Dubai: They came from diverse backgrounds and different schools in Dubai but they came together for a common goal: To raise funds for the Paediatric Oncology Unit at the Indus Hospital, Korangi Campus in Karachi, Pakistan.
A group of 15 students including 14 Pakistanis and one Indian — aged between 12 to 18 — tapped their social circles, friends, and families to raise awareness about the health care situation in Pakistan and took concrete steps to help. Collectively, they raised a total of Dh93,411 in just three months, enough to provide over 1,000 free chemotherapy sessions for needy patients, particularly sick children.
They are Haya Aslam, Year 7 student at Dubai College; Mhammed Anwar, Year 12 at Jumeirah College; Faris Saadaat, Year 9 at Dubai College, Amani Tumbi, Year 7 at Dubai College; Pareysa Ahmed, Year 9 at Jumeirah College; Taha Siddiqi, Year 10 at Jumeirah English Speaking School; Sophya Mashkoor, Year 10 at Wellington International School; Azlan Shah, Year 7 at Dubai College; Ayaan Ehsan, Year 9 at Dubai College; Zahraa Muhammad, Year 10 at Dubai College; Dua Majid, Majra Ojha, Simran Birla — Year 12 at Jumeirah College; and Samar and Saniya Hasan, Year 7 and 10 respectively at Jebel Ali School.
“These passionate individuals came together to utilise their resources and raise funds for the Paediatric Oncology Unit at the Indus Hospital, Korangi Campus in Karachi,” Dr Amber Rashid, Director Indus Hospital and Health Network, said during a recognition ceremony honouring the Youth Ambassadors on Thursday.
“I am so proud of our young superstars who have strived in these difficult times and managed to raise a considerable amount of money for deserving children in Pakistan. Truly inspirational. These ‘Champions of Change’ achieved an ambitious target only in three months,” Dr Rashid added.
Youth Ambassador programme
The Youth Ambassador programme was launched in April 2021 to encourage the youth in the UAE “to be involved with charity and learn about the health care reality of Pakistan”. It was also created to encourage young adults to be involved with Indus Hospital & Health Network (IHHN) that provides free of cost, quality treatment to the poor and needy in Pakistan.
Inspiring to both youn and old
Prominent Pakistani banker Arif Lakhani said the initiative by the students is inspiring to both young and old. “These young adults took upon themselves to help the poor and they are making a valuable impact to society,” Lakhani told Gulf News.
Pakistani businessman Shabbir Merchant added: “We will keep supporting initiatives like this and we hope these students can inspire more people get engaged in charity work.
Tapping family and friends
To raise funds, the Youth Ambassadors first created their own fund-raiser page via YallaGive platform. They shared their page with family and friends on social media. They also made personal calls and engaged their schools and peer network.
The campaign ran from April to July 2021. The students have reached a total of 195 donors and, in a span of three months, they have collected a total of Dh93,411.
Joy of giving
The students were proud of their achievement and they vowed to continue doing charity work. Saadaat said: “Fund-raising is the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving. I was able to give hope of life to the underprivileged children suffering from cancer.”
Tumbi added: “I wanted to do something for others and make a difference.” She vowed to be part of Indus Hospital and Health Network and continue other projects.
Siddiqi, for his part, said: “We rise by lifting others — and this inspired me to support people in need and led me to become a youth Ambassador for Indus Hospital to make a difference”
Mashkoor added: “As someone who has been blessed with many opportunities, it is my duty to help those who have not been as fortunate. This is the reason I decided to become an Indus Youth Ambassador, so Icould help the people of Pakistan and try to make a difference in the world”.