Letter from Foundation President

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“If you speak for those who suffer unfairly in this world, you will be rewarded. The reason is quite simple. We actually feel better when we give than when we receive.”
– Sasha Shaikh

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Dear Friends:
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

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ST II The Johns

The Sasha G.M. Shaikh Foundation is dedicated to creating a safe environment for women and girls, free from gender based violence including sex trafficking.  Sex trafficking isn’t just happening in other parts of the world. Unfortunately, the problem is local as well. I was shocked to learn that in Chicago, where I live, 16,000 to 25,000 girls are trafficked per day. And, Toledo where I grew up, ranks 4th in the nation for sex trafficking. Please come out and support this play and encourage others who live in Chicago to do the same. I was fortunate to see the first play, SHADOW TOWN I, and it was eye-opening, riveting, and informative.

October 16 – November 23, 2014
Mary Kaplan Theatre, 5050 Church Street, Skokie, IL
Tickets – $35

SHADOW TOWN II: THE JOHNS is a play about men who buy young girls for sex. The performances focus on men who buy girls for sex in the Chicagoland area, the johns, who support the $32 billion dollar business of sex trafficking, making it the 2nd largest illegal business in the world, beating out weapons. All their expenditures goes into the pockets of the traffickers, tax free. Proceeds from the show will benefit The DREAMCATCHER FOUNDATION Drop-In Crisis Center for sex trafficked girls and women. For tickets, please go to: www.BrownPaperTickets.com

For more information:

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Join us May 17th for The Sasha G.M. Shaikh Foundation Memorial Brunch

IMG_0211Please join us for the second annual Sasha G.M. Shaikh Foundation Memorial Brunch to be held at the Athenaeum at CalTech in Pasadena, CA on Saturday, May 17th at 10:30AM.  Friends and family will come together to remember Sasha, hear  the accomplishments of the  foundation in the past year, and raise funds for the empowerment and education of women and girls in an effort to end gender-based violence.

Last year’s brunch was attended by 65 guests and more than $20,000 was raised to support the launch of the foundation, the Sasha G.M. Shaikh Memorial Scholarship at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and the Malala Fund.  Forty girls in Pakistan will be the first to benefit from the Malala Fund.  Each girl’s family will receive a monthly stipend, and the organization and the school will continue to work with the families and the community to highlight the importance of girls’ education.

I am pleased to announce we have selected the NOMI Network to be a recipient of funding this year.  The NOMI Network provides job opportunities and wages to women who are survivors and at risk of human trafficking.  They aid vulnerable girls by providing the resources they need to access economic stability and transform their dark pasts into brighter futures.

Please join us on May 17th as we remember Sasha and work towards ending gender-based violence towards all women and girls.

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