The documentary, A Future for Meher”, chronicling the humanitarian work done by chess families and students is entered in the Elgin Film Festival. The chess community has raised $31,000 in the last 4 years allowing 8-year-old Meher to have 3 plastic surgeries on her hands and face. Meher was a victim of severe burns after her mosquito net caught fire when she was an infant. Because of her circumstances she was unable to receive any medical care untill chess students stepped in. The documentary is a triumph of how students can work together to accomplish incredible goals. In this case they gave Meher a favorable chance at life.

Students competing at the 4th Annual Hough Street Chess Tournament

(Photograph by Joseph Ridgway)

Chess Without Borders has won awards, honors and recognition for its work combining chess education with service and philanthropy. Several students won scholarships for their leadership roles at fundraising and most recently 16-year-old Madison Rossi qualified to join the UN Youth Assembly in New York. Madison joined youth volunteers from around the world at this prestigious Assembly. Her article about her experience appears in the Barrington Courier today.

Any student in the Chess Without Borders program who volunteers can qualify for attending the UN. Please email at Also a copy of the documentary is available for $10. The money will help buy a computer for the school run by Project Why in the Govindpuri slum in Delhi, India.

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