Project Concern International.
At Southwest Airlines we have always been devoted to giving back to the communities where we live and where we work. We honor and value our long-standing community partnerships such as with Project Concern International (PCI) who, for over five decades, has been working with communities to enhance health, end hunger and overcome hardship around the globe. Southwest Airlines is proud to support their mission to empower the world’s most vulnerable communities and improve the lives of millions around the world. We value helping others and building meaningful relationships through community engagement. Making a positive difference in the communities we serve is one of our priorities. I invite you to get to know PCI and support their important mission. You, too, can make a difference by engaging with PCI!
Haida Mojdehi arrived in San Diego for college in 1980, but says it never felt like home until her children were born years later. That is when the place she lived became a community she loved, and she developed a strong sense of responsibility toward America’s finest city.
“For someone who is an immigrant, there is always that dual identity,” says Mojdehi, whose family fled to the United States from Iran when she was 15 years old, just prior to the Iranian Revolution. “Those were difficult years to make that transition, but when you have your kids, and this is really their home, that’s when San Diego became my home. I take pride in everything about this place.”
True to the source of her inspiration, Mojdehi devotes the bulk of her time to volunteer efforts centered on championing the health and well-being of children. For several years, she served as president of the Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary. She also helped establish the Iranian-American Scholarship Fund, which has provided 296 college scholarships to students across the United States in the past 20 years.
Mojdehi also serves as a board member for Project Concern International (PCI), Southern California’s largest health and humanitarian organization. In recognition of her decades of service and philanthropy, she will receive the Anne Otterson Community Connector Award at PCI’s Hands Across Borders gala on October 27. This year’s event celebrates PCI’s work to protect and uplift children in San Diego and worldwide.
“Civic-minded leaders with hearts like Haida’s are the driving force behind PCI’s impact,” Carrie Hessler-Radelet, President & CEO of PCI shared with Giving Back Magazine. “Her time, talents and energy are ever-focused on uplifting others in need, and we are grateful for her unwavering support of our programs.”
Mojdehi first learned about PCI when her daughter spent a week at PCI India’s shelter home for boys with students from The Bishop’s School. The home is just one aspect of PCI’s focus on vulnerable children and youth and has been a safe haven for boys ages 6-18 for many years. Residents receive clothing, health care, nutrition, counseling and access to formal and non-formal education opportunities.
“That trip really left an imprint on my daughter’s heart and hearing her talk about it and become this citizen of the world left an imprint on me,” Mojdehi says. “Not long after, she got involved with PCI’s anti-trafficking work in San Diego. I had no idea about the scope of the problem or the degree to which PCI has made such an impact locally.”
With the support and partnership of corporate leaders like Southwest Airlines, PCI works to combat human trafficking, which is San Diego’s second largest underground economy. PCI’s Girls Only! and Boys Only! afterschool programming educates young students about the signs and dangers of human trafficking while also empowering them to make choices that increase their safety and resilience.
Another issue close to both PCI and Mojdehi is providing support to immigrants, refugees and other underserved groups in San Diego and along the U.S.-Mexico border. Each year, PCI helps thousands of women from low-income areas have healthy pregnancies and ongoing access to health education, social services and other resources that benefit and empower the whole family.
Since PCI’s story and programs are deeply rooted in efforts to improve the health and resilience of children and families, Mojdehi finds herself continually inspired to do more when she witnesses the organization live out values she holds deeply herself.