Asif’s second charity mission
Published by Kerrie Beck for Longhurst Group in Housing and also in Communities, Environment
Asif's trip to Bosnia
Local man Asif Rasool swopped inner city Birmingham for a 10 day aid trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Asif’s selfless mission was to bring a little assistance to the many struggling families and burdened care services in a country still recovering from the devastating conflict in the 90’s.
He travelled around the city of Mostar meeting people in financial need and surprising several by donating money towards medical treatment for themselves or their children. Asif’s travels are not organised or funded by an organisation, he does all the fundraising himself with the support of family, friends and colleagues.
“I spent several days working as a volunteer in a children’s centre which supports young people with physical and mental disabilities. The centre relies entirely on charitable donations to provide the support these children so desperately need. While I was there I met 3 year old twins boys, both are orphans, blind with severe epilepsy, which causes them to have multiple fits every day. Before I arrived, the centre was struggling to afford nappies for the boys, so I hope my donation will help them and go some way to assist the great work they do at the centre.”
Asif also took several second hand computers with him on his journey and decided to donate them to unemployed families with children in education: “I spoke to the headmaster of the local school who told me about some of the pupils who love school but are being held back because they don’t have a computer, hopefully now they should be able to keep up with their homework!”
Asif, a customer liaison officer with Friendship Care and Housing (Friendship) caused quite a stir last year when he organised a similar “secret millionaire” style mission of kindness in Kosovo. “The experience was so rewarding that I started planning this second trip almost as soon as I got back” said Asif.
Now that he is home Asif has had time to reflect on the impact his actions have on others: “Whilst I was there, I had the same taxi driver throughout my visit and when he realised what my mission was, he decided he would give a percentage of his daily earning to charity too. We may not be able to change the world by ourselves, but it is an achievement if we can make a difference to just one person’s life. I read somewhere that the best tourist attractions in Bosnia Herzegovina are the people themselves, I would certainly agree. They made my visit very worthwhile. I would like to thank Olga, Mariana and Gordana, who, through their local knowledge, assisted me in delivering aid to the most vulnerable children in their city’” said Asif.