Believing that education is a right and not a privilege, in 1988 Simon Kattar founded the Waladi "My Child" Child Education Fund of Toronto. It is a registered charity dedicated to providing an education to children at home and around the world. Since 1989, Waladi has helped Thousands of children obtain an education—children in Uganda, Brazil, Armenia, Lebanon, and Canada.

 “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”  




About Simon

A native of Beirut, Lebanon, Simon Kattar graduated with honours from the prestigious ''École Hoteliere de Beirut.'' Simon received his initial culinary training at various international hotels including the St George Hotel in Lebanon, and the Westbury Hotel in London, England. In 1971, Simon immigrated to Toronto and, taking advantage of the city's rich cultural diversity, continued to develop his own unique style. In Toronto, Simon has worked at the Four Seasons Hotel, Royal York Hotel, the Delta Chelsea Inn, the Prince Hotel, and La Cuisine. As Executive Chef and co-owner of à la Carte Kitchen Inc, Simon has earned a reputation for culinary excellence in taste and presentation.



The Inspiration

Simon has returned home several times. Each visit has left him more disheartened by the desperate lack of educational opportunities for Lebanese children and youth. It was after such a visit about 17 years ago that Simon decided to put his money where his mouth is (fitting of a chef) and  Waladi meaning "My Child" was born. In its first year, through the generosity of its supporters, it provided 150 Lebanese children and youth with access to quality primary, secondary, and higher education. Over the following years Waladi had programs running in South Africa, Brazil, Uganda, Canada, and Lebanon