This week, my family introduced The Meghji Family Foundation, as a natural next step for my sister Kate and me, in particular, carrying on a legacy of service. Last month, our father Dr. Moez Meghji, died suddenly and peacefully in his sleep. He was too young. We are too young. We are still in shock and we are incredibly sad.
While we had been planning to establish a foundation to carry on the spirit of our father's father's social vision and generosity, and our mother's father's public service in academics, the military and every community he found himself in...
It is particularly timely that we can now create a foundation - an organization - an approach - that will honor our father and grandfathers, our mothers and grandmothers. Given the unusual mix of our heritage - Indian and African roots on our father's side, and European and American roots on our mother's side - we were both born into this world as global citizens. We traveled extensively and lived abroad, thanks to our father's groundbreaking work and inventions in agricultural genetics, and were exposed to many great minds and pioneers, not only in science and farming, but in technology, the Internet, finance, and the humanities.
Today, I am continually entrepreneuring, inventing and supporting great ideas and people and companies. Kate is the Executive Director of a non-profit, an incredible Mom and a brilliant little sister. So it only makes sense that with the continued blending in our lives, of profit and non-profit, and humanitarianism and a passion for justice and fairness literally in our DNA, we have set out to create a foundation for our generation, and generations to come based on STEAM.
STEAM is our twist on STEM - science, technology, engineering and math. The great achievers in all those domains - and this is scientifically proven - were also deeply in involved in the arts and creative pursuits in painting, sculpture, music, theatre, literature, and more.
Here's how cool the Internet is - within a day of our releasing the website and social media pages, with no promotion, our first grant application came in and we responded immediately. We are collecting applications for small grants, and then giving one grant per month (twice each calendar year - in December and July) - financial grants but also "gifts in kind" (media grants, consulting grants, and other innovations we are in the process of building with our "humankind" network).
While I continue to fiddle faddle with this blog, Kate will be sharing stories about the foundation, the grantees, and most importantly the children and animals and communities who benefit on her own "Humankind" blog.
We'll all face losses in our lives - and eventually our lives will be lost over time. 100 years if we're lucky, on this tiny planet where the pace of change is thrilling and frightening at the same time. We will be serving in ways that our fathers and grandfathers could not have imagined ten, twenty, thirty years from now. We are humbled to be in a position to help, and to make it possible for others to help too. There's an idea that scales.