Valuable Thoughts from your Good Human – SUPERHOPE

Superheroes are made not born. Find out what the guys at Superhope are doing to create little Superheroes with a heart-warming story.

Here, Basma and Tarik share their valuable thoughts on a super campaign.

SuperHope_Logo_blog

1. What is Superhope? 

To begin with, our mission was and is to boost a child’s positive mental attitude (PMA) through positive experiences, which we design for children with a real life battle such as cancer. When one’s PMA is boosted, one’s immune system is strengthened so does their will to fight the battle.

With that in mind, Superhope was born out of wanting to use creativity for doing good. We, Basma Masri and Tarik Batal, agreed on an untraditional approach to engaging the child in their own healing campaign through artistic and entrepreneurial means.

We come from backgrounds having worn many hats. One of which is film and photo production, which has made many elements of the projects much easier.

IMG_2484

2. Describe the process:

The child creates his own Superhero character alongside a Comic Illustrator who sketches out the child’s imagination, from superpower, to super costume. We then surprise the child by producing their imagined costume with the help of talented costume designers and finally realise the entire experience by carrying out a professional photo shoot of the child in their Superhero persona. The process takes place on 4 separate days which helps build up the excitement in the child’s life. The children get to keep their costumes as a constant reminder of who they really are – Superheroes with superpowers!

3. How was the experience like?

It was beyond what words could describe. It was our first time to work directly with children with cancer, and every meeting was educational, every encounter was inspirational. Listening to the children’s imaginations and seeing their lovely spirit was a positively changing moment to our outlook on life. We witnessed the children become so empowered, so happy and so full of positive vibes throughout this campaign. They had the chance to escape and forget about their struggle and celebrate the moment especially at the Comic Con.

It was truly rewarding having the parents come up to us, in tears, expressing their gratitude and happiness. Parents are the support systems and we encourage families to be part of their child’s imagination and inspire them to be whom they wish to be.

static.squarespace

4. But Superhope is also about promoting a healthy state of mind, tell us more.

We are in discussions with doctors and psychologists on the key factors that help in boosting a child’s healthy state of mind, whether battling a disease or not. We have and are currently doing more and more research on this subject to better serve our upcoming campaigns as we continuously educate the children and their families on the little steps that everyone can take to provide love and stability in one’s mind, body and soul. We regularly post our research through our blog; follow us for updates!

5. What are your challenges and setbacks?

Our biggest challenge in this project was finding the most suitable time to meet with the children as they were still in treatment. Nonetheless we did it!

6. How can the community help?

We deal with many collaborations, so we are always searching for people to help us achieve the campaign’s objectives. Interested professionals in the fields of comic illustration, costume design, creative photography and filmmaking should send us an email with their skill set and portfolio and we will get in touch with them.

Also word of mouth helps a lot, so please be kind and spread our Superhope message.

We’d like to add that our past collaborators were more like partners who worked whole-heartedly and passionately on the cause. We would like to thank them all for all the efforts they have done.

static.squarespace-3

7. What is a Good Human in your point of view?

A person who spends their life working on something that will outlast it.

8. If you had the resources, how would you change the world or influence change to the good?

We believe in using all the available resources to every individual to their best knowledge and using their relevant expertise to create positive impact towards a problem their heart urges to solve. If we each do a simple change within our community, that alone has the ability to create that ripple effect that affects neighbouring communities and eventually the whole world in a big circle of positive energy. We must first start at home!

9. What is one valuable thought you can share that has really impacted the way you thought?

To search for and fulfil that purpose which serves people beyond you.

10. Moto?

“The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it” William James.

Abdeen_50x50+Example

SuperHope_Stickers_blog

To find out more, visit the website on www.super-hope.org

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest

Valuable Thoughts from Your Good Human – Omar Abu Omar

We’ve asked Omar Abu Omar, a well-liked, everyday kind of guy, human in our Dubai community to talk briefly about his life as part of the “Your Good Human” stories.

Here he shares the steps he took that led him to combine his hobby with philanthropy. 

Where do I start.. Hmm. Well, hi! I am Omar Abu Omar (yes, I have an identical first and last name). I am a Palestinian in my late twenties and been born, raised and educated in Dubai. I lead a normal life with little that I think stands out, but I have this obsession with running which I’ve had for several years now. I’ve always been running; running to drive away bad thoughts, tension, negativity and the blues of the day. And I started when I was a teenager, running for fun where I’d jog for a couple of hundred meters, walk for a few minutes and then resume running. It was only till a couple of years ago when I was encouraged by a friend to sign up to a big 10k long race in Dubai, at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon. The adrenalin rush and the post-race sensation, the ecstatic feeling of having completed a challenge I never saw myself taking part in, were all factors that made me even more interested in running and in pushing myself further. A few months later I decided to challenge myself again but with a half-marathon. My objective was simply to finish it without stopping and surprisingly, I did and actually had enough endurance to complete it comfortably. A bunch of other races came up after that with distances that varied from 5k to half a marathon, but less than a year after completing my first half-marathon, I had enough loose wires in my head to take on a full one. All 42.2 kilometres of it. I started training for one in Jordan, the Dead Sea marathon, not knowing what to expect or how I would finish it and what was ahead. Needless to say, I managed to complete it and although it was an agonising and painful experience, all of those feelings vanish soon after you cross the finish line and the lasting memory that remains is the overwhelming feeling of “OMG! I JUST FINISHED A FULL FRIGGING MARATHON!”

Omar-Abu-Omar

Since then, I’ve taken part in several other short distance races and a couple of full marathons in Istanbul and Madrid. For the latter, I decided to do some charity work and fundraise for a good cause. My charity of choice was Save the Children’s operations in war-torn Syria where my target was $2,000 initially, increasing it to $3,000 as I was able to raise more funds at the time and eventually reaching a final donation amount of $3,300. It felt great to be able to do something I deeply enjoyed doing while engaging in charitable efforts to help others.

Currently, I am training for my 4th full marathon, which will be in my hometown Dubai and I am raising funds for MAP, Medical Assistance for Palestinians. My donation target is AED 10,000 and so far have been able to raise around AED 3,000. This charity’s efforts are exceptional in bringing crucial and essential aid to the struggling people of Palestine with a focus on the besieged Gaza district. I trust that my efforts and the donations of friends will make a difference to many lives there.

To find out more and to donate please visit: www.justgiving.com/OmarAO

 

 

Malalas Needed.

Malala-Yousafzai

 

On Friday the 10th of October, 2014, a 17-year-old girl was announced as the recipient of the ever-so-prestigious Nobel Peace Prize. The girl is of course, Malala Yousafzai who we only began to hear of a few years earlier when she made the headlines after her attack. Malala also is now the youngest person to ever receive this award.

A few people opposed this win claiming she had done nothing to make peace in the world, and although I can’t dispute that for a number of reasons (lack of proper research, not knowing on what premises the board members judge on …etc), I can say that I personally believe she deserved it. That’s also aside of whether there was another candidate more deserving of this award, this year.

If we’re going to change the way things are going, and they seem to be going downwards for many countries and their people, then we need to be doing something about it. Many of us complain about our situations, “the system”, life, government, but very few of us do something to change that. Because you know, you can either be the girl who receives a bullet in her head, survives, and then hides in her room afraid to roam the streets of her own neighbourhood, or you can be the girl who gets shot in the head, survives, and speaks even louder.

It is really important that we take the positive and inspiring aspect of Malala’s story and look at that, more so than scrutinising every time a Nobel Peace candidate wins and criticise the why’s and how’s of their win.

We need more young girls who are bred to be stronger and more resilient. Because life can be so dangerous for all of us and the fight to keep ourselves floating needs to be something we’re prepared for by the time we’re 14. Not to say that teenagers shouldn’t be allowed to live out their childhood but we can always support a stronger, bolder attitude that manifests itself in this teenager’s future causes and beliefs.

I also suggest people read more about this young girl, Malala Yousafzai, and get to know her life story as you will be surprised at the chain of events you had wrong.

 

Let me share a quote I hold so close to my heart as I believe in it so deeply.

Some people badly need to be ill for their own sake, and some people badly need to be ill to provide important choices for others. Only in that way some people be encouraged to make serious choices about the sort of person they are to be. For other people, illness is not so valuable.” – Richard Swinburne.

10 Valuable Thoughts from Your Good Human – Flea4Charity

As part of the 10 Valuable Thoughts feature, The Good Human has asked Flea4Charity 10 questions to get some valuable insight into the foundation and the people and projects behind it. We encourage the community to keep an eye out for foundations and charitable projects; one day perhaps you might be able to support and take part in a cause that can impact you profoundly. Read on and feel free to share any questions you may have for Flea4Charity.

 

1. What/Who is Flea4Charity?

Flea4Charity is a Dubai-based charity founded by Luz Villamil and Jihad M’nasria back in March 2011. We are a team of 6 members altogether, including Ahmed Ramadan, Ahmad Abugosh, Sajid Ismail and Khadra Hayati. We started out by wanting to help our Libyan university colleagues whom had families and friends suffering during the revolution in Libya, yet we always wanted to do our own initiative since we have been active in CSR since we first met in university back in 2004.

Jihan Mnasria & Luz Villamil

Flea4Charity team

2. What major projects have you worked on?

– Raising more than $44,000 for the famine in East Africa.
– Better Bukra (Better tomorrow) online show in collaboration with www.mydubaimycity.com which featured different acts of kindness.
– #GiveSyria Campaign.
– More than 9,000 meals have been distributed throughout 2013 and 2014 to labor workers in various camps in the UAE.
– Celebrating various occasions with underprivileged and orphaned children.
– Various collaborations with local and regional NGO’s and initiatives such as Breathing Numbers (they focus on the refugees in the region such as Zaatari Camp in Jordan.)

unnamed

3. What are your future projects and plans?
Charity fashion show, funds will go to victims of Gaza, is our next project for the upcoming period and a couple of collaborations with local and regional initiatives.

4. What is one thing you would love to be a part of?
Placing mobile libraries in various rural areas and villages, mainly for children.

5. How do you think is the best way for the average person to do good and be a good human in their community?
To simply think of others and practice random acts of kindness at least once a week and it doesn’t have to be as monetary help. It can simply be formulated in writing kind/positive words and placing them in random places for others to receive.

6. If you had the resources, how would you change the world? Or at least influence change to the good?

By diminishing illiteracy and providing the children all over the world a safe home, proper food, medicine & sources of joy/entertainment.

7. What are your challenges and how can the community help?
Our main challenge is mainly the continuous flowing funds and coming up with new & innovative ways to inspire people to give back to their communities.

8. What is one valuable thought you can share that has really impacted you (as a person/as a team/as a charity) and changed the way you thought?
Giving doesn’t only impact those you give, it actually impacts you first and that happiness is doubled when shared.

9. Share the most fulfilling moment since you have begun your charitable journey.
There is no one fulfilling moment, every event outcome is a fulfilling moment, every smile we see on childrens’ faces we draw, every prayer we receive from those we are blessed to help, every compliment from our volunteers and contributors.

10. Your motto?
“And whoever saves one – it is as if he has saved mankind entirely” – Qura’an | Surat Al Ma’idah [5:32]

 

To learn more about Flea4Charity, visit their website http://www.flea4charity.com