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Hidden Gems: Meet Nisha Mandani, the CEO/Founder of Our AIM Foundation

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nisha Mandani. She shares her story with us below:

With just $5 in her pocket, Nisha Mandani traveled thousands of miles to a new country with her husband and unborn baby in her womb. Through her hard work and passion for helping others, she would become the CEO of a global organization and philanthropic leader who changes the world. 

Nisha and her eight siblings were raised by their single mother in a small, male-dominated village in India. Zohra Rowzani, Nisha’s mother, was an uneducated farmer’s daughter. Upon the death of her husband, Mrs. Rowzani found herself alone raising nine children. She would walk 5 km to save 5 Indian Rupees, which she can later use to pay for food, clothes, and the education of her kids.  She started making and selling bread from her home, which eventually grew to be the best bakery in the whole city. She would bring the leftover breadcrumbs from cutting bread to use for feeding her children which they ate with tea for breakfast. Mrs. Rowzani was a powerful woman who always placed an emphasis on ensuring her children were educated in the best colleges. 

Despite a challenging life, Mrs. Rowzani always empowered and helped other women who struggled. She used to donate her social security money to educate poor girls, so they don’t suffer as she did after losing her spouse. Mrs. Rowzani passed away at the age of 95 surrounded by lots of love from her successfully grown kids, grandkids, and the whole family over the past years in America. She lived a fulfilled, exemplary life, leaving behind a legacy to follow of selfless service. 

Nisha knew she wanted to do the same and follow in her mother’s footsteps and live her legacy. Upon arriving in America, Nisha tirelessly worked three jobs, earned a Master’s Degree, and raised her child. Now, 35 years later, she is an accomplished businesswoman living the American Dream motivated by the inspiration of her mother. 

Nisha is making an impact on a global scale. She is a firm believer of when you give, you receive happiness and peace in return. She also believes whatever you do in life should be done with passion, purity of consciousness, and perseverance. Nisha always felt a connection to people who needed help. As a young girl in India, she felt very close to maids and daily-wage earners. She often cared for them by helping them with food, shelter, listening to their stories, sharing with them, and providing them with other necessities.

In America, Nisha continued to care for others through community service. Together with her family, Nisha adopted senior citizens who often had no visitors for months or years and needed assistance with daily living tasks such as grocery shopping. She quickly realized how much the seniors appreciated the efforts and the bond they developed with her teenage son. This small act of kindness eventually expanded to more schools and community organizations. It grew into a national program called “GrandKids” and “Close 2 Hearts” making a huge impact by building bonds between teens and seniors. 

Nisha’s passion for helping others started in her own home and expanded to other neighborhoods, cities, and even other countries. Her journey into Malawi started ten years ago by bumping into a 3-year-old child drinking from a dirty puddle as his mother had malaria and could not walk eight kilometers to the closest borewell. Nisha now serves as a philanthropic leader, tirelessly serving remote communities living in perpetual multi-generational poverty. Nisha’s world vision is one where all communities have their basic needs met and have access to the resources, training, and infrastructure necessary to improve their quality of life. She is the CEO of Our AIM Foundation and makes a positive impact in the lives of thousands of people through her compassion and leadership skills. 

To date, Our AIM Foundation has assisted over 4 million marginalized individuals across the globe. She encourages individuals in her network to come together by sharing her life motto: “If you are blessed, it’s your obligation to be a blessing to others.” 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?

Nisha’s journey in America wasn’t smooth, like that of most newcomers relocating from developing countries. She worked hard and dedicated herself and her family to being open to a new society and learning an entirely new way of life. Nisha believes that hardship often molds you into a stronger person. 

Starting a journey in a new country with only $5 in your pocket and a baby in the womb brought immense challenges. Staying as a paying guest, walking in snow for miles, transferring multiple modes of transport, working at three jobs and studying a full-time Master’s Program as an F1 student, no maids or any help, leaving behind a 29-day-old newborn from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. every day, handling legal status concerns in a new country, and many more unlisted challenges.

“Life is what you make of it. I am sure a street beggar or president of the country face challenges each day in their lives. Someone may think their challenges are bigger compared to that of others. The happiest and most successful person is the one who thinks his challenges and sufferings are nothing compared to that of others and that his blessings are immense.

The reason I am who I am today is because of all the struggles that made me strong and resilient. But more importantly, my challenges have made me empathize with the pain and struggles of millions of women and children. I am motivated to become a beacon of hope for them through Our AIM Foundation.” – shared Nisha.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?

Our AIM Foundation started 13 years ago with a passion. The seeds for the initiative had already been soaked and a lot of people nurtured it with love, commitment, and their services. Today, we observe the fruits of those seeds. Truly, the credit all goes to our global team of volunteers, donors, and local staff members.

Our AIM Foundation is registered as a 501c3 in Tampa, FL, with multiple branches in Africa and South Asian countries. It directs 95% of donations to beneficiaries and for the past 13 years, has held GuideStar’s Platinum status for transparency. Nisha, CEO, is a double recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the President of the United States, the Point of Light Award from the White House, Businesswoman of the Year by the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce, and has received many letters of support and recognition from numerous government officials. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Our AIM made significant contributions through its awareness and medical aid programs impacting over one million individuals. In addition, Our AIM volunteers have distributed more than 75,000 masks and provided medical necessities and meals across Florida.

Our AIM was recently awarded as the “Most Empowering Remote Community Support Organization 2022 – East Africa” by Acquisition International Magazine UK!”  by the Acquisition International Non-Profit Organizational Awards. Recognized for the impact the organization is making among the elderly, the vulnerable, and those who need urgent relief. The full article by the Acquisition International can be viewed here. The foundation operates through its Education, Health Women/Youth Empowerment Water & Sanitation and Hunger Prevention in the U.S., Malawi, India, Pakistan, the Rohingya refugee camps of Bangladesh, Palestinian and Syrian refugee camps of Lebanon, and most recently in Afghanistan. The global impact can be seen through our 2-minute video: https://youtu.be/nsq0rF9vssE.

As part of its operations in the U.S., Our AIM Foundation is launching a research and evidence-based curriculum “Awareness in Mind” (AIM), which will focus on a holistic child approach by teaching mindfulness and positive character building. This program will help children improve their self-confidence and communication skills and assist in academic struggles. A secondary goal for the program is to decrease physical aggression and bullying in children. Tampa Mayor Jane has welcomed the initiative with open arms: https://youtu.be/f_L2PSUvPag.

Our AIM has also recently launched a platform by which privileged individuals can adopt and pay for the education expenses of over 100 orphans and children from ultra-poor families across Pakistan, India, and Malawi. Just $75/month will provide a child with nutritious food to treat malnutrition and send a child to school with a backpack, books, and essential learning supplies.

Any partnership, professional support, and donation will have a drastic impact on changing the lives of people in remote areas. A small effort from each one of us can give them the beautiful life they deserve.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?

“The most important life lesson I’d like to share is that we must work hard for our happiness. We need to make the most of the present moment. Crying of past pains or worrying about the future takes away the happiness of living in the present. Rather, we should look at a glass as half-full, rather than as half-empty.”

This is what inspired Nisha to start Our AIM Foundation and continually expand its efforts to provide a spark of hope to millions. Working tirelessly with just $5 in her pocket, Nisha now continues to work tirelessly to make a positive impact in the lives of those around her.

Pricing:

  • $75 per month can adopt a child’s education
  • $150 can be feed over 100 children
  • $650 for building toilet & shower in remote villagers
  • $1500 above can support small water projects
  • any donations toward Our AIM Foundation are welcome.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Our AIM Volunteers & Family Members

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