Our exclusive interview with Philanthropist, human rights activist, speaker and author Hanna Jaff Bosdet who is one of the stars in NETFLIX’s first Mexican reality series “Made in Mexico“, which showcase nine of Mexico City’s wealthy socialites, revealing their opulent lifestyles throughout the culturally vibrant city.
Hanna Jaff Bosdet was born in San Diego to a Mexican (Catholic) mother and a Kurdish (Muslim) father and learned from a young age about bias and discrimination; in America it is not socially ideal to be either Mexican or Muslim, and she is both. Growing up with parents who love and respect each other despite their cultural differences, Hanna knew that these biases were wrong, and she decided to change the misconceptions that people have, while also helping refugees and immigrants that lack proper resources and educational tools.
Her first step was to educate herself, something that she dove head first into, receiving a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Harvard University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from National University (California). She also studied at Columbia University in New York, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Monterrey, and La Sorbonne University of Paris.
In 2013 at the age of just 25 years old, Hanna created her own non-profit, the Jaff Foundation for Education. Their mission is to teach English to immigrants, refugees, and the less fortunate, launch nondiscrimination campaigns, and aim their attention on world peace and education. Today, the foundation has more than 7,000 active volunteers.
Her great humanitarian and activism work has also garnered her many accolades and awards. Entrepreneur (Mexico) named her one of their “30 Under 30 Successful Mexicans” in 2016. That same year she was recognized at the St. Gallen Symposium (Switzerland) as one of the “200 Leaders of Tomorrow Under 30”. Other honors include: “Philanthropist of the Year” (Groupo Sexenio), “5 Women Transforming Mexico” (Nivel Uno Magazine), named one of the “50 Most Admirable Mexican Women” (CARAS Magazine), one of the “15 Most Influential People in Politics in Mexico” (Reforma Newspaper), and awards in philanthropy, women’s empowerment, leadership, and academic achievements by the Kurdistan Garmiyan Regional Government.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Independent, positive, determined.
Who is your biggest supporter?
Best advice ever given?
Never follow the crowd, and never give up.
When and how did you start as an Influencer on Social media?
My oldest post on Instagram is from 2012. I have mostly posted about my philanthropy work and/or travels ever since. I wanted to inspire others in getting involved in their local communities and volunteering.
How did you get selected for the show?
Word of mouth, one of the cast members recommended me to the producers, I didn’t know him personally, but they got in touch with me through a mutual friend.
What kind of content will we see on the series?
How beautiful Mexico City and Mexican culture is. You’ll also see a reality docudrama with nine ordinary people showing their lives, professions, personal issues, families, and relationships.
Tell us about your non-profit foundation the “Jaff Foundation for Education?”
Jaff Foundation for Education is a nonprofit organization focused on world peace and education that works towards helping refugees, immigrants, and the less fortunate by donating self-taught English learning books, and campaigning against discrimination on political views, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, skin color, gender, disabilities, socioeconomic status, and cultural differences. Established on June 4, 2013, hosted more than 170 charity events, has 7,000 active volunteers, and benefited more than 120,000 people.
Why did you decide to create your own foundation?
The reason for the inception of my foundation is due to the love and respect I have for humanity. Since I was a child I have been very close to refugees and migrants. My time spent at refugee camps and immigrant homes made me realize how communication was one of the major issues, so I started to teach English. I authored three English language-learning books: for Spanish, Purepecha (native language in Mexico), and Kurdish speakers. Jaff foundation has donated a total of 60,000 English books to immigrants, refugees, and the less fortunate.
How can people participate on it?
Visit our website and become a volunteer.
Mexico and United Kingdom
Now on the Traveling side, we know you love traveling. Tell us your Top 3 countries to travel?
Mexico always but would recommend – Brazil, Japan, and India.
And which countries or cities are still on your bucket list?
On my bucket list it says:“I have to go to all the continents and 7 wonders of the world.” I’ve been to them all except Australia.
Which place that you have visited do you think changed you in a particular way, maybe your motivation or made you see a different reality, etc.?
Kurdistan, visiting refugee camps, after seeing the aftermaths of war as a child, is when I knew I wanted to devote my life in helping others, become a humanitarian or a politician.
What does fashion mean to you?
It’s a reflection of who you are, clothes tell a little something about you.
Who is your favorite public figure? And why?
Nelson Mandela, because he stood up for what he believed in aside from the consequences and struggles he faced. He had the courage, to always continue, stand firmly, defend human rights and freedom.
3 things you can’t leave your house without?
My phone (with headphones), wallet, diary
What music do you like?
Traditional pop romantic music.
Your idea of a perfect Sunday is?
Writing, reading, and spending the day with my family.
How’s a normal day in your life?
Everyday is different, but usually waking up, I thank God for another day, watch the news for 30 minutes, and call my parents. Go to the office, focus on my different Jaff Foundation projects, upcoming conferences, and we are one campaign clothing line. Afterwards, I try to spend my evenings with friends.
What is your favorite healthy food?
And your favorite cheat food?
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
To continue to expand We Are One Campaign. It is a non-discrimination world peace movement that aims to eliminate hatred, bullying, and division. Regardless of political, religious, sexual orientation, skin color, gender, disability, socioeconomic, and cultural differences. Using clothes to deliver awareness and messages of respect, unity, and tolerance. With every item purchased We Are One Campaign donates an item to refugees, immigrants, or the less fortunate
Where we can follow you?
“Success is knowing how many people have a better life because you exist. If you manage to improve at least one persons’ life, then you had a successful life.”
Holiday Destination: Gstaad, Switzerland in the winter and St. Tropez, France in the summer.
Food: Persian food
Drink: Green tea
Celebrity Crush: Bradley Cooper
Song: The way you look tonight, Frank Sinatra
Sports Team: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente Soccer team
Book: The Count of Monte Cristo
Black Outfit – Ricardo Tapia