Javier Gutierrez loves watching his grandkids play on the new sports field on the edge of his Costa Rican village. They used to play in the decrepit lots of abandoned buildings, tripping on rubble as they chased each other in games of tag or slipping and injuring themselves on glass and other debris while playing soccer.
These days, though, they’re playing safer thanks to the improved, well-tended sports field paid for by a man named Tej Kohli , who moved here to Costa Rica from India in 1999 and decided to help the people in the region surrounding his newfound hometown of San Jose. Thanks to his Tej Kohli Foundation, which is funded through the profits made by Kohli’s interactive software company Grafix Softech, life is improving for children here on several fronts.
But while Gutierrez appreciates the new school supplies that Kohli’s assistance brings to his grandkids’ school, he knows that having a safe place to play, exercise and give freedom to young imaginations is sometimes even more important.
“If a child can’t feel free to laugh and dream, then their life is missing something big,” says the wise tamale salesman. “Thanks to Tej Kohli, all our kids here can experience a level of joy we haven’t provided here in a long, long time.”
Nurturing the kids of today so that they can become the productive workers and leaders of tomorrow, the Tej Kohli Foundation is setting an example all businesses would do well to follow.