Angila Chada (right) and Helen McKeever (left), Fund Development Manager at the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland. (Picture courtesy of the Sunday Life newspaper).
Angila Chada and her first brave steps into philanthropy
Springboard Executive Director Angila Chada has taken a very brave step - starting a charitable fund!
Surrounded by the swirling winds of economic uncertainty, she has decided to give something back to the local community by starting a charitable fund - with her own money.
Supported by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, Angila’s plan to create a financial fund has taken root and the Raj Darshna Foundation has now been born.
Named in honour of her parents, her father Raj and mother Sudershan, (which is shortened to Darshna), Angila has not consecrated the fund on a whim.
On the contrary, it really has been a lifelong dream.
She recalls; “I always wanted to win the lottery and create a Foundation that would give back to society and I am particularly interested in helping the elderly and local young people.
“Now, while I’m nowhere near a millionaire, I feel I live a comfortable life and so I plan to take a portion of my wages each year and invest it for the benefit of others.
“I’ve wanted to do it for many years but my conviction was strengthened after a visit to Auschwitz in 2009 where I felt individuals must and can make a difference and support those in need.
“I’ll also be encouraging family and friends to help support the fund to increase its financial base, which in turn can help support more people and projects.
“Some people think i’m crazy, with the current state of the economy, but this is something that is very important to me.”
Angila, whose family hails originally from Punjab in India, feels she had an excellent upbringing and stable family home – but working in the community and voluntary sector, she knows that many local people have not been as fortunate.
She said; “My parents gave me a fantastic upbringing and that’s why I named my new Fund in honour of them – they gave me an amazing start in life.
“I’d like to help others have a similar experience and I feel this is a great way to leave a positive legacy – it’s also amazing that my parents are still around to share in my experiences.”
The Raj Darshna Foundation will begin accruing investment in the New Year and it is envisaged that several years of investment will take place before fund disbursment begins.
Anigila’s honesty also shines through when she admits; “When I first approached the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland with my idea, I felt a bit silly, but I was taken seriously, which made a huge difference to me and soon enough my journey had begun.
“For me, control is very important - to have my say in how the fund operates and where the money will go.
“As long as I have a job, the Raj Darshna Foundation will have funding.”
Helen McKeever, Fund Development Manager at the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, welcomed the commencement of the Raj Darshna Foundation, saying; “Angila’s new fund simply proves that philanthropy is not solely the preserve of the super wealthy.
“Everyone, even those on modest earnings, can embark on a philanthropic journey and our role as a Foundation is to chart the waters for the duration.
“I sincerely hope Angila Chada’s approach to philanthropy inspires others to take a similar route – I have no doubt her inspiration will be felt by those who will eventually benefit from financial support from the Raj Darshna Foundation.”
To view the Sunday Life News clippings for this story, please click here.