On Tuesday evening, I was fortunate enough to attend the 10th anniversary celebrations of Give2Asia. It was befitting that it was on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi where this celebration of Give2Asia’s work among the underprivileged happened. In the past ten years, over $200 million was distributed to 1500+ partners in Asia from over 15000 donors and organizations. The event itself had several grantees of Give2Asia in attendance, as well as the honorees that they recognized this year for their commitment to the cause of empowerment. The keynote during dinner was delivered by Jed Emerson who spoke about the importance of impact investing in transforming the philanthropy landscape. All attendees were also given a copy of his book on impact investing.
It was fascinating to listen to honorees such as Jaishree and Desh Deshpande, Allan Liu, Pat Taylor and about the work of Gwen Moore. I was there representing Milaap, one of the grantees supported by Give2Asia. We offer small loans to individuals and families in India in the areas of entrepreneurship, education, training, water and sanitation. It was great to meet and chat with Jaishree and Desh Deshpande about our work as well and to talk to a lot of the attendees about it. We just launched in the US a few weeks ago, so expect more updates on that work in the coming months.
The evening was also made memorable by an amazing performance by Sarah Krumm and Ao Li from the San Francisco Opera. It was quite humbling to see the wealth of experience in both the corporate world among the donors to Give2Asia as well as in the social impact world among the grantees and partners of the organization. One of the grantees was Sakena Yacoobi from the Afghan Institute of Learning, working on transforming the lives of Afghan women. It was also heartening to see the commitment of the staff and board members of Give2Asia, many of whom have been with the organization since inception.
Here’s wishing Give2Asia another ten years of success supporting great partners in Asia!