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July 14th, 2014 – Today is Malala Day

Posted by on Monday, July 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

July 14th, 2014 – Today is Malala Day

On October 9th, 2012 a 14-year-old girl was shot by the Taliban on her way home from school in Pakistan.

Why? Because she had stood up and actively fought for her right to go to school and get an education. She believed every girl should have a chance to become something great and live out her dreams.

The shooting left her in critical condition but did not stop her from standing up for her rights and the rights of all girls not only in Pakistan, but worldwide.

This brave young girl, Malala Yousafzai has continued to #SpeakUp and urges girls around the world to #BreaktheSilence and claim their rights.

“One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution.”

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Today, on her 17th birthday, the world celebrates her courage while continuing to push for change for girls worldwide.

Our free school sites in Kachra Kundi and Ghana encourage girls to break away from the cycle of poverty, get an educate they have every right to, and escape to a better future.

However, we continue to face struggles especially in Kachra Kundi as we try to educate a community on the importance of educating a girl.

Our ask of you?

#SpeakUp for the rights of women and girls worldwide and let them know they are not alone in their struggles.

Sponsor a child in Kachra Kundi.Your sponsorship ensures the children have a chance at a brighter future.

We hope this #Malala Day we can raise more awareness for the injustice against women and girls and work towards a better tomorrow.

Peace.Love.Thaakat.

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Congratulations to an Exceptional Woman- Sharon Coyle-Saeed

Posted by on Monday, May 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

sharonIn honor of International Women’s Day we launched a campaign to accept nominations for exceptional women who work hard to give back to our communities and/or goodwill. After several weeks of reading beautiful nominations, our guest judges chose their three winners.

Today we want to recognize Sharon Coyle-Saeed.

Sharon Coyle-Saeed is the CEO of ibdjourneys–an organization which supports, honors and inspires those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a positive, feel good and family setting.  

She was diagnosed with IBD in 1990, however, it was upon meeting her late friend who passed on from complications in surgery for Crohn’s disease, which truly inspired her to spread awareness of what IBD is, support those with it and sprinkle a little happiness to those who are suffering from this serious autoimmune disease which is sometimes confused with IBS a syndrome which is lesser in severity and not a sister to IBD. “IBD is more on the same level as Lupus, multiple sclerosis and other autominnue diseases. The pharmaceuticals used in these diseases are the same.”

We asked Sharon what her biggest challenge yet has been and this is what she had to say-

“My biggest challenge was to go through a high risk (50/50 chance) surgery in April of this year in hopes to alleiviate symptoms which put me into the hospital more than 60% of the year for the past three years. The hardest part was tying up loose ends of a life that I may not be there for, saying goodbye to loved ones the day before surgery and writing letters to my underage children which stated, “Mommy will always be watching and guiding from above.”

(Excerpt courtesy of mycentraljersey.com)

Sharon Coyle-Saeed searched her soul for just the right words as she tried to do the one thing no mother should ever have to do — say goodbye to her children.

“I will be forever watching and guiding from above,” she wrote to Mikail, 12, and Noah, 8, at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan last month before being wheeled in for an operation that doctors had classified as high-risk.

“I was OK with either outcome,” she said. “If it was my time to go, I had made peace with my past.”

This was Coyle-Saeed’s ninth surgery since 1990, when she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis — which, along with Crohn’s disease, makes up the vast majority of cases that fall under the umbrella of inflammatory bowel disease or IBD.

In honor of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day we wanted to honor Sharon and the wonderful woman she is. Rain or shine, hospital bed or the comfort of her home- she is always smiling. She has made such an effort to be involved in every aspect of her community and has shown this disease will not hold her back. She has made immeasurable impact on the IBD community and those around her.

The sweet nomination came from Sharon’s husband, Saad B. Saeed.

Sharon’s take away on life–

 “Live it! Live it fully! Make a difference. We are given a limited time here. How will yours be spent? Oh yes and guess what? Most of it is all small stuff!”

Please visit www.ibdjourneys.com to learn more about Inflammatory Bowel Disease and how you can help.

Sharon’s $100 gift of charity will be going towards ibdjourneys.

 

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Congratulations to an Exceptional Woman- Pooja Berdia

Posted by on Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

pooja berdiapooja berdiaIn honor of International Women’s Day we launched a campaign to accept nominations for exceptional women who work hard to give back to our communities and/or goodwill. After several weeks of reading beautiful nominations, our guest judges chose their three winners.

Today we want to recognize Pooja Berdia.

Pooja is no stranger to taking global initiative to making change. Pooja Berdia has been an active member of both Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority as well as Unite For Sight for the past three consecutive years at NYIT. She had the opportunity to serve as president for both of the organizations. Whilst president of Unite For Sight, which is a non-profit organization determined to end preventable blindness, she became extremely interested in making a difference.

We know you’d love to hear more about Pooja, here are a few insights from our Exceptional Woman herself.

A little bit more on my professional+ volunteering background

Professionally, I will be attending SUNY Optometry next fall. This past March I went on a mission trip to Ghana, Africa. I worked alongside Unite For Sight to help eliminate preventable blindness. We did this by giving poverty stricken individuals eye screenings, glasses, and performing cataract or pterygium surgery at virtually no cost. My experiences in Ghana taught me that I have the potential to make a difference.

At what point did you decide that you wanted to take global initiative to making change?

I always wanted to do more than just doing well in school. That is why me and three other women chartered our college’s first South Asian sorority, Kappa Phi Gamma to New York Institute of Technology. In just two years we have come so far, we actually just won our campuses ‘Best Greek Organization’ award. Being a sister and President of Kappa Phi Gamma taught me how to be an effective leader to my peers. After I graduated I wanted to use my semester off to make a difference, not only to the women in my school but globally. Giving children, parents, the gift of vision, and the opportunity to strive above their poverty, really spoke to me.

What were some of the challenges you faced in your journey and how did you overcome them?

Many were weary when I decided that I wanted to volunteer in Africa, especially my family and my close friend. They were all supportive but convincing everyone that Ghana is indeed a safe country was very difficult. At times I began to doubt myself as well, when they gave me so much pressure about returning home safely.

Some words of advice for others who want to make a difference but maybe don’t know where to start

Find Passion. Take some time to reflect on yourself, and really figure out what gives you motivation. Why you are where you are? Answering that question should really help. I think that’s the hardest part, and once you figure that out, finding a way to make a difference becomes a lot easier.

Pooja’s $100 charitable gift will be going towards:

The American Childhood Cancer Organization

Pooja was nominated by fellow student and friend : Ashna Meh

 

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