Asif completes top-secret mission
Published by Kerrie Beck for Longhurst Group in Communities and also in Housing
Asif Rasool is one of Friendship Care and Housing’s (Friendship) customer liaison officers in Birmingham and like lots of people, he and his family donate money to charity but this year Asif has decided to do things a bit differently!
Arranging the trip on his own and meeting up with volunteers from the UN and Red Cross when he arrived, Asif travelled to Kosovo for 10 days to complete his top secret mission.
“Whilst I was there, I chose different people and different organisations that I would like to help financially, giving them donations in person, a bit like the ‘Secret Millionaire’ TV show. The charities didn't know the exact reason why I was there - they thought I was just a normal volunteer" said Asif.
Asif wasn’t sponsored to do the trip, he paid for everything himself. His wife, Haleema, has her own catering company that donates 25% of its profits to charity every year and Asif tops it up with his own lump sum.
“Kosovo is the poorest country in Europe. 50% of its population is unemployed due to a lack of work opportunities within the country. The purpose of my visit was to help the poor and most vulnerable through my own personal donations” added Asif.
Asif donated to a number of different people and organisations, including, a seven year old boy, who has cancer and his family – the money will assist with his medical needs, his treatment and travel costs to the hospital (60 mile return journey), a Women’s and Children’s Centre, where volunteers (local widows and mothers who have lost children) support around 50 vulnerable orphans and children and a widow who lives on her own, with no children that couldn’t afford to heat her home.
Others he donated to include:
- 15 school children who were raising money for their friends mother who has been diagnosed with brain cancer
- A man who has extreme difficulty in finding work due a lack of opportunities and discrimination due to his disability
- A widow and her orphan son
- A single mother of 5 children
- A family – to help assist in meeting their basic needs
Asif will be going back to Kosovo in June 2013 to give some more charitable donations.