Why I Believe in Saba Homes?
By Zia Zaidi
I am a nurse by profession from New Jersey. Back in 2014, I volunteered as a nurse educator, teaching the orphan girls at Saba Homes about healthcare and hygiene, as well as conducted the distribution of first aid and dental supplies from Johnson and Johnson and Crest Dental Foundation. Of course I was blessed to be able to play with the girls and buy them toys and sports equipment with private donations as well.
However, the purpose is not to reflect on what I did there, but to share with you the facts which encouraged me to become part of Saba Homes and what makes it different from any other institution I have ever come across.
As a brother and son there are a few truths about women I hold to be self-evident. They are that women are more likely to give back to their community and those around them with their education, that women are incorruptible, and that if you want a man you can trust for the job you need a woman. These qualities are also coincidentally what I look for in a leader. So to me, all women are natural born leaders, and if they do not feel that way then it is a failure on us as a society to nurture that aspect of their identity.
Saba Homes is a culmination of all those things and a celebration of the spirit and strength of women. It is a house dedicated to not just raising orphans but raising them to be leaders, “movers and shakers” as Saghir Uncle likes to say, and productive members of the community. And my time there as an educator and brother to these girls assured me that all of my sisters there are well on their way to becoming everything we need in Pakistan, as well as this world.
That is why I believe in Saba Homes and still continue to do so. So naturally even after my volunteer experience was over, I still sought a way to contribute to this home and my beliefs while still working full time as a healthcare professional. The funny thing about ideals and beliefs are that they transcend time and space. They will be with you wherever you go, whether that is at playtime at an orphanage in Islamabad, or at night in your bed in New Jersey.
And for this reason, after my experience at Saba Homes and once I returned to the US and began my job as a hospital nurse, I still felt the desire to contribute whatever way I could. I started with monthly donations automatically set up through the Saba Homes website via Paypal (which Saba Homes provides complete transparency for back to you for taxation purposes via receipt, very promptly and in a quite organized manner, I might add).
This Alhamdulillah purified my wealth. But I was looking to do more than that, as I believe in giving charity of your time as well as money to purify your life. One may have different levels of wealth, but everyone has only 24 hours in a day. So I find charitable efforts that involve your time and energy to be particularly special. So a friend and I set up a successful charitable Eid Dinner for Saba Homes. Our goal was not just for financial benefit for Saba Homes but also as publicity of what Saba Homes stands for to give people hope. With lots of negative attention on the global stage toward Muslim countries and their treatment of women, I believe spreading awareness of places like Saba Homes is a ray of hope and necessity for me as a Muslim and of Pakistani descent. Many people attended and donated, but more importantly the message of Saba Homes got out there, which is very important in this weary and dreary world.
Beyond that, I got into contact with a local college’s Pakistani Student Association and convinced them to endorse Saba Homes as their charity of choice for any future events. It was not much effort on my part as the beauty of Saba Homes spoke for itself when I presented it to their board. Portions of their proceeds from any event will be given to Saba Homes and in fact have already been successfully raised and received. Insha’Allah this will be a long-lasting and sustainable relationship. Because that’s what I am trying to do here: create sustainable relationships between myself and the charitable causes I endorse.
All too often in the humanitarian world, our efforts towards a cause is a onetime contribution. And if the cause we believe in truly is great, then it will be around for a long time to come, and it will need our help and nurturing every step of the way.
P.S. It is important to note that none of these things I have done for Saba Homes came from anywhere other than my own imagination. If you are thinking to yourself that between your professional responsibilities and family life there is not much you can do beyond donating, then you are surely mistaken. Get out there, get creative. If you are a son, husband, father, mother, or sister, if you believe in what women are capable of, if you believe in Saba Homes (which you must) go out there and create something that will help out our little sisters. May Allah (swt) accept all of our good deeds. (Aameen)