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  • Goa Sudharop

The fundraiser for Goa Sudharop’s Thread up project was held on September 21, 2018. The Thread Up project was inspired by Verma D’Mello who is an internationally acclaimed fashion designer. She has showcased her designs all over the world including the Paris Haute Couture Week, San Francisco World Fashion Week, the prestigious Cannes Fashion and Film Festival, African Fashion Week by Mercedes Benz and several other shows and events. Between her thriving career, running her own business and raising her family, Verma has always been passionate about bringing awareness to injustices she sees in the community and dedicated to finding ways to correct these injustices.

The event opened up with a welcome by Goa Sudharop’s President, Ria Davis, followed by a project description presented by Chloe Fernandes, Goa Sudharop’s Lead volunteer in Goa. Chloe shared her own humbling and heartfelt experience working in the village and seeing the hardships firsthand such as schools with leaking roofs, a lack of toilet facilities and an overall unsafe environment for women and children.

Acaria Almeida, Director of Global Operations and the Project lead for Thread Up released the official Thread up music video including a song composed by Mary Jo De Mello, a professional Goan singer and songwriter. Both the song and video captured the essence of the Thread up project by taking you to a rural village where this project is focused on improving the lives of the underserved populations.

The highlight of the event was the fashion show which showcased gowns produced through the Thread Up project by women in the villages under the guidance of Verma and her team. The women were all trained in the art of sewing with the goal of empowering them and providing them with an opportunity to be self sufficient and to live with dignity. The gowns were modeled by our very own Goan women from the Bay Area (Nicole Rodrigues, Anunsya D'Cunha Pereira, Roxanne Fernandes, Celcia Carvalho, Harriet Ferens, Rebecca Lobo, Minette Fernandes, Minivia Fernandes, Sarah Pereira, Kay Coelho, Andrea Pereira) who walked the runway with a purpose. Verma received a standing ovation as she walked in with the models at the end of the show. In her message to Bay Area Goans, she thanked everyone for the support she received and shared her inspiration for Thread Up and her mission to empower women and improve the conditions in underserved villages. The gowns were donated by Verma and purchased by attendees with a donation that was matched by Goa Sudharop.

The evening of dinner and dancing continued with fantastic music by the duo Tania & Andre who traveled all the way from Goa and a delicious and generous Goan spread from 3D Catering (Malcolm D’Sa) & the California Goans group. The décor of the hall was artistically tied to Thread Up with colorful Indian fabrics and antique hand painted sewing machines designed by Celeste Lourenco.

The next step for the Thread up team, consisting of Celeste Lourenco, Sheena Shastri, Chloe Fernandes along with Verma D’Mello, will be to develop apparel for online sales and to provide updates and progress on the village facilities.

A big thank you from Goa Sudharop to our guests who attended, the event organizers and to our generous donors and sponsors that helped us raise approximately $25,000 towards Thread Up.

To view the Thread Up music video or to learn more about the project goals visit the Thread Up Project Page.

To check out photos from the fundraiser event visit our Photo Gallery.

All donations to Thread Up are tax deductible for U.S. residents.To make a donation to Thread Up click here. Please indicate your donation is for Thread Up and you will receive an acknowledgment from the Treasurer for a tax write-off.

  • Melanie Nazareth

Hope Swirls was created by two teenage siblings, Andrew and Michelle Nazareth, to raise funds for the Sethu Center for Child Development and Family Guidance in Goa, India. Hope Swirls enables professionals at Sethu to use technology to address the five main deficits faced by children with autism.

Funds raised in the first year (2017) were used to purchase Quick Talker devices from the US and In Print Software from the U.K. in March 2018 – both of which enhance communication. In addition, with the funds that were raised Sethu purchased ‘TOBY’ Software & the e-book and cause and effect toys to help with play and social interaction, fidget toys and the ‘ASD Tools’ iPad App for attention and behavior, and a trampoline and oral vibrator equipment for sensory processing issues.

Pictured above are Sethu Professionals in Goa with Quick Talkers purchased from the funds raised by the Hope Swirls project.


Goa Sudharop, in collaboration with Greenlight for Girls (g4g), hosted our second g4g Day in the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday, April 28, 2018 from 9am to 4pm, at Oakland Technical High School in Oakland, California. g4g Day@SF Bay Area was a free event that was organized with the help of over forty volunteers to inspire the approximately eighty young girls who attended to consider a career in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) field by emphasizing the link between STEM and fun.

The first guest speaker for the day was the Mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaaf, who welcomed the girls and shared some encouraging words. As an Oakland native and a strong supporter of education and equality, Mayor Schaaf was thrilled to support this wonderful opportunity taking place in her city. The keynote speaker for the day was Vanessa Russell, a Senior Sales Business Development Manager at Cisco Systems who also founded the non-profit organization, Love Never Fails, which is dedicated to restoring, educating and protecting those involved or at risk of being involved in human trafficking. She shared her personal journey towards discovering and embracing her talents and abilities in the IT field as a young woman, including having to overcome several obstacles and hardships.

After hearing from these two inspiring speakers, the girls broke out into small groups to begin their day of workshops. This year we had eight STEM-based workshops that were led by Goa Sudharop volunteers and board members.

One of the new workshops this year was the Circuits Workshop led by Tina Nguyen and Ben Koo. In this workshop, the girls explored the science of electricity, learned about the importance of electrical circuits in our everyday world, and designed their own circuits to build machines.

In the Egg Drop workshop, Kurt Almeida, Kiran Shastri, Maria Lesieutre and Dexter D’Sa, helped the girls design and build small structures to hold and drop an egg from the second floor of the building without breaking it by using the principles of physics and design.

Lorraine Goveas led a Coding workshop using Scratch, a fun and easy-to-use coding tool developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The girls were able to explore and develop their coding skills with this program.

Another new and innovative workshop was the Escape Room led by Jason Fernandes, Natalie Montanez and Alex Charn. Attendees were given a mystery to solve and had to use teamwork and critical thinking skills to solve the many mini puzzles along the way to discovering the solution.

In the Human Body workshop, led by Nash McMillan and Board Member Candace Albuquerque, attendees learned about the major human organs and how they work together to keep us alive. They got to see and touch real human organs including a brain, lungs and heart that were provided by Ben Koo from the University of California, San Francisco.

Returning for a second time we had the Science & Skin Care workshop led by Goa Sudharop Vice President, Rebecca Lobo. After a brief lesson on the mechanism of acne development, the girls were able to identify the problems that cause acne, develop a testable hypothesis of how they could prevent acne using herbs and then create their own personalized herbal spritz that they could take home. This workshop introduced the girls to the fields of biochemistry and its application in the beauty industry.

Another repeat workshop was the CSI Fingerprinting workshop led by Goa Sudharop Board Member, Nathan Moniz. In this workshop, the girls were split into two teams and had to identify the criminal on the opposing team by obtaining fingerprints and using forensic science principles. This workshop emphasized how science is used to solve crimes.

The Human DNA Extraction workshop, while a repeat workshop, had a twist added to it. Hope O’Donnell, who taught the workshop this year not only taught the girls how to extract DNA from their own cheek cells, but she also taught them about immunology, T-cells and DNA sequencing. This workshop emphasized how science is used to improve human health.

g4g Day@SF Bay Area was a huge success and we would like to thank all the workshop leaders, group leaders and volunteers for sharing their time, knowledge and skills to encourage and inspire so many young girls.

We would also like to thank the many donors and sponsors that made this free event possible for the local community.

Lab Coats: Goa Sudharop & Greenlight for Girls

Notebooks & Pens: First Republic

T-shirts: BlackRock

Name tags: Greenlight for Girls

Wristbands: Love Never Fails

Donations towards lunch, snacks, venue rental and workshop supplies:

Aldila Lobo


Cisco Systems

Federal Christian Co-Operative Housing Society (FCCHS) Foundation

Filomena Giese

Geralyn & Glenn Lobo

Goa Sudharop

Joseph & Acaria Almeida

Joseph Naik Vaz Institute

Kurt Almeida

Phillis White

Shilla Almeida

This event would not have been possible without all of your support!

To see pictures from the g4g Day@SF Bay Area event visit

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