One month prior to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s visit to Fiji, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi was shining her own spotlight on this loving country. It was through Prince Albert of Monaco and Tamara Rotolo’s daughter’s blood, sweat and tears (literally!) that Naidi Village received a new community hall – the first big project of The Jazmin Fund, which she founded on her own at the age of 14. Now, 26, the blonde beauty is opening up to HOLA! USA about this special place, and why her childhood dreams involve so much more than being a singer and having an acting career like her grandmother Grace Kelly.
Jazmin is living out her childhood dream of helping others Photo: Katie Edwards
Jazmin grew up with the best of two worlds – a lowkey upbringing in Palm Springs, California, and the regal lifestyle when visiting her father in Monaco – but it’s the island in the South Pacific that stole her heart in 2006. She knew from that moment she needed to lend a helping hand and took it upon herself to start her fund. “My parents taught me the importance of giving from an early age, but my passion for philanthropy was something I found on my own,” the actress, whose own determination has raised more than $50,000 for Naidi, says. “My father and family have expressed they are proud of the work I’m doing.”
Jazmin (with dad Prince Albert) took it upon herself to start The Jazmin Fund
The apple clearly doesn’t fall far from the tree as she returns the Monaco royal’s sentiments. “My father is an incredible person. He is someone I look up to for many reasons and has such a big heart,” she says. “I hope we can work on humanitarian projects together in the future. I’m proud to have him as a father and for setting an example to others, especially world leaders, on making these important humanitarian and environmental issues visible.” She also hopes to collaborate with her late grandmother’s Princess Grace Foundation.
Keep reading for more on how a night out with her dad and Princess Charlene inspired her, what it meant to take part in the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles with her cousin Pauline, and why a broken foot wouldn’t stop her from getting this hall built.
VIEW GALLERY The aspiring singer-actress (pictured here in September 2018) first visited Fiji in 2006 Photo: Katie Edwards
HOLA! USA: Your latest initiative focuses on the arts. Was that inspired by your late grandmother, whose foundation also helps aspiring artists?
Jazmin Grace Grimaldi: "I attended the Princess Grace Awards in NYC for the first time a few years ago with my father and Charlene. That was when I was first truly introduced to all the fantastic work that my grandmother’s legacy continues to do for the art community. I was so impressed and proud. I hope to participate, be a part of or even partner with my grandmother’s initiative someday."
Fiji has been a place close to your heart for 12 years. What is it about this island that really sticks with you?
"Fiji surprised me in a way that I knew it existed but never fully experienced such a pure form of kindness and generosity from a group of people. Fijians are truly the most welcoming people – so eager to learn and share. There is still a traditional culture preserved amongst the small country with incredible intimate villages. Fiji truly changed my life for the better. It’s a place that I knew I would return and could never forget."
Jazmin shares BTS from building the community hall Video: Katie Edwards
What will this hall allow the people there to do?
"The new hall symbolizes a new space for new beginnings where villagers can come together to make beautiful memories and build community. It’s amazing what can be achieved when everyone can put away their differences and come together to achieve a common goal."
Part of your efforts to get this built was participating in the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles in Morocco.
"In March, [the Rallye] was an incredible life-changing experience and one that I would love to do again someday. My cousin Pauline [Ducruet] and I both participated. I think it was a wonderful bonding experience for us even though we weren’t on the same team. We have maintained a lovely relationship throughout the years. The rallye brought us closer together, and we're so supportive of each other."
VIEW GALLERY Jazmin (with cousin and Princess Stephanie's daughter Pauline Ducruet) came in third in the Rallye
You broke your foot at the start of the community hall construction. Did that affect working on this project?
"I broke my foot in July, and it put a damper on my going to Fiji to help start the initial build, but sometimes life has a different plan in store. I learned a great deal of patience during my healing process. We are nothing without our health. I stayed hands on during my recovery and got weekly, even daily, updates from my partners. As soon as my doctor signed off to get on that plane, I was there ready to work!"
Tell us what you were feeling when you unveiled the finished product.
"When I entered the hall, it is very hard to put into words the emotions I was feeling other than honored, humbled to be there, and so proud to be a part of such an incredible project with the best team. I was overcome with so much joy and happiness that I couldn’t stop the tears from streaming."
VIEW GALLERY The 26-year-old started fundraising for Naidi Village two years ago Photo: Katie Edwards
What is next for The Jazmin Fund?
"My hope is that we can continue programs established on this last trip. I want to have a strong and thriving first project before moving onto another. While I was there we held a concert that has been promised to be continued once a month. During my visit I also looked at future potential projects for The Jazmin Fund alongside NGF and Caukin. We scouted a few schools in need to help build an outdoor auditorium, a new special needs school and villages in need of rain entrapment systems for fresh drinking water. I love Fiji and would love to continue projects there, but my hope is that I can have thriving projects in Fiji and then extend projects like these to other parts of the world in need."
"I’m just starting and working hard on my acting and singing career. I aim to release my debut single, Fearless, very soon. I also acted in my first indie feature film that premieres this year called Cicada. Pursuing a career in the arts is not for the faint of heart, you’ve got to love it!"
The holidays are coming up. How do spend them?
"I take one day at a time, but for the holiday season, I try to divide my time to be able to see all my family! Family is very important to me."