The Sasha G.M. Shaikh Foundation was established in honor of my brother Sasha who passed away on May 18th, 2012. Sasha was an impassioned advocate for vulnerable women and girls and implored us to do more.
On behalf of the Sasha G.M. Shaikh Foundation, I would like to share some exciting news with you. The Foundation has now been accepted by the Internal Revenue Service as a non-profit organization as described in Section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code.
As a result, you may now be able to receive a tax deduction on donations made to the foundation after March 18, 2013. We encourage you to consult with your tax advisor regarding the tax deductibility of any charitable contribution.
The Sasha G.M. Shaikh Foundation is dedicated to creating a safe environment for women and girls, free from gender-based violence, exploitation, and similar human rights violations. The foundation provides support to other U.S. based 501c3 non-profit organizations that help women and girls in need. We select grant recipients that support our mission and vision and take inspiration from issues close to Sasha’s heart.
Sasha once wrote:
“All people deserve equal protection under international conventions; as such no questions should be asked when a woman is subjected to sexual violence.”
In 2014 we made a contribution of $2,000 to the Malala Fund, an organization whose mission is safe education for all girls. Further, we supported the Sasha G.M. Shaikh Memorial Scholarship at Tufts University at the $2,500 level. Recipients of the scholarships work on improving women’s human rights.
We are delighted that NOMI Network will be the next recipient of funding, drawing on inspiration from Sasha’s personal support of the organization and its close alignment with the mission of the foundation. NOMI provides resources for survivors and women and girls at risk of human trafficking to attain economic stability and transform their dark pasts into brighter futures.
NOMI Network began with a simple embrace in 2007. While in Cambodia, Diana Mao and Alissa Moore visited a rehabilitation center for sexually abused and trafficked Cambodian children. There, they met a special young girl named Nomi. She smiled and threw her arms around them, befriending them immediately. Nomi is mentally disabled and her advocates at the shelter believe the abuse she endured worsened her condition.
Nomi’s story inspired the creation of NOMI Network and the mission to aid vulnerable girls like her. Donations provide the women of Nomi the opportunity to learn vocational skills in order to secure jobs. Specifically, funds go towards job training, technical skills, leadership development, introduction to entrepreneurship, and program materials. Funds provide education scholarships for children of survivors. Donations also provide safe transportation to and from training, health benefits, food and stipend during training. Already, during the training program, the women are able to earn 200-250% above their average daily wage!
Human trafficking and modern day slavery continue to plague over 150 million girls worldwide who are under the age of 18. This is occurring around the world and right here in my city of Chicago where 16,000 to 25,000 girls are trafficked every day. This is truly a global problem that demands our attention. We can and must work together to stop the injustice of inhumane treatment of innocent girls and women.
The Sasha G.M. Shaikh Foundation is now on AmazonSmile; Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases when you start your shopping at http://smile.amazon.com. Another way you can make a difference is to look for fair trade labels on the commodities you purchase to help end the cycle of human trafficking.
Every penny counts and will make a difference in transforming lives and bringing hope to seemingly hopeless situations. Please consider being a part of this important effort and donate at: www.sashasfoundation.org/donate.
With your help, The Sasha G.M. Shaikh Foundation will make the world a better place and create a legacy of hope in Sasha’s honor.
Please save the date of May 16th for our next event to be held in Chicago. We look forward to seeing you there!
Maheen S. Cleaver
President, Sasha G.M. Shaikh Foundation