Walk For Syria/Turkey.


Farrah Javed is a long time volunteer and supporter of GiveLight. She recently joined our founder Dian Alyan on a trip to an orphanage in Mexico along with her son and six other volunteers. Givelight is now sponsoring six orphans in Mexico through a partnership and we aim to increase that to 20 by 2020. Below is Farrah’s reflection from the trip. We hope it moves you to action so that together we can make a lasting impact in this world. 

“My reflections on a trip I took with my son are difficult to put into words. I’ll try to share the experience as best as possible. I keep the moments close at heart and when I close my eyes, I see them again. 


I woke up early that morning with excitement as well as anxiety. I had chosen to take my son this time to have him meet the orphans and try to understand what exactly is an orphanage. He was still a bit lost, “Why are we visiting them again?” We had studied the idea of what an orphan is, and recalled that our Prophet, pbuh, was one at a young age. I tried to explain briefly and not overwhelm him. “Well, don’t you like it when friends and company come over? They are excited for visitors to come play with them too. They don’t get friends coming over often.”


This experience would be different though. I knew these orphans were growing up in a society of poverty around them, some were victims of abuse, abandonment or forced away from parents due to domestic violence. In any case, it didn’t matter. They were no longer under a roof with a parent’s love, affection, and attention. They were now housed in a home in which they eagerly yearned for acceptance. I feel my entire purpose was not just for them, but myself. 


We arrived in the morning after a three-hour bus ride. Our tour guide was also one of the founders who gave us a brief intro about the orphanage and reminded us of our purpose; i.e. to give these children hope. Our presence itself was impactful. I was initially hesitant about the idea since I didn’t know any Spanish and I wasn’t sure of their level of English, if any. I kept thinking to myself, should I have come on this trip? We ventured out and I knew in a way, that no language was needed to play with a child, giggle, laugh and give a high-five. 

We arrived to children singing around a cake. I couldn’t see a candle nor could understand the writing on the cake as it was in Spanish. I couldn’t tell if there was a birthday child as they all crowded around the cake as if it was their birthday. I guess they were happy we were there, so it was a welcome for us.


We spent the afternoon playing cards, marble run, arts and crafts with the children. We shared their activity space with them and stopped to have lunch together. My son enjoyed foosball and water-bottle flipping with them. At many times, my son was found wandering around wondering who could he play with next. We had name tags so the volunteers could learn each other’s names. However, the orphan children didn’t. During play, we’d get to identify them through smiles and laughter.