The Fagun Foundation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to empowering girls and women across the globe to overcome barriers in their educational, professional and personal lives through the transformative power of the creatively.
Girls and women can face many challenges to their development. Barriers may be caused by learning difficulties, poor education, financial instability, difficult family situations, lack of direction and any other setback that has become an obstacle to their ability to thrive. The Fagun Foundation was founded on the belief that there is transformative power in creativity to overcome these barriers.
Through our expanding network of creative practitioners, we offer a unique variety of arts-oriented workshops covering multiple disciplines, across the visual, literary and performing arts. Our creative practitioners work locally and globally in communities, schools and businesses to provide a network of safe spaces where women can prosper and fulfil their potential. We also have a worldwide team of mentors who offer more long term, one-on-one, personal support and guidance.
Our ultimate goal is to build new schools in underdeveloped areas. We hope to help children and young adults by placing an increased value on creative disciplines, alongside a more traditional curriculum, emphasising the power of creativity as a resource for learning.
The Foundation is proud to provide women worldwide with the means to profoundly change their lives. We believe in the ability of our local, global and institutional creative programmes and mentoring network to enable women to progress and succeed in their educational, professional and personal lives.
Fagun Thakrar is a critically acclaimed British actress, writer-director and activist, based in the UK and the US. Having served as spokeswoman for other non-profit causes and foundations for several years, Fagun witnessed the transformative effects that fostering creativity in others can have in their lives. Following this, she founded the Fagun Foundation in early 2017. Fagun has appeared in a number of Hollywood and international cinematic productions and as an artist and writer-director, uses filmmaking to educate people’s perspectives on the world. Her films and creative output focus on narratives featuring strong female leads and advancing women’s rights. Fagun studied Medicine at University College London and later trained in Classical and Contemporary Acting at the prestigious Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Alongside her film career, she completed a master’s degree at the London College of Arts and Fashion and established her own fashion line. Most recently, Fagun’s artistic passion expanded to directing, that she studied at a world-renowned directing school in the USA. Her latest project is a documentary exploring the intersection of meditation and neuroscience: ‘How Our Brains Are Affected by Meditation’. In addition to her philanthropy and cinematic profession, her career achievements also span a wide range of industries and passions including fashion, business and teaching.
A Message from the Founder, Fagun Thakrar
Establishing the Fagun Foundation has been an incredibly important mission of mine, as I want girls and women around the world to have access to the resources and support that will help them to overcome barriers in their education, career and personal life.
When I moved to London to study medicine, certain aspects of my new life were quite overwhelming. Since childhood, and as long as I can remember, I knew that I had some barriers that were holding me back from reaching my full potential. That was when I discovered the power of artistic expression. I found that using the creative arts allowed me to express myself and in turn, I believe this enabled me to overcome these overwhelming difficulties. It helped me to achieve breakthrough in my education, and then in my career, and still continues to help me to this day.
Often, the creative arts and traditional, scientific academia are seen as two opposing factions; conversely, for me, having a creative outlet helped me to go further in my education and to embrace the theoretical aspects of my career.
During my time as the international spokesperson and volunteer for a domestic violence non-profit in the US I encountered the power of creative expression firsthand. Through my hands-on experience working with these women, I learned that creative expression helped them to regain a sense of independency which enabled them to flourish in other aspects of their lives, thereby regaining a sense of their own self-value.
Following these experiences and having dedicated much of my professional life to the arts, I am determined to advocate the power of creativity as an outlet which not only promotes self-expression but also supports and harmonises with one’s personal and professional development and well-being. Through this, I hope to empower girls and women across the globe.
The Fagun Foundation is not solely about dancing, painting, storytelling or acting, but rather giving girls and women the space and the tools to experiment with these outlets and to find and develop their own unique self-expression.
The Fagun Foundation offers a variety of resources and support. The Community Programmes aim to give women the opportunity to learn and develop new creative skills, but more importantly, they provide a supportive community where self-expression is encouraged and ideas can be shared. Our mentoring programmes carefully select girls and women who could benefit both personally and professionally from the one-to-one guidance from one of our professional mentors. We can offer continuous support, mentoring, and guidance to the those who need it most.
In time, I hope to one day implement the Fagun Foundation Schools which will provide regular and comprehensive instruction in various creative outlets. I believe that using creative arts should not be seen as an optional addition to ‘traditional’ learning and working, but rather as an integral part of our lives. We hope to enable as many people as possible to overcome barriers in their personal lives, education, and careers through the transformative power of creativity.