Our Story

OUR STORY

Our Beginnings

In 1972, Ugandan President Idi Amin decided to expel the country’s Asian population. 90,000 citizens were given 90 days notice to flee the country. The Modha family was one of these deported families. Kish Modha was 28 and working at his dream job as a wildlife conservationist in Queen Elizabeth National Park. His young nephews, Prashant and Ash, were 6 and 3 years old. With only a few bags on their backs, the Modha family traveled to North America, where they eventually settled in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In 1986, Prashant and Ash, now in University, partnered with Kenyan-born brothers Raj and Amit Bahl in founding Mondetta Clothing Company. Mondetta: a combination of the French word for ‘world’, monde with the Latin suffix for ‘small”, etta. A name to reflect international unity and the phenomenon of the global village.

With $50 in start-up capital, the brothers peddled their way to success, beginning on the shores of Grand Beach, a popular summer holiday destination a short drive from Winnipeg. With innovative ideas and high-quality materials they quickly grew from their parents’ basement to a one-room office to a 30,000 sq. ft. office and warehouse.

Mondetta’s founders recognized the opportunities they were afforded by living in Canada. Before corporate social responsibility was a buzzword, Mondetta was already integrating philanthropy into their company philosophy. In 1993, they founded the Mondetta Charity Classic Golf Tournament, which raised over $1 million dollars for a variety of local organizations in its 23-year span.

Mondetta Clothing grand beach

More Africans die from or are affected by HIV/ AIDS than from all of the wars on the continent.

Uganda children HIV

Mondetta’s founders refused to sit idly while this epidemic swept through Eastern Africa in the early 2000s, devastating the region they had once called home. Spearheaded by Kish Modha, with the support of Mondetta Clothing Company, the idea of a charity foundation was born.

A WAY to give back to their homelands of Uganda & Kenya.

A MEANS to address the AIDS crisis.

A GOAL to reach the most vulnerable: the children affected.

Many children had lost one or both parents to AIDS – or were HIV affected themselves. Along with advocating for children directly impacted by the epidemic, MCF also wanted to support the children who were affected by social and political conflicts in the country, as well as those who had been left without by parents.

In 2004, Kish returned to Africa for the first time in 32 years.

In Uganda, a local contact introduced him to Kamwokya Primary School – a government school of 800 students in the middle of an urban slum.

“A bright star in dark clouds,” Kish famously wrote in the guestbook after his visit. Beyond the broken windows and cracked paint, Kish saw something special. He knew that, together with the leadership at the school, they could do great things.

“A bright star in dark clouds.”

In Kenya, a Mondetta photographer connected him to New Life Home Trust, an organization that works with orphaned infants and young children, many of whom are HIV+.
After meeting the founders – and the children – Kish knew New Life Home Trust was a good fit. They too agreed that children, particularly the ones they cared for, had found themselves in the midst of the AIDS crisis through no fault of their own. They were implementing our principle (targeting the most vulnerable: children) by dealing with the most vulnerable sector of that population (orphaned newborns).

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