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Protecting Children Will Take Center Stage at ‘Hands Across Borders’ Gala

Published 10/26/2018 by Global Communities

Project Concern International to honor unsung heroes working to protect and empower vulnerable children in San Diego and around the world

SAN DIEGO—Project Concern International (PCI), Southern California’s largest health and humanitarian organization, will host its 29th annual Hands Across Borders gala on October 27 at Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The event will recognize local and global efforts to advance the safety and well-being of children worldwide.

“PCI’s work has always been rooted in the belief that every child deserves a chance to lead a safe, healthy and productive life,” said Carrie Hessler-Radelet, President & CEO of PCI. “This gala is about celebrating the progress we’ve made and renewing our commitment to create a healthier world for current and future generations.”

In San Diego, PCI teaches young students how to recognize and report the signs of human trafficking while also empowering them to make choices that increase their safety and resilience. PCI provides over 280,000 school meals every day in Guatemala, Nicaragua and Tanzania, so students can be healthy enough to learn and build a future without poverty. PCI also increases access to education, life skills training, proper nutrition and health care for orphans and vulnerable children In India and across multiple countries in Africa.

As part of this year’s Hands Across Borders gala, local children’s advocate Haida Mojdehi will receive the Anne Otterson Community Connector Award. Mrs. Mojdehi is an accomplished local attorney who worked for the San Diego Mayor’s Office and for Congressman Scott Peters. As an esteemed board member of PCI, Outside the Lens and the International Society for Children with Cancer, she has dedicated years of service and philanthropy toward helping children of all backgrounds reach their full potential.

PCI will also present Tobias Tembo and Barefeet Theatre with the 2018 Humanitarian Award. Tembo is a past participant of PCI’s KidSAFE program for orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia. Over a decade ago, he co-founded Barefeet Theatre. The nonprofit, which operates in 40 communities in Zambia, uses interactive theater workshops, psychosocial support and creative self-expression to help local street children gain the life skills they need to become strong, successful and healthy.

More than 500 local business and community leaders are expected to attend this year’s gala to support PCI’s programs. The evening will include dinner, a silent auction and a performance by members of Barefeet Theatre’s award-winning troupe. For additional event information, visit

About Project Concern International (PCI): PCI is a San Diego-based nonprofit and Southern California’s largest health and humanitarian organization. We help vulnerable people in 18 countries gain access to health services, nutritious food, clean water, education and economic opportunities. In San Diego, PCI helps children build resilience to reduce their vulnerability to trafficking. We help thousands of women have healthy pregnancies, providing a continuum of care that benefits the whole family. We empower women to increase their financial and social capital, making them agents of change in their families and communities. We provide health education and improve access to care so people in underserved areas can manage and prevent chronic diseases, and we train women from these vulnerable neighborhoods in community health work, so they can pursue careers in healthcare, or join the ranks of our 47,000 volunteers around the world who are helping PCI build healthier communities. For more information, visit