R to L: Osvaldo dos Santos Varela, Haim Taib, Bornito de Sousa Baltazar Diogo
R to L: Osvaldo dos Santos Varela, Haim Taib, Bornito de Sousa Baltazar DiogoSivan Farag

The Menomadin Foundation held its inaugural event in Tel Aviv Sunday evening, at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, with a gala reception.

The event was attended by guests of honor including former Vice-President of Angola Mr. Bornito de Sousa Baltazar Diogo, who arrived in Israel to explore partnerships and visit Israeli universities. Also attending was Israel’s Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services, Meir Cohen, Minister of Interior Ayelet Shaked, and Angola’s Minister of Labour, Public Administration and Social Security, Teresa Rodrigues Dias, who came to Israel to learn about the country’s innovation in education and technology.

The evening was hosted by Haim Taib, Founder and President of the Mitrelli Group and Menomadin Foundation, and Dr. Merav Galili, CEO of the Menomadin Foundation. The Foundation specializes in creating and implementing innovative practices, designated to produce social impact. Other participants included Ambassadors to Israel of Ethiopia, Rwanda, Morocco, Angola, and Equatorial Guinea along with further distinguished guests from Angola and across Africa, together with business leaders and public sector partners from Israel and Europe.

Addressing the attendees, Haim Taib noted, “Humanity's greatest challenge is to ensure that people, all people, never lose the ability to dream of a better life for themselves. Through our projects and investments over the last decades we have been helping communities and individuals realize their dream for a better future, first through Mitrelli, and now, through the Menomadin Foundation, which is helping to amplify this benefit and impact.”

Former Vice President of Angola Bornito de Sousa Baltazar Diogo, said, “We are here today to talk about more than Angola, we are here to talk about all of Africa. Indeed, we are here to talk about more than impacting one or two communities, we are talking about changing lives across a whole continent, tackling poverty and climate change – making history and building the future. I invite the businesspeople, academics and scientists, artists and personalities in the culture sector, sports players, youth and students in particular, to get to know Angola and the opportunities it holds for business, cooperation, and tourism, following the example of the entrepreneurs who already develop their projects there.”

He added, “I would like to take this opportunity to salute the Fundação Arte e Cultura, a strong partner of the Menomadin Foundation in Angola, and underline the actions developed there for the preservation of local arts and culture and the social responsibility of the Mitrelli Group, a consortium of companies that support it”.

During the event, the Menomadin Foundation presented its first impact report, and showcased some of the highlights of the work conducted by the Foundation both in Israel and in Angola.

Key examples included the collaboration with “Save a Child’s Heart”, which brings children from around the region and Africa for life saving surgeries in Israel; the “Fundação Arte e Cultura”, which aims to empower individuals and communities through art, culture, and heritage; and the “A’alam Druze Civic Leadership” initiative, which aims to increase Druze representation in both local and national centers-of-influence while embracing Druze heritage, values, and history.

Accordingly, in her speech at the event, Dr. Galili urged great focus on innovation in the field of social investments to ensure social and human resilience. She said, “I invite you to read the first impact report that we are launching today, in which we used methodologies accepted in the impact world to qualitatively and quantitatively analyze every project, investment, and venture in Israel, Africa and all around the world, while examining a multitude of parameters to make sure we are always on the right track. Impact management is an international challenge, and we test ourselves every day to make sure we are making a difference and producing a positive impact.”

She added, “We are on a continuous journey of learning, as part of a process that the global impact investor community is going through. Quite a few times we find ourselves returning to the white board, continuing our open-mind and flexibility of thought, and constantly listening to the populations we work with and our partners”.

The event celebrated the great strength of the relationship between Israel and Africa, especially in the many partnerships in innovation. “The Menomadin Foundation is built on decades of experience in social activity and tremendous impact in Africa, both in philanthropy and investments The Foundation has learned a great deal and today, is creating economic, and environmental impact at the state level. We have formulated new models that are applied today in Israel and help to deal with social market failures and the ability to measure the impact and change,” explained Galili.

Summarizing the dramatic impact that the Menomadin Foundation was having for communities across Africa, Haim Taib, Founder and President of the Mitrelli Group which created the Foundation, stressed, “The work of the Menomadin Foundation is building lasting impact for peoples across the African continent, but it is also dramatically contributing to the partnership and collaborations between Israelis and Africans. We have so many opportunities to share best practices when it comes to tackling the key issues we all face today, including - but not limited to - climate change and food and water security. We are bringing to life a vision of cooperation and progress that should be a model for the whole world.”