Walk For Syria/Turkey.

In the early days of GiveLight, we had no idea how far-reaching our work would be. Nineteen years later, we are in 14 countries, uplifting the lives of more than a thousand children and receiving support from more than 100 corporations through employee matching grants.

None of this would have been possible without the passion and support of many of our supporters and champions. Meet three such champions, Ansa Obaid from Salesforce, Aisha Memon from Cisco and Aparna from Adobe, each with their own inspiring GiveLight story:

As we near our 20th anniversary, we have set a goal to support 10,000 children annually by 2028. To help reach this height, our goal is to increase our corporate matching partners to 200 companies by December ‘24. We hope these volunteer experiences inspire you to join us and help GiveLight grow.

Ansa Obaid, Salesforce

Ansa championed GiveLight by inviting our CEO, Dian Alyan to speak at their very first Eid Party in 2018. Hundreds attended the event and a few of them decided to take immediate action and plan a trip to build a computer lab GiveLight’s newly opened girls’ home in Morocco. A year later, after careful planning, the Salesforce team took off.

Read Ansa’s account of her first trip:

I’ve been volunteering with Givelight for more than 15+ years. My main motivation comes from the emphasis our religion places on taking care of an orphaned child. Seeing Dian’s passion to embark on this journey for the sake of our Lord and her commitment to raising confident children drove me to this nonprofit. 

I visited the Morocco home with colleagues from Salesforce to set up a computer lab. The experience of baking cookies, teaching computer skills, reading books, singing, and playing with the forty girls of “Maison de Lumiere” was the most meaningful one for me. We spent four days and came back with our gratitude bucket overflowing. 

Salesforce’s impact can be categorized into three buckets

  1. Giving access to technology and empowering a new generation of young girls to learn computer skills with a donation of 16 laptops and $16,000 for tech education. 
  2. Helping Hind (now 20 years old) attend one of Morocco’s most prestigious universities. After coming back in 2019, two volunteers, Betty Yip and I have worked to keep the relationship going between Salesforce and Givelight. Through various volunteering activities resulting in Salesforce grants and personal donations, we’ve funded a scholarship for Hind totaling $27,000 to date.
  3. The broader impact we believe is raising awareness amongst Salesforce employees about the needs of orphaned children and building a group of volunteers who participate in various activities. It has been fun, rewarding, and great team building to create cards for children in Morocco and record a virtual library of storybooks for all of GiveLight’s children.

Salesforce is a shining example of business being the biggest driver for change. Our CEO invented the 1-1-1 model, where 1% of our product, revenue, and employee time is spent on giving. 

I am passionate about finding ways for organizations like GiveLight to benefit from the Salesforce model, as well as helping our employees find meaningful opportunities to give back and build everlasting bonds.

Ansa Obair

Aisha Memon: Cisco

Cisco is the very first company that approved GiveLight to receive employee matching grants. They had a rigorous selection process and we had to complete pages of forms and documents. But the hard work paid off as we now have a strong supporter base at Cisco, many employees have been there since the early days of GiveLight.

Read Aisha’s story below:

I was motivated to get involved with GiveLight because of the sincerity that permeated all their work. I also see the unique community, bonding as female leaders in the Bay Area, gathering their efforts for the cause of giving orphaned children a real chance at a good life. GiveLight has many innovative ideas that bring people together; such as monthly lunches at restaurants, a vibrant youth volunteer program with older mentors, and enjoyable events like biking across the Golden Gate Bridge and hiking by the ocean. I wanted to give back and become part of this special tribe.

For me, having the opportunity to ideate the strategic lens of GiveLight was meaningful. One such way was brainstorming all the effective methods that could help GiveLight achieve its goals and multiply the benefits for the children worldwide. Another meaningful fruition was growing and scaling the GL model. Understanding the existing processes helped me see where things could be optimized and how technology would help bridge the gaps.

I believe the ‘23 launch of the GiveLight home in Cape Town, South Africa was a huge testimony to all the great work the Givezlight’s leadership has accomplished. Albeit modest contributions, my daughter and I painted signs for the Cape Town library, made flyers, and were involved in the youth mentorship program. The recent launch of the GiveLight home in Multan, Pakistan made it very fulfilling to witness the benefits provided to the children, the beautiful scenery, and the exquisite construction of the home itself.

I pray for the success of all the children supported by GiveLight. I’d like to continue to be a part of the journey these children partake in growing into adulthood, however humble my contribution may be.

Aparna Khan: Adobe

Adobe is another great company that has provided strong corporate support for GiveLight over the last decade. Initially championed by one of our volunteers employed there, Aparna Khan joined the GiveLight family as a lead volunteer for Global Bistro, one of our signature events.

Here what motivates Aparna to volunteer at GiveLight:

I firmly believe that every child deserves the chance to live their best life. It gives me a sense of purpose to know that my work with GiveLight makes a real difference in the lives of children who are truly vulnerable and in need.
Volunteering with GiveLight has given me increased empathy, resilience, and a broader perspective on life. Witnessing the positive changes and knowing that I am part of something greater than myself is a source of inspiration and motivation.
We are actually creating a sustainable living and learning environment for children who have faced tremendous adversity. When we see the children graduate from our home – it’s more than an individual achievement. It symbolizes the triumph of resilience, hope, and the collective effort of our community. It is amazing to see how an initiative goes beyond basic needs and instills a sense of belonging and empowerment in each child.

Adobe has a great Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program that focuses on supporting orphanages and children in need. I really enjoy organizing fundraising campaigns and introducing colleagues to the reward of volunteering.

Recently, I led an event to fill backpacks for children in Mexico during orphan awareness month. The outpouring of love and participation from Oracle’s employees was truly inspiring, and GiveLight’s children were truly touched by the handwritten cards and much needed school supplies.

The way the children supported by GiveLight flourish academically and emotionally is a testament to their incredible resilience and the success of GiveLight’s model.