Rose Charities Canada raised $14,000 at its 5th annual Smiles Fundraiser in Vancouver this past September. The charity provides scholarships for 53 impoverished children in Kampala, Uganda and has raised over $65,000.
Uganda will always be considered home to me. While living there from 1994-2004 I had the privilege of meeting many Ugandan children. What I was amazed at was how spirited the children were. Despite the poverty and despair they were living in, they always seemed hopeful and encouraged by everything and everyone around them. After leaving Africa in 2004, I always knew that somehow I would need to find a way to give back to those children and fulfill on the hope they felt, and the optimism they saw for their future. I was inspired by an event a friend of mine named, Katherine Tucker, who ran a ‘Smiles’ event in London to provide surgeries for Ugandan children. I immediately reached out for support from some amazing, talented and generous individuals I know; my sister in law Azmina Kara, Jen Johnson, Jorge Martinez, Rodney Schuster, Ann Fieldsend, Tanya Souter, Rayna Scott, Alexis Mills, Andi Mortenson, Amin Kanji, Salim Sayani, Sophia Sayani, Naju Lalji, Zahid Wissanji, Zain Rasul, Asif and Aliya Kara. Our collective mission was to further youth education in Uganda and so the “Smiles” chapter in Vancouver was born. Our guiding principle for our cause and charity is rooted in this quote by HH the Aga Khan:
“There are those who enter the world in such poverty that they are deprived of both means and the motivation to improve their circumstances. Unless they can be touched with the spark which ignites the spirit of individual enterprise and determination, they will only sink into apathy, degradation and despair. It is for us, who are more fortunate, to provide that spark.”
–Galib Kara, Director, Rose Charities Canada
Smiles organizing Team: Alexis Mills, Ann Fieldsend, Rayna Scott, Tanya Souter, Amin Kanji, Galib Kara, Azmina Kara. Promotional materials designer Andi Mortenson
Galib’s academic career includes a Bachelor of Business Administration from SFU, Diploma in Urban Land Economics from UBC and a Real Estate Analysis Diploma from Langara College. Galib lived in Kampala, Uganda from 1992 to 2004 where he worked as Business Development Manager Africa for Nostrad Telecommunications where he was involved in the design, construction and operational management of a MMDS wireless cable systems in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda. He also set up Uganda’s first cinema chain and entertainment centers. He has now relocated to Vancouver, Canada where he is involved in Real Estate and Property management. He spearheaded the Smiles Uganda initiative in 2010 where sponsorships provided for 53 impoverished children in Kampala for the last 4 years having raised over $50,000 for school fees.
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