#HayaHelps, that was twitter trending last Ramadan!
Haya Khan is a 16-year-old superhero who has shown the world what it means to be a Muslim helping hand. During the blessed month of Ramadan, she created a Launch-Good campaign where she successfully raised enough money for 1 community well and 2 tube wells all in 10 days!
We did a small interview with Haya to truly see what goes on in the mind of a superhero, and this is what we got,
1. What inspired you to start this project?
I have been diagnosed with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) since I was 7 years old. As a child, I was always forced to spend and devote excessive time towards my hygiene and sanitation. My case was so severe to the extent that I would spend 15 minutes just standing there and washing my hands while the tap water kept running.
Of course it was not in my control, but I always felt guilty for wasting such a precious resource- water, which many people don’t have (despite it being a basic human right). That is why, it made me realize my privileges and how lucky I am to have such a resource, that is only 2 meters away from me, compared to the women in dire conditions who have to walk 5-6km everyday to collect it for their families and villages.
That is why, it was my dream to build a well and share one of the most precious commodities of life that I get to experience everyday- water, with people who lack access to it. In the process, it changed my life because it brought me healing -- healing for all the guilt that manifested over the years. It was also healing to help others, and healing to give back. I turned my struggles, my obstacles, and my wounds into something so beautiful.
Moreover, I am really passionate about UNSD Goal 6- Clean Water and Sanitation and have actively been conducting numerous research projects as a little girl on contaminated water, poor sanitation, and improper hygiene practices. Every time I got the opportunity to do a project in school for social justice or human rights around the world, I would always select this.
2. Why did you choose Muslim Hands to carry out your project?
After months and months of researching which charities to work with, I decided that MHC was the best and most suitable for me!
3. What challenges did you face?
Alhamdulilah, I was both lucky and fortunate to have the campaign run so smoothly. I didn’t even plan on launching the campaign in the last 10 days of Ramadan, but Allah’s timing and plan aligned in such a way, that it worked to every single person’s benefit and advantage. Not only did underprivileged and impoverished communities become one step closer to receiving clean, safe drinking water, but every brother and sister who donated-- their charity had great virtue and ample reward because it was during Ramadan. The effect of just $1 was multiplied 70x and if their charity fell on Laylatul Qadr, it’s as if they gave charity everyday for 83 years.
Basically- not only were people eager on providing the gift of water to families who do not have access to it, but they got the most out of it too.
4. Did the outcome meet your expectations?
The outcome surpassed my expectations. My goal was to raise $5000 to build 1 community well, but due to the overwhelming love and support received from donors in the community & around the world I exceeded the goal and raised more than 5600 within just 7 days! In the end, we ended up building 1 community well serving up to 1000 families and 2 tube wells serving upto a total of 10 families.
5. What are you hopeful for in the future?
I would be lying if I said I was hopeful to change the whole world in the future. It’s impossible. Quite simply, there's too much evil, too much corruption, too much poverty, too much hate, and too much violence. But if I had the chance to change just one person, one child, one woman, one family’s whole world then why wouldn’t I take the chance?
#HayaHelps only started as a campaign, but now I plan to pursue and transform it into a whole foundation. A foundation where I will try my best to combat direct violations of UN human rights by delivering aid to those who need it. With this intention, I wish to bring life, and clean, sanitized water- a human and fundamental UN right to every single person, especially women and young children suffering from poverty and poor infrastructure. Ultimately, I am hopeful to find sustainable and life-long solutions that enhance water quality and access.