OVERVIEW: The M. Night Shyamalan Foundation's domestic interests support education reform in Philadelphia. Globally, the foundation focuses on livelihood opportunities, education, food and water access, and agricultural projects in Africa, India, and Central America.
IP TAKE: The foundation works with a select number of partners, and provides multi-year support.
PROFILE: Founded in 2001, the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation (MNS) was created by Hollywood director-writer-producer M. Night Shyamalan and his wife Dr. Bhavna Shyamalan. Inititally, the foundation focused its philanthropic efforts on financial support for American families that adopted children from India. Since then, the MNS has expanded its scope to include education reform in Philadelphia (where the couple lives) and supporting other organizations that work globally. MNSF seeks to "support the grassroots efforts of emerging leaders as they work to remove the barriers and eliminate inequities created by poverty." It invests in education, trafficking, nutrition, livelihood, and water.
To facilitate its mission, MNS works through various partnerships founded by its International Education, Food and Nutrition, Human Trafficking and Slavery, Livelihood and Job Skills, and Water initiatives. MNSF's partnerships often extent for several years in such countries as India, Tanzania, Guatemala, South Sudan, Nicaragua, Kenya, and Ghana.
MNSF is particularly interested in working with "leaders." One such leader, Ghanian James Kofi Annan, was sold into slavery as a child before going on to found Challenging Heights last decade to help other children. In the past, MNS has partnered with Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya; Tanzanian Children's Fund; The Samburu Project, a nonprofit focused on drilling wells in Kenya; Nuevas Esperanzas, which works for the Nicaraguan poor; and the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, a nonprofit organization working to increase access to education in post-conflict South Sudan.
Grantseekers may find reading about MNS's "leaders" useful. Grantseekers should note that MNS's Human Trafficking initiative is currently seeking organizations with which to partner.
- M. Night Shyamalan, President and Director
- Bhavna Shyamalan, Vice President and Director