PCD students

Anaiya Patel and Sanya Somani

Phoenix Country Day School freshmen and best friends Anaiya Patel and Sanya Somani have teamed up to launch HealthforHER, a nonprofit that provides health resources and education to underprivileged women. The nascent organization is quickly gaining momentum.

“We began by brainstorming ideas we were passionate about,” Sanya explained. “I was thinking of something feminist-oriented.”

Anaiya wanted to help women with medical needs due to her grandmother’s struggles with Lymphoma. “We had always had the idea to start something that would impact the community and the people we care about, and this idea seemed perfect,” she said.

The duo’s vision took shape after forming their nonprofit and promoting HfH on Instagram and through word of mouth.

Thanks to Anaiya’s mom – Sheetal Chhaya, a rheumatologist in Phoenix – an ideal pilot project for HfH appeared right out of the gate. 

“Jeanne Nizigiyimana, who is the director, co-founder and program manager of the Women’s Refugee Health Clinic at Valleywise, was aware of our vision,” Anaiya explained. “She furthered our passion for assisting these women by suggesting we get involved with the center’s Refugee Holiday Drive.”

The drive was making PPE kits with hand sanitizer and masks and including 150 packs of baby wipes for new mothers. Rising to the challenge, the girls decided to initiate a campaign at their high school. After the dean and the school senate approved the idea, the two placed donation boxes around the campus. They publicized the event by sending out emails to students, faculty and staff.

“It was a tight deadline, but was very successful,” Sanya said. “We collected 200 baby wipe packages, which exceeded our goal.”

Anaiya and Sanya have set their sights even higher, hoping to branch out into neighboring states and countries as well. Using Instagram and help from international family members, they have started reaching out to others who might want to be a part of their organization. 

“We’ve also begun recruiting international ambassadors of all ages in Korea, the U.K., Canada, Guatemala and India,” Anaiya said. “The ambassador’s responsibility is to expand HfH’s platform and recruit other members to share their mission, mainly through social media. In addition to attending online meetings, they re-post our stories to their accounts.”

Currently, HfH has numerous ambassadors and over 1,000 Instagram followers worldwide. The duo plans to hold Zoom sessions to clarify each job category, such as marketing coordinator, graphic designer, outreach coordinator, writer and ambassador.

The girls are also considering partnering with Liquid IV, a company that sells products designed to replenish electrolytes. The goal is to provide replenishment to breastfeeding moms with premature babies. To jump-start their venture, Sanya and Anaiya are emailing various hospitals to initiate new projects.

Follow along on Instagram @healthfor.her