Room to Read: Help Build a Library and Educate the Future!

by Latif Nanji on 07/31/2011

A fellow entrepreneur by the name of Tim Ferriss recently posted a challenge to raise $20,000 to build a school. The organization is called RoomtoRead.com. Please support this cause by clicking here and then post on my comment board with a little note that you’ve made a donation.

Here is the comment I left as part of the competition!

Education is the never-ending pursuit of understanding one’s self and the capacity to contribute to the world in a positive way. It’s not simply a means to an end with a monetary goal in mind. It’s the possibility to transform ourselves and others. It’s the realization that education is the best tool we have for adapting our minds, relationships and environment into an unpredictable future. It’s the spark that ignites the creativity inside of us, without the fear of hesitation. I was fortunate enough to discover what education meant at an early age and this is my story.

During the summer after grade 11, I was eager to earn some extra cash but my parents encouraged me to teach English, math and science to refugees from Afghanistan in our community in Calgary. Many of these refugees had just arrived from areas stricken with war, death and poverty. They shared deeply emotional stories about how they lost their parents, brothers, sisters and friends. Now, with a new life in Canada, they had a grand sense of hope and wonder for the future. Over the next two months I taught some of the most hardworking and persistent students. They knew that the one thing that could shape their futures in the most meaningful and positive way was education. I recall during one tutoring session I was sitting with a student named Kaleel who was older than me at the time. We had spent weeks learning grade seven mathematics. We endured many struggles due a language barrier and sharing ideas was often difficult. However, as the sessions progressed he was making significant breakthroughs. During his last few lessons he had finally conquered the course and with a confident smile said “If I can do this, I can do anything.” He was ambitious to start transforming his life in a positive way. That’s the power of education.

Everyone in the pictures on my blog has donated to the cause. Also, I’ve asked everyone who donates to post in the comment section of my blog. I’ve used Twitter, Facebook and a social networking site called Pokerspace.com (I am a part owner) for my social media campaign.

Yes, I made all my friends pose for this picture and I made an aggregate donation on behalf of us.

The story, photos and social media information are posted on my blog at Jellymind.

Thanks for the opportunity Tim and Happy Birthday!

Latif Nanji

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