Farida Kathawalla is a long-time supporter of the non-profit community and philanthropy. Kathawalla started her non-profit journey with World Boston, a non-profit that fosters engagement in international affairs and cooperation with peoples of all nations where she helped develop the international visitors program.
She is currently the co-president of the Global Women’s Circle at the United Nations of Greater Boston where she has focused the local Boston community on women’s issues through discussions, film screening and conversations. She is an active member with the New England International Donors, an organization that facilitates international philanthropy. Kathawalla has recently joined the Board at World Education where she is involved in Bantwana’s mission to improve the wellbeing of vulnerable children, their caregivers and families affected by HIV , AIDS and poverty.
Earlier this year, Kathawalla served as a co-chair of the American India Foundation’s 10th Anniversary New England Gala, which raised over $1 million in support of AIF’s Maternal and Newborn Survival Initiative. She has been very active in the AIF’s New England Chapter since 2011.
INDIA New England News: Please tell our readers about your work and what you enjoy most about it?
Farida Kathawalla: I consider myself very fortunate that I work to fulfill my passion which is to make a difference. Even though I am an accountant by profession, I help nonprofits strategize, develop and fundraise in the fields of education, women’s empowerment and global health.
FK: My platform is education and women’s empowerment and through collaborating together with organizations we can I make a difference. One foundation is Primary Source, which promotes global education to educators from K-12. Another is the American India Foundation, which disrupts poverty and seeks to make a social impact on the marginalized in India.
INE: What are you hobbies and interest?
FK: My hobbies include travel and exploring different cultures and cuisine. I am passionate about working out in the gym, taking a spin or a kick boxing class or just hiking and biking.
I l enjoy art, music and theatre, and lastly I love cooking and entertaining with my friends and family.
INE: Your rare talent?
FK: Having lived all over the world, I have been fortunate to have connected and have experiences with people from all different cultures. This gives me a unique advantage to understand and bring people together to support the mission of the organization .
I like to lead and people gravitate towards me for direction, advice and connections which I use to foster positive and effective collaborations. I’m a connector at heart.
INE: Your favorite books?
FK: “Diary of Anne Frank” by Anne Frank
“The world is flat” by Thomas Friedman
“Interpreter of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahiri
INE: Your favorite quotes?
FK: “Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Gandhi
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” – Oscar Wilde
INE: Who inspires you the most?
FK: My inspiration comes from my family who have been instrumental in influencing my life especially my husband. He has been my rock and has cheered me on in my success and lifted me up in my failures.
INE: Your core value you try to live by?
FK: The values I live by are commitment, compassion, forgiveness, love, tolerance, contentment and self-discipline.
As Maya Angelou put it very eloquently “I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn”