We are expanding to a new continent - AFRICA!
Launch of project and progress
With many of our successful projects in Asia, the idea to reach out to the orphan children in Africa was born in 2011. We started with an idea to help in Sudan after the Darfour crisis but was not able to find a credible partner on the ground. Then Morocco came into the picture through personal connections of our team members. Below you can read the story of how our dream is now shaping into a reality in Morocco.
- Land donated to GiveLight in Casablanca - Sept 2012
- Dian traveled to Morocco to visit the land - Dec 2012
- GiveLight core team members identified in Morocco - Feb 2013
- Pro-bono architect and lawyer joined the team - Mar 2013
- University of San Francisco (USF) adopted GiveLight as a community service project - May 2013
- Initial blue print shared with USF Architecture Department - May 2013
- Cost of construction was estimated and 80% cost raised - June 2013
- USF students presented interior design for the home - Oct 2013
- Paperwork submitted for legality and permit - Jan 2014
- First set of permits received - June 2014
- Government raised concerns to build home in the area - Sept 2014
- We looked for alternatives in other location - Oct 2015-Sept 2016
- A generous family decided to donate a larger piece of land - Oct 2016
- Dian traveled to sign paperwork - Feb 2016
- Ground-breaking and construction commencement - May 2016
- Close funding gap of $50K - June 2017
- Expected completion/grand opening - Fall 2017
“The Unveiling of Our First Home in Africa”
by Houda Myal and Isa Shaw
I used to walk by an orphanage every day going to school. The big, towering door was always shut and very intriguing to me. I always wondered what went on behind those doors. The stern look on the caregivers’ faces was very intimidating and I sometimes caught a glimpse of the girls entering or leaving. In my college years, I started practicing my deen and learning the true meaning of giving. A few years later, I became a mom and learned the value of caring for your own child.
Four years ago, we lost a child of our own. Being parents in the face of such incredible sorrow made us think again about the children who have lost their parents. GiveLight was one foundation dear to my heart. It was a cause that touched me. God promised immense reward for caressing an orphan’s head. Last year, while visiting my beautiful home country of Morocco and spending time with my cousin who had just lost her 24 year old daughter unexpectedly, we got on the subject of philanthropy, and I mentioned the great work of GiveLight Foundation and how my dear friend Dian would love to build an orphanage in Morocco. Without a blink, my cousin (May God reward her and bless her daughter’s soul) offered to donate the land for the orphanage. That’s when the idea came to life.
Morocco is a beautiful place but it’s not exempt from poverty, suffering, and darkness. I’ve seen kids eat from the trash cans and I’ve seen them sleep on the bare floor. Let’s all get together to ease their suffering one child at a time, one light at a time.
Houda Myal and Isa Shaw
We need to close $50K funding gap for construction cost.
Our near future goal would be to ensure that once construction of the orphanage begins, then it proceeds smoothly and the home is ready for the children to move in.
Thank you for generosity.
Launch of Oujda project and progress
We are also operating a second Orphan Sponsorship project in Morocco. We have been sponsoring orphans in Oujda since 2012 through partnership with a credible grass root organization called ABPO Association pour les Benefiance et Protection des Orphelins (APBO).
- A long time GiveLight supporter approached Givelight to sponsor orphans in Oujda, Morocco - Summer 2012
- Givelight did extensive background check - Fall 2012
- Dian, founder visited the NGO and orphans in Oujda - Jan 2013
- Givelight held a private event to sponsor 23 kids - Feb 2013
- Dian traveled to Oujda and spent time with the children – Feb 2016
- Kids bios updated and sent to sponsors - March 2017
- Dian and team to travel to Oujda to see the children - Fall 2017
Here's more background about how this project came into existence
“A father's legacy”
by Abdelhakim Bouamama
Of all of my father’s qualities, the most salient is his sensitivity to the poor. When I was a child, he was a schoolteacher who bore witness daily to the hardships experienced by the poor in Morocco. These people were not some distant strangers; they included his neighbors and their children. He had students who came to school with torn sandals because their parents did not have enough to eat, let alone buy them proper shoes. We went shopping every week for these children, and my father would buy school supplies for one, clothes for another, and a pair of shoes for a third. Yet, the students he expressed the most compassion for were the orphans that he taught. Nothing he could buy them could fill the dark void that only the presence of a parent can fill.
When he retired, he was determined to help orphans in a more lasting way than his weekly shopping. So, he founded, in our hometown of Oujda, “ABP Orphelin,” an association designed to provide financial assistance to orphans in the city. The association provides food and clothes and takes care of the orphans’ medical and educational needs. It also aims to improve the orphans’ basic living conditions. For example, one family was living with metal sheets in lieu of a roof and ABPO built them a proper roof this past Ramadan. Other households had no running water and no electricity until ABPO helped finance both.
One of the things that our beloved Prophet (SAW) taught us is to lead by example, and it is through my father’s example that I decided to support GiveLight. This wonderful association embodies everything my father stood for and I have been a supporter since its initial creation. So, when my father needed help with ABPO I could not think of a better fit than a partnership with GiveLight, as they have the same mission and have worked hand-in-hand to protect our orphans.
The volunteer team at ABPO has the drive and dedication to do more but there is only so much they can do with limited resources. This is why the partnership ABPO has formed with GiveLight is a crucial and beneficial one. GiveLight can, with your help, provide the funds that ABPO needs.
Helping orphans is my father’s and GiveLight’s legacy but it can also be yours and that of your children. Be to your children the example that my father has been for me. Sponsor an orphan or donate to GiveLight today.
The cost to sponsor a child is $30 per month, which translates to $6,120 annually.
Thank you for generosity.