IHF is about helping and educating those people who are not able to support themselves financially and socially. IHF is different in the sense that it is run and worked on by young people with modern ideas and new visions. We want to put our own unique stamp on the Youth Organization and be different in our approach but achieve the same goals ultimately as other Youth Organizations.
It was never my interest or dream to be in social work; my family has throughout the past and present generations always been involved in these things in one form or another. This was part of my heritage, I did help out but I never fully understood what it meant or how one person could change another person’s mindset or contribute towards a better life for others or those who are less fortunate.
I started understanding and developing my own interest in social work and humanity when I started University. It stemmed from me watching a documentary from BRAC which left me integrated and wanted to know more about the concept of Humanity. I felt the urge to do more, be more, to help others, to stand up and confidently say actually I can make a difference if I choose to do so. I had so many ideas in my head and wanted to actively do something to change the way things were in my country. I intended to lead by example and leave behind a legacy for others as an inspiration. I finally understood that this is the time to do something with life and will define me as a human being.
In the winter of 2009, I went to donate blankets, just like my family donates to the poor. This time I took a lead in managing the charitable contribution from my family. I wanted to see how it was done, take time to plan this donation myself and get real-time experience in charity work. The donations took me to many towns and villages where we distributed the blankets to the less fortunate. Helping others gave me this overwhelming feeling that I had made a difference. The harsh reality left me astonished. Even though I live in Bangladesh, this was a way of feeling what they have been feeling for many years, first hand.
I was dismal to see that these people, who are just like you and me, had no color and sprite in their life. In my visit, I met a family where a housewife is a perfect artisan in crafting and I saw her work materials. It was great but upsetting that she doesn’t have a way to sell these products because she believes people won’t buy this. I was shocked to hear that she doesn’t send her children to school because they need to earn money for the family where she herself can do it. The lack of motivation discouraged her from doing anything about it.
It was depressing to see that they had no education or basic social skills, and to some extent, morals. People steal and sell what they can to make money to feed themselves and live another day. I wanted to start at the beginning where it was possible to change attitudes through something as simple as education. To me this was vital; education was my answer to this situation. I decided I wanted to be and do something in a different way, with the core concepts being education and employment. If you have education and work, you are in a better position in life.
“The Project I set out to do, not to think, but actually do. We just don’t stand and look from a distance; we get involved, show a helping hand and move forward together.”