JEDDAH: Like any young bride, Razan Sindi’s wedding day was the happiest day of her life. But unlike most brides, Razan decided to postpone her happiness so that she could help deprived children instead.
On the day she should have tied the knot with her husband-to-be, Anas Al-Harbi, Razan was in Nepal with a team of Saudi volunteers working with the Butterfly Foundation, a non-profit humanitarian organization that looks after poor and underprivileged young people.
The couple believe the foundation on which they should build their life together is that their “common interests should not conflict with their personal goals,” and Razan decided that the happiness of others was more important than her own. So, with Anas’s full support, off she went to Nepal.
Volunteer tourism is a unique experience, Razan, from Alkhobar, told Arab News. “You travel to discover the world and help those in need, carrying a message with you that represents the high values of your religion and culture.
“Volunteer tourism is a unique and completely different experience from volunteering in your city or hometown, because it introduces you to different cultures and environments, which will polish your personality and build your confidence.”
Razan was part of a team of four men and four women from Jazeel, the Saudi skills-based volunteering platform set up in 2015. In Nepal, the team opened a gift shop, the profits from which will support the Butterfly Foundation. They also established a library and a primary-care facility for the foundation.
Using their skills, the Jazeel team also developed a website for the Butterfly Foundation, translated into several languages, and created social media accounts for the foundation on Twitter and Instagram.
Razan’s mission for humanitarian work is inspired by her mother and her late father, and children’s issues around the world are her main concern.
Nepal is one of the five poorest countries in the world, with nearly half the population suffering from hunger, two-thirds living below the poverty line and 60 percent illiteracy. Children are deprived of education because of poverty, underdevelopment, illiteracy and other socioeconomic problems.
Razan wants to change that reality, and she has been working as a training and activities manager with Jazeel since 2015.
“I am a person who finds pleasure in learning and benefiting from the cultures of other countries,” she said. “When you have a goal that you seek, you should work at what you believe in.
“I am sure that being part of a distinguished group of volunteers is a great platform for professional and creative volunteering. I am proud of being among all these professionals, and that encourages me to achieve a lot more with them.”
And those wedding plans? They were postponed, but not canceled. Razan and Anas married when she returned from Nepal, and the couple are now on honeymoon in New Zealand.
Source Credit: Arab News