Early 2015, a group of alumni from Amity College, including myself, decided they wanted to take a trip somewhere after the end of a grueling year at the university. But that trip didn’t just need to be for leisure but also to help the needy.

And so began the Amity Alumni Charity Project for 2015.

Through this project having various donations we were able to collect $7500. $3000 for an orphanage in Vietnam and $4500 for a library in Laos.

First, we headed to Vietnam specifically Ho Chi Minh City also known as Saigon. Here we met with a few brothers working at Horizon International Bilingual School.

For the orphanage, in Vietnam, we raised money to supply them with mattresses, pillows, fans and fridges which are incredibly important in the hot climate of Vietnam.

We met with the wonderful children and distributed sweets. They were incredibly excited to get out during what was supposed to be their nap time and see some new faces.

The caretakers at the orphanage informed us that many children residing at the orphanage had inherited both mental and physical illnesses as a consequence of the Vietnam War and the chemical agents such as Agent Orange used during bombardment.

The second leg of our trip took us to Pakse, Laos where the new library had been built. We were greeted by the wonderful staff at Eastern Star International School. The books which we had brought from Vientiane by bus were placed in the library and we started the arduous task of setting up all the bookshelves, with a lot of help from the workers at the school. By the time all the shelves were assembled it was night and we loaded all the books on to the shelves, many books which I had read myself while growing up.

It was a wonderful trip with a lot of amazing experiences. The orphanage really opened up my eyes to show the lasting effect war can have on the future of a country, the children.

The aim of the school library project was to empower learning through education and we believed we fulfilled that goal. InshaAllah the books will be read by generations of children to go through Eastern Star International School.

I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to this wonderful project. May Allah reward all of you. Keep your eyes peeled for our 2016 project.