Johnson & Johnson’s new global health platform, Caring Crowd, at the end of 2015.
Based on her humanitarian service and philanthropic works, she has been recognized and honored in many ways including being the Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, recipient of the inaugural Club de Madrid Young Leadership Award.
Janah is also the co-founder of LXMI, luxury skin care brand, a business that proffers beauty and skin solutions. In 2014, she received a Heinz Award being, the only young person amongst the nominees, and many other honors and awards.

Topics on domestic violence as one of the major challenges women are faced in the world today, has taken center stage in women conferences and meetings. Governments of the world have begun to push legislative actions geared towards protecting women. In the midst of all the drama regarding women’s right and advocacy, philanthropist like Indrani Goradia, have laid out all they have, money, time and energy to eradicate the abuse which greatly affects most women and girls.

Indrani Goradia is a survivor of domestic violence from Trinidad and Tobago, and of Indian descent where gender-based violence is not taken seriously and victims are afraid to speak out even though they are dire need of help. She had suffered from the menace as a child and young adult, but has chosen to spend the rest of her championing the crusade against the abused girls and women, while catering for victims of such a circumstance in several countries around the world.

Growing up in Trinidad, Indrani was one of the bright students at her school. She loved learning and in like manner excelled academically. At home, she suffered the pains of being abused and would turn to her books enjoy temporary happiness- this was her only method of escaping the pain she felt as a child.

These childhood experiences lived with her for many years even as she turns into an adult. But they also triggered the awakening of her inner philanthropic desire- to meet the need of women or children experiencing abuse.

After an unpleasant childhood experience in Trinidad, she left Asia for New York City where she completed her formal education attending Queens College and Kent State University.

Indrani was diagnosed with depression at the age of fifty (50), but despite the diagnosis, she created a solution for herself and others.

In the midst of the darkness she made light, she decided to turn the depression into determination tilted towards rescuing others out of violence related problems.

As part of efforts to get her life back on track, she signed up for the Olympic distance triathlon which entails learning how to swim. Indrani did very well in the game and  this earned a medal.

At that point, she began to perceive life from a different perspective and her life constantly underwent healing. This testimony was Indrani’s zeal to reach all girls and women all over the world who are imprisoned with the stigmas of domestic violence, giving them an opportunity of a renewed life out of the gloom.

She took a step further by partnering with the global health organization, Population Services International (PSI), a leading global health organization involved with tackling malaria, child survival, HIV, reproductive health, gender-based violence, and non-communicable disease. She also partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2013 to accomplish what she desires for the lives of girls and women.

She once committed $5 million to PSI to end gender-based violence in India and Trinidad & Tobago.

Indrani got so involved with the PSI mission that she became part of the Founding Member of Maverick Collective, a philanthropic arm of PSI that advocates for the eradication of extreme poverty by investing in girls and women.

A year after she joined these organisations, she launched the Indrani’s Light Foundation in partnership with PSI to improve the health and rights of girls and women and eradicate gender-based violence all over the world.

The foundation started with tackling the problem within her diaspora community in Houston, Texas before expanding to several other places.

Currently, Indrani’s Light Foundation has succeeded in addressing gender-based violence in the United States, India, and Trinidad (Indrani’s home country) since its inception in 2014.

Through her foundation, many women have been encouraged to live meaningful lives free of abuse and violence.

Indrani is  an expert speaker on violence against women, she has consistently addressed the United Nations and TEDx in such matters, while proffering solutions towards tackling the problem – a case in point is the “Orange the World” campaign.


She engages in global discussions with prominent and influential leaders and inspires worldwide donors to support GBV.

Indrani is a pacesetter whose work with the PSI has been copied and used as an example for other advanced projects. She has helped in leveraging future government funding and has changed the normal way of health services and products are delivery.

She is a happy wife, mother, and leader.



Source: Staff Writer