Maya Shahani, Chairperson of SAGE Foundation, was recently invited to be part of the Clinton Global Initiative established by former President Bill Clinton. This initiative, aims to turn pioneering ideas into viable solutions to urgent global challenges, bringing together international leaders from government, the private sector, NGOs, the media, and academia to make “Commitments to Action” that impact lives around the world. Clinton Global Initiative attendees have included U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Tony Blair, Kofi Annan, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Condoleezza Rice, Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Sergey Brin, Muhammad Yunus and many other current and former heads of state, CEOs, Nobel Peace Prize winners, and philanthropists. They have contributed to CGI’s work to help improve the lives of millions of people.
Ms. Shahani shared the work that SAGE was promoting with some of the world’s most influential leaders at the two-day meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in Hong Kong. The meeting aimed to strengthen Asian philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, and development. It encouraged members to take action on education, energy, climate change, and public health. Designed to stimulate practical ideas, immediate action, and long-term sustainable results the partnership created between CGI and SAGE Foundation will go a long way in helping rural growth in India and the rest of the world.
President Bill Clinton issued a certificate of recognition to SAGE Foundation for its commitment to create a self sustaining model village near Mumbai, which could be replicated anywhere in the world. This project which will be executed in partnership with the global transformational organization Rock Your Life, run by Mike Handcock and The Woman Incentive Program, a program developed by Samantha Backman to support womens’ education, diet, disease prevention and hygiene. Samantha Backman apart from having her own TV show in 52 countries, which has the ability to market SAGE products globally, plans to film a documentary on life in the SAGE village as part of her documentary on the plight of women around the world. Samantha will be implementing her education program along with Don Tolman’s Imagination Academy.
The SAGE Foundation seeks to end mass illiteracy and unemployment. This will be achieved by educating village children on the one hand, and empowering their families through skills training, by opening the SAGE School of Creative Crafts which hopes to revive the traditional arts and crafts of India.
In order to create sustainability in the long run, the model village will have the following components:
1. A well-built school will provide quality, out of the box holistic education for a range of ages, with a focus on equity in education and teachers’ training programmes. A preschool called the Starting Point School will be the starting point for this venture.
2. The SAGE School of Creative Crafts will educate older siblings and parents in a trade so that they have paid employment and could contribute to their children’s education financially. The products created by them will be marketed locally as well as globally. Organizations such as Positive Elements, Extraordinary Ones and others will buy eco friendly products created by the communities and so help to feed and educate their children.
3. Rock Your Life SAGE tours will bring socially-responsible global visitors to the village to work with the villagers, and assist in training and development of the social projects.
4. The SAGE Foundation will also dedicate resources to ensure that clean water is accessible by all in the villages, and sanitary conditions meet acceptable international standards. Additionally, a medical care center will be established in the village so that villagers receive holistic physical and mental health treatment.
5. In partnership with other organizations such as PATT Foundation, Times Foundation, and Standard Chartered Bank, SAGE Foundation will also focus on planting trees, training villagers on horticulture management, and will assist them in distributing products in urban areas.
6. The SAGE Foundation has established a partnership with the Global Dialogue Foundation (GDF) and WCA Family which will collect goods in usable form from participating countries ranging from cars, televisions, earthmoving equipment to septic systems, and send them to the SAGE villages.
7. The One Laptop Per Child Foundation has connected with SAGE Foundation and will deliver one laptop to every child nurtured by SAGE.
8. The SAGE Foundation will also focus on microfinance and creating self-help groups to empower women in small scale industries like making pickles, sauces and chutneys, for which ties are being created with organizations like Extraordinary Ones for buying their products.
9. A major development has been a tie up with Buy1Give1 which has set up a virtual village on their website connecting donors with Worthy Causes. Through this site potential donors will be contributing to the real villages set up by SAGE Foundation with the help of the Clinton Global Initiative team. Through Google Earth the donors can actually see the villages being built brick by brick through their efforts. The Buy1Give1 Team will work in tandem with The Rock Your Life SAGE Tours to bring their donors to the SAGE villages in order to contribute hands on to the collective global effort. They will enrich and in turn be enriched by this experience.
10. Committed donors like Mike Handcock, Marc Robinson and B1G1 have already started working towards raising funds for this dream project.
For further information about the initiative, please click hereto go to the Clinton Global Initiative website.
About SAGE Foundation (www.TheSageFoundation.com)
Founded by its Chairperson Maya Shahani and Managing Director Akhil Shahani, SAGE Foundation is committed to educating children and giving wealth generating skills training to their families for creating extraordinary lives. Looking at a holistic approach, SAGE attempts to enhance living conditions through quality education and social empowerment, focusing on health, environment and eradication of poverty. SAGE has started by adopting major slums in Mumbai and one hundred villages. Known for ethical excellence, its greatest strength is its credibility, visibility and networking base. The Managing Director of SAGE Foundation, Akhil Shahani, apart from looking after the under privileged, also focuses on educating the elite through collaborations with global universities. The Shahani Group believes in equity in education. (www.Shahanigroup.com)
About the Clinton Global Initiative
in 2005 as a project of the nonpartisan William J. Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI members have made nearly 1,200 commitments valued at $46 billion. Already these commitments have impacted more than 200 million lives in 150 countries, and commitments made at the 2008 Annual Meeting are expected to impact almost 160 million. CGI Asia is the Initiative’s first meeting overseas. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.