Leadership


Educating our youth about human rights is the beginning for a chance to create a better world for them. United is a song about human rights. The lyrics and images of the following video are powerful. The message is clear. Pass it on to our youth.  Each one of us, if we just pass this on to one child, we will have made one small, yet of great importance, act with tremendous impact for all of us and a chance for a better world for our children. What are you waiting for ?

www.youthforhumanrights.org

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Many say that our world does not change.  Bilaal Rajan, a thirteen year old Canadian young boy, proves with actions that we can change the world, as long as we remember as he says to be united. Bilaal has been motivated  to help people in need, especially children, since he was four years of age.  He  sold clementine oranges door to door in order to raise  $350 to help the 2001 earthquake victims in Gujarat, India.

How a four year-old could possess a comprehension for money, or the impact it can have is incomprehensible, but he must have found it personally rewarding, because from there he targeted global poverty. Later in 2004, he went on to support the raveged island of Haiti after a devastating hurricane.  He knew his $10 allowance would not be sufficient to help on the scale he had in mind, and his desire to help in a big way sparked a brilliant solution. Bilaal asked his father’s company to donate boxes of cookies to sell at school recess to raise awareness and funds for the starving Haitian children. Bilaal was bright enough to realize he could be more successful if he leveraged the time and energy of others, and formed a team of 12 other children to help. In October 2004, Bilaal and his teammates presented UNICEF with a cheque for $6,387 from cookies sold. They’d never heard of such young people generating this size of donation, but the elated UNICEF representatives accepted with gratitude and amazement.

UNICEF Canada was so impressed, in fact, with Bilaal’s achievements, that they made him their official child spokesperson. As such he publicly read Toronto Mayor David Miller’s proclamation to make October 31, 2004 “UNICEF Day”. Bilaal made front-page news and has appeared on television many times since to raise the awareness of the plight of the Haitian children.

Bilaal then reached out to over 50 major companies by phone and letter. APOTEX, a leading pharmaceutical company, donated prescription medicine worth $342,700 CAD for his cause. Heinz Canada donated over 2000 cases of baby food and Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart responded to Bilaal’s appeal with gift certificates.

Another creative inspiration arose from some acrylic plates Bilaal made for his teachers as Christmas gifts. They loved them, so he decided to make more for a UNICEF drive for children with HIV. In the week prior to Christmas, Bilaal collected over $1,200 selling his unique, decorative plates. He was unstoppable!

Bilaal heard the call to action next when the South East Asian earthquake and tsunami disaster hit. On December 31, 2004, he issued a UNICEF Canada Kids Earthquake Challenge (www.unicef.ca) whereby urging Canadian children to raise a minimum of $100 each to achieve a total goal of $1 million. He also made a personal pledge to raise $10,000. Incredibly enough, the dynamic young crusader personally raised $50,000 and as a result, on January 14, 2005, the Toronto District School Board presented Bilaal and the President and CEO of UNICEF Canada, with a cheque for $1.3 million. The Government of Canada then matched this, making the final donation nearly $4 million!

Not suprisingly, many high profile people and agencies have honoured Bilaal for his remarkable efforts, including the Right Honorable Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada, who organized a press conference. Bilaal wowed the crowd with his insights on fundraising and his vision for the world and the next day was front page news!

The ‘Canada for Asia Concert’ organizers invited Bilaal to be an announcer for the event initiated by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in January 2005. Canada’s premiere artists, athletes, and performers joined Bilaal in the program that raised over $4 million CAD that night. Bilaal himself assisted the small Canadian Indonesian community in Toronto in organizing a fundraiser especially for the Indonesian victims. It was no surprise that this event, too, was a spectacular success and raised over $13,000 for tsunami relief.

In March 2005, UNICEF Canada named Bilaal their National Child Representative. Being a curious young man, Bilaal wanted to know how the funds raised for the tsunami victims were being used, and asked his parents to visit four of the most affected countries on his March break.There he met with dignitaries including the President of the Republic of the Maldives. Bilaal returned to Canada and reported back on the situation there, further raising awareness in the public and the media.

Bilaal personally visited Africa and the HIV infected children there. He selflessly spread his reassurance and support to the stricken kids in schools and orphanages. He also spent the summer of 2007 volunteering in Tanzania, Africa to bring awareness and education of HIV/AIDS to their communities.

His motto is “Together we can make a difference”.

Though only a boy, Bilaal has eloquently addressed organizations such as URISA Canada, FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance USA, Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and the Haitian and Indonesian communities of Toronto, Canada, and has recently been keynote speaker for the several provincial teachers’ conferences. Bilaal clearly possesses an astonishing talent for not only bringing out the generosity in people, but for motivating them to join him. The results speak for themselves.

The experience this phenomenal crusader has gained in his many objectives came to an inevitable climax when he was inspired to design his “Eight Principles to Success” program which he shares by seminar at schools and through speaking engagements. Bilaal has authored two books, entitled Success principles, on the success of his fundraising efforts.

What a legacy Bilaal has begun– and in 2009 he’s only now 13 years of age!

Watch his story which was featured on CNN

ABC story on Billal :

Some more inpiring videos by Bilaal…you don’t have to be older or richer to act , you can do it now!