Students Partner with Hashoo Foundation USA to Help Empower Women through Honey Producing Micro-Enterprises

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Hashoo Foundation USA, in collaboration with students from Klein Forest High School PISA (Pakistan Indian Students Association) and Sharpstown International School students, held the first Culture Shock Charity Show Kick-Off Party to promote the upcoming Culture Shock Charity Show in Fall 2013 to raise funds to benefit the Women Empowerment through Honey Bee Farming “Plan Bee” Project locally and internationally.

Klein Forest High School PISA, Mayera Iqbal, Alondra Silva, Neidy Giron, Shazia Shah and Advisor Dr. Norman LaFave, present a check for $2,000 they raised the money during their 2013 Spring PISA Culture Shock Charity Show to benefit Hashoo Foundation's "Plan Bee"

Klein Forest High School PISA, Mayera Iqbal, Alondra Silva, Neidy Giron, Shazia Shah and Advisor Dr. Norman LaFave, present a check for $2,000 they raised the money during their 2013 Spring PISA Culture Shock Charity Show to benefit Hashoo Foundation's "Plan Bee"

Sandra noted “A lot of people struggle throughout life, for example women and their kids in Pakistan, knowing what they go through, it feels good to know we are making a difference in their lives.” Sharpstown International School student.

The Hashoo Foundation USA-- a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization committed to enable and empower communities to be independent by facilitating equitable access to opportunities-- is expanding the PISA Culture Shock Charity Show by bringing together students of diverse cultural and faith backgrounds to raise funds to help twenty-one (21) women become self-sufficient by providing assistance needed to kick start their honey producing micro-enterprises.

The expanded Culture Shock Charity Show model for funding “Plan Bee” will provide students with opportunities for philanthropy and community service while increasing the amount of revenue generated for this project. The increased funding will allow Hashoo Foundation to expand "Plan Bee" to other communities in Pakistan and replicate the project in Houston to help refugee women expand their employment opportunities through the sale of high-quality honey. This initiative will be a collaborative effort with Klein Forest High School PISA, Xavier Educational Academy, Sharpstown International School, Mayor's Office of Education Initiatives, Alliance for Multicultural Community Services, and St. Thomas University Social Entrepreneurship Program (SEP).

The first Culture Shock Charity Show Kick-Off Party created a real buzz when Klein Forest High School PISA students Mayera Iqbal, Alondra Silva, Neidy Giron and Shazia Shah presented Cristal Montañéz, Hashoo Foundation USA Executive Director, with a check for $2,000 they raised in February, through their 2013 Spring PISA Culture Shock Charity Show to benefit “Plan Bee.”

PISA has executed an annual Culture Shock Charity Show for over a decade. The show is executed by the students of PISA, with Klein Forest students providing varied cultural and entertainment acts which include, dancers, singers, comedians, bands, and fashion. In 2011 - 2012, PISA partnered with the Hashoo Foundation to help the “Plan Bee” beekeepers affected by the floods in Northern Pakistan. The students donated 79 beehives and helped 21 beekeepers rebuild their honey enterprise. The project has indirectly impacted 157 dependents and provided access to education for 69 children.

"It is such an amazing feeling knowing that I made a difference in the world. Being a part of “Plan Bee” has been an honor and I love that I can help people who are not as privileged as the rest of us get an education. I want to change the world one day, and this was my first step to making the world a better place," said Mayera Iqbal, President PISA.

Dr. Norman LaFave, Klein Forest High School PISA Sponsor and Advisor said, "This kind of effort and experience for students provides an important supplement to the traditional academic skills and knowledge they receive through the traditional school curriculum. It is my hope that we are creating a new generation of philanthropists and community volunteers to tackle the challenges of the future.”

Sharpstown International School students Karen Escobar, Sandra Trejo and Elianis Moreno decided to partner with the Hashoo Foundation USA for their Senior Capstone Project. Their project was designed to support “Plan Bee” by raising funds and awareness to promote women empowerment, economic stability, and education in remote areas of Pakistan, and help refugee women in Houston earn a secondary income. They raised funds through bake sales at school and honey tastings at various events and proudly presented --Cristal Montañéz, Executive Director Hashoo Foundation USA-- a check for $662 to benefit “Plan Bee.”

When asked what they learned during their project research, Karen said, “I learned that there are people around the world who need help, and that us as young people have to pop that bubble we live in and realize how much we can do for others, and what impact we can make in their lives.”

100% of the funds raised by the students to date and the funds raised through the Culture Shock Charity Show in Fall 2013 will be equally allocated to help establish two Honey Business Groups in two locations, one in Houston in partnership with the Alliance for Multicultural Community Services, to help five (5) refugee women earn a secondary income through honey bee farming and another in Pakistan to help sixteen (16) women become self-sufficient and educate their children through the sale of high quality honey. The students will have the opportunity to visit the local refugee women and participate in the presentation and installation of the beehives, beekeeping training and honey harvest,” explained Cristal Montañéz, Hashoo Foundation USA Houston-based Executive Director.

The Culture Shock Charity Show Kick-Off Party, hosted by Iris McAlpine and Hashoo Foundation USA Board Member Barbara Aksamit, was attended by students representing Klein Forest High School PISA, Sharpstown International School, Xavier Educational Academy, Memorial High School, Rotoract Club, Houston Community College International Initiative students from Pakistan, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey, and Costa Rica with their Coordinator Lorin Banja; Yani Rose Keo, Executive Director Alliance for Multicultural Community Services; Ellen Goldberg, President Houston Sister Cities International; Sima Jani, VP Development Rice MBAWI; and other community leaders and volunteers. Chenoa Farrell and Bryan McVicker entertained the guests with their delightful music. The silent auction featured a beautiful display of crafts made by Thread Net Hunza/Nagar women artisans whose work is known for its quality, uniqueness, aesthetic and cultural appeal.

Read more about PISA's work with the Hashoo Foundation

2011 Houston Students Help Women Beekeepers Rebuild Their Lives

2012 PISA Culture Shock Charity Show Benefits Hashoo Foundation’s “Plan Bee”

About Hashoo Foundation

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Cristal Montanez
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