The two weeks following the Asia Tsunami were the most depressing and horrifying moments of my life. Not only did I lose those closest to me, but I also witnessed my entire homeland being torn to pieces. My whole existence was shaken and the images of destruction and suffering haunted me night and day. I asked myself repeatedly, “What can I do? What should I do?”
This Foundation is a result of that hard and long re-examination of my life’s priorities. I am fortunate to have been born into privilege, but I feel that I have not done enough to share it with others in a meaningful way. I have always wanted to help orphans, but was never quite sure how to do it beyond giving to charity. Now, this tragic event has awakened in me a deep sense of humanity, and the realization that I must do my part to save those children. It is my goal to aid the people of Aceh and support the land that fed and raised me. In time, I hope those we help can one day give back to their own communities. So goes the circle of life.
The GiveLight Foundation is a tribute to my mother, the most beautiful, kind, and patient person I know. Abraham Lincoln once said: “All that I am and all that I will ever be, I owe it to my mother.” I could not articulate that feeling any better. I am also inspired and moved by many women whose brilliant minds and selfless actions have enriched my life: Mother Theresa, Eleanor Roosevelt, Cut Nyak Deen (a heroin from Aceh who played a strong role in the independence movement against the Dutch colonial in the 1930s), Oprah Winfrey, and Jane Austen. I’m equally grateful to everyone on my team whom God sent into my life to complete it and to help me achieve a higher purpose.
Lastly, this is a tribute to Islam, my guiding light, for teaching me compassion, generosity, and to strive for a noble cause.