Global Communities, a health and humanitarian organization that partners with communities in San Diego and around the world to save lives, advance equity and secure strong futures, will host its annual Hands Across Borders gala.
The signature event will celebrate Global Communities’ work promoting positive youth development and maternal and child health in underserved communities throughout San Diego. Local programs engage youth to increase their resilience to exploitation and violence, including human trafficking, and support pregnant mothers to ensure they have healthy pregnancies, safe births and resources in place to ensure their newborns have a healthy start to life. “Global Communities is committed to advancing equity for women and girls in San Diego and around the world. We work directly with women and girls to increase their access to health services, economic opportunities, education and other resources they need to build better, brighter futures,” says Carrie Hessler-Radelet, President & CEO of Global Communities.
This year, in addition to focusing on the organization’s work in San Diego, the event will also highlight women and girls’ programs in India. Global Communities (then Project Concern International) began work in India more than 20 years ago and today improves the health and wellbeing of millions of people in the country. As part of this year’s Hands Across Borders celebration, local community leader Sushma Patel will chair the gala in collaboration with philanthropist and honorary co-chair Haida Mojdehi. Patel is the Head of Admissions for Diegueño Country School in Rancho Santa Fe. She has been a champion of Global Communities’ for more than a decade. She serves on the gala committee and leads an annual donation drive to help mothers and infants in Global Communities’ local Healthy Start program. She also dedicates her time to improving the lives of girls in India through support for Diegueño Daughters and Sandy’s Circle girls’ schools, and the Aarti Home, providing housing, food and education while fostering their growth into healthy, productive young women. Mojdehi has been a supporter of Global Communities for nearly two decades, serving on the Board of Directors and chairing the gala. A graduate of USD School of Law, she serves on the school’s Board of Visitors and as an active community member, she sits on the La Jolla Community Foundation. In addition, Mojdehi has contributed her time and expertise to Outside the Lens, the International Society for Children with Cancer, and Rady Children’s Hospital, while also establishing the Iranian-American Scholarship Fund for students across the United States.