Bouasbana aimed to study and examine ways the group can help countries across Africa.
Yaseen Bouasbana loves to travel. He went a step further and channelled his passion to create a difference in communities across the world. Hailing from Algeria, the 29-year-old once went on a journey to Africa with two of his university friends that would change his life. That journey sparked the trio’s passion to support communities.
Realising the need for resources during their first visit to Tanzania in 2013, Bouasbana aimed to study and examine ways the group can help countries across Africa. After Tanzania, the group visited Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique and Malawi, giving way for the official opening of the Sabili Foundation in 2018. The group comprises 35 members determined to serve different communities.
“Travelling develops your personality and opens your eyes to how other people lead their lives. Visiting Africa made me realise how much we are not doing enough for others who sometimes dream of having the things we take for granted,” said Bouasbana, a PhD student in Islamic Sciences.
For the first two years, Bouasbana and his two partners funded the foundation. Soon it grew to attract donations from traders and businessmen in Algeria. Donations were allocated to develop projects in four fields: 60 per cent for education; 20 per cent for aid; 12 per cent for healthcare; and 8 per cent for operational costs.
“We placed high priority on education because it is the best tool to empower the young generation to build their own life,” said Bouasbana.
As part of the foundation’s educational initiatives, the group has built five schools equipped with two modern classrooms in remote areas of Africa that benefits up to 126 students. The foundation provided educational grants to 15 students in Tanzania and granted salaries and training courses to 84 teachers and school faculty members. It also equipped 20 other schools with educational technologies and modern equipment to enhance the students’ learning experience; distributed 20 comprehensive course materials and organised nine academic workshops.
In terms of aid, the foundation helped sponsor 740 orphans and also assist 25 orphanages. Thanks to contributions, the group was able to dig 18 wells across different parts of Africa and renovate seven more. The foundation’s aid initiatives also involved establishing 12 small businesses to empower and support widows and vulnerable families.
A group of volunteering students in the colleges of medicine joined the foundation to conduct free check-ups at remote villages and islands, providing medicines and surgical equipment and supplies. The foundation also provided a financial contribution to sponsor 27 surgeries and provide meals and shelter for patients.
“We usually can never imagine the conditions that some people live in until we see it. You do not only help them, but you learn from them; you learn resilience, patience and gratitude,” said Bouasbana.
In Ramadan 2018, he started a 30-episode online show to share his travelling experiences. “Travelling revives your soul and influences your daily life, even when you return to your homeland,” he said.
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