2017

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Syrian Orphan ChildrenThis winter, we invite you to send your #warmhugs to Syrian orphans. If we feel cold in our comfortable homes with our family, imagine how harsh winter can be in torn huts with no heaters and proper clothing. As we bundle ourselves and our kids, let us send a little love to children who need them the most. For a cost of your lunch, at $15 you can sponsor a jacket, socks, a cap and a pair of gloves for a child.

Click here to support this campaign, and put "#WarmHugs" in the memo.

 

 

Our founder Dian Alyan traveled to Amman, Jordan last month to launch the project. She took 50 orphans to a lunch party where the kids got to enjoy puppet shows, music, and dance as well as popcorn and cotton candy. The kids thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon festivities as you can see in this video.

She also distributed funds of $50 to 100 orphans and their families through a partnership with Al-Gharaa Foundation, a reputable charity that has been doing work since 2013 in Amman to help thousands of orphans and refugees. We will continue the sponsorship to ensure that 50 children will have a long term support for their basic needs and education. Our hope is to grow the number of orphans we sponsor to 100 in 2019. Click here to support this campaign, and put "Syrian Kid" in the memo.

Click here to see pictures from the event.

Dian was accompanied by three GiveLight volunteers. One of them was Shan Khan, a Bay Area resident who happened to be studying in Amman. Below is Shan's account of the visit.

In November 2017, I was blessed to be able to join Sister Dian Alyan when she went to Amman, Jordan, to visit children who had been orphaned by the war in Syria. Even though the experience was short (only 4 hours), it was life-changing for me.

 Growing up in America, I -- like so many others -- continuously hear, read, and watch videos of the conflicts occurring across the globe. We are informed of how families are torn apart and how children continue to be orphaned at an alarming rate. We see the haunted faces of the boys and girls who have lost everything through the pixels on our screens as we scroll through our social media feeds. Seeing their faces and looking into their eyes in person, however, is a whole different experience.

The computer screen doesn't allow you to see the actual hope, fear, pain, and perseverance in their eyes. Real life does.

I went to visit my orphan brothers and sisters with the mentality that they needed me...that I would offer them MY help. Ironically, I left them realizing that they didn't need me at all. It was actually I who needed them.

It was necessary for me to witness what true perseverance looks like...to see hope in a seemingly hopeless situation...to experience the raw power of the human spirit. Those orphaned children helped me much more than I could ever hope to help them.

But I am still determined to try my best to be of any benefit to them, God willing.

I understand now why our master and guide, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), loved orphans so much. These children teach us in a way that no one else can. In this time, their example is one of the greatest standards for us to live up to. They have so little yet they strived to live life to its fullest while we in the west have everything yet barely know how to live lives of purpose and meaning.

One thing that stood out about these children was that -- despite their terrible circumstances -- they were so eager to smile.

And Dian was more than willing to help facilitate those smiles.

She had a way of connecting with the kids that was uncanny. They were all complete strangers to each other and spoke different languages, yet somehow she found a way to bring cheerfulness despite their difficulties they are facing. When I saw their warm and loving interactions taking place, I knew that I simply HAD to be a part of it. I was determined to convey to others what I had witnessed so that they could experience the sincerity and mutual love as well.

I may not be able to travel all over the world and assess the needs of orphans in different parts of the globe for myself, but I am so grateful that we at least have been blessed with an ambassador like Dian who is more than willing to provide this service on our behalf. It is our responsibility now to ask her NOT "what do THEY need from us?" but "what do WE need to do for ourselves?"

Because the truth is that WE are the ones who will benefit by being a part of GiveLight's efforts. After all, didn't our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) tell us that the one who takes care of the orphan will be with him (the Prophet) in the next life?

I hope that by helping bring smiles to those children's faces, one day the Prophet (peace be upon him) will smile upon me, God willing. Thank you, Dian, for giving me the most valuable 4 hours of my life! Now please put me to work!