Although this project is about supporting SOS Children's Villages in Africa and not about us, we thought we should explain who were are and why we feel it is important for us to 'pay it forward' by helping others.



Before we left for Africa, I took boxes of donated binders to the SOS Children's Village Thrift Store in Vancouver. They were too large to take on the plane so it was better to donate them for sale.

I am 13 years old, an honour student currently in Grade 8 at West Point Grey Academy, and live in Vancouver, B.C. I was recently appointed as a Youth Ambassador for SOS Children's Village B.C. I was honoured to be appointed - along with Bob Lenarduzzi of Vancouver Whitecaps, retired BC Lions football player Lyle Green, radio host Shell Busey and retired Lufthansa executive Klaus Kittel - because SOS Children's Village has always been one of my favourite charities.

I am especially impressed by how dedicated SOS Children's Village is to maintaining the culture and religion of the children in its care, along with a home life that includes a house mother and siblings. I am fortunate to have a loving and supportive family and know how important that can be.

Last summer I and my sister were able to visit SOS Children's Villages in Kenya, one in Eldoret and one in Nairobi. We had held a stationery drive at our school and collected over 5,000 pieces of stationery. During our trip to Africa, we were able to distribute these items directly to the students and their teachers. We also donated eight boxes of binders to the SOS Kerrisdale Thrift Store. These items were too large to ship to Africa, so were best sold in Canada to raise money.

In addition to donating to SOS Children's Villages, I visited Hill School in Eldoret and Darajani Primary School in Tanga, Tanzania. My sister and I distributed stationery at these schools as well. I have seen first-hand what life is like for children in developing countries and look forward to raising awareness by sharing my experiences.

Last summer was not my first project for SOS Children's Villages. When I was in Grade 5 I set up a lemonade stand outside a local grocery store to raise money to buy pencils for school children in Kenya. Then when my family visited Mombasa, I was able to give the pencils to children at the SOS Children's Village.

For the past seven years I have also participated in the World Partnership Walk and I've been a volunteer iwth the Ismaili Volunteer Corps for more than eight years.. My other volunteer activites have included numerous school presentations on global poverty and participating live on camera for the Children's Hospital Miracle Weekend in 2012.

One skill I love to share is playing the piano. I've completed my RCM Grade 10 exam and won awards at piano festivals and workshops. When I was six I started volunteering to play piano at residential care homes to entertain the residents and I still enjoy doing this. I also enjoy reading and playing soccer.

But I think my favourite activity is contributing to international development. Everywhere we went in Africa, I was impressed by the happiness of the children and their beautiful smiles. I have learned it takes so little to make a difference. I want to continue so have set up this second project with my sister Raheesa to further support SOS Children's Villages.

I love SOS because I know I can make a difference.


Before we left for Africa last summer, I packed up some of the more than 5,000 stationery items we collected for distribution to African students in Kenya and Tanzania.

I am an honour roll student in Grade 10 at West Point Grey Academy, where I have been an honour student since Grade 8.
I am also on the student’s council and help initiate, organize and participate in many community service activities, including the following:
- Organizing Christmas Hampers;
- Helping at the UBC Apple Festival;
- Joining in Covenant House Thank-a-Thons;
- Supporting We Scare Hunger, Vow of Silence, We Day;
- Making sandwiches for the homeless at Oppenhaimer Park in east Vancouver; and
- Many other community service and charitable projects, both through school and as part of the Ismaili Volunteer Corps.

At school I was chosen as a First Respondent and was one of three finalists for the Youth Philanthropy Initiative Program in 2013.

I have received my Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Another of my interests is the Vancouver Youth Model UN, in which I have participated for the past four years. A related activity is competitive debate and public speaking, for which I have earned multiple awards. I was selected to represent my school at the national Canadian public speaking championship.

I have volunteered with the Ismaili Volunteer Corps for 12 years, lead solo hymn recitals monthly at the Ismaili Centre, and am a World Partnership Walk Ambassador.

I also enjoy the arts. Like my brother, I play piano and started performing at seniors' nursing homes when I was six. I have now achieved my Grade 10 from the Royal Conservatory of Music with first class honours and am currently enrolled in Trinity College, London, England, for their Associate Diploma in Piano Performance. I’ve been the lead soprano singer for the West Point Grey Academy Chamber Choir for three years and have been invited to perform as a soloist at special performances. But perhaps my favourite of these performance was for the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle program in December 2012, which was broadcast on CTV nationally and on local news.

Another of my interests is theatre. I’ve been props manager for productions in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and also assisted with a Vogue Theatre production of To Sir with Love.

In 2012 and 2013 I received ISTAR (Ismaili Student Total Achievement Recognition) Awards for academic excellence; in 2012 for Community Service and Leadership; and as Student of the Year in 2013.

I also recognize that I’ve been fortunate to live in Canada and have a supportive family to help me achieve my goals. I’ve tried to pay it forward with projects that raise awareness of child poverty, including bringing school supplies to Kenya in 2012 and 2013.

With my brother Aman, I established the Empty Pencil Box to both raise awareness of child poverty and help raise money for international development. Together we can make a difference.


To support our new fundraising campaign for SOS
Children's Village in Kenya, please click on the DONATION link at
right to reach our secure Donation site. Donations
can be made via PayPal and go into a dedicated bank
account for transfer to SOS Children's Villages Canada.

We have arranged with SOS Children's Villages Canada
for donations to be designated for an SOS Children's
Village in Kenya.


For more information, please click on any of the following links.