Being raised in Gibraltar, I never thought that living in such a small community would hold such value in my life.
I was raised in a community where everybody was up in everyone’s business, and while that wasn’t always pleasant, what I failed to see at the time was the beauty of sharing such close bonds with the people you’ve grown up with, and the wonderful things that can come out if we put our minds and hearts together.
We’re four days away from the climb, and the response to our fundraising appeal has been overwhelming. Four weeks ago, we were on the verge of sending thousands of dollars from our own pockets because the kids had no food and milk, we were taking loans to make sure they didn’t go to bed hungry. As days went by and we tried and failed to raise funds, our biggest fear was staring us in the face – we were not sure if we would be able to send our kids to school in 2018.
But four weeks ago, I told myself “believe in the process”. I had to. There was no other way to deal with this crisis. If our team lose hope, the kids lose theirs.
As days went by, a few ideas began marinating in my head. The first thing that came to mind was my hometown, Gibraltar. I knew that people would all chip in and help because one person’s problem becomes everybody’s problem here. So I sent out an email to the lovely ladies at the Gibraltar Hindu Temple, the local temple where I spent my teenage years playing the tabla and helping out during the big festivities. Within no time, they put their arms out to help us. After one person stepped forward, many others followed and we realized what our community can collectively do. They didn’t just put their arms out to help, they did it with love, and with a true desire to make a difference – something we deeply value at our Foundation. I hold great pride in being part of a team that puts kindness before anything else.
We started off with three volunteers, including myself, climbing the rock. But four days before the event, we have another two more who want to join us – another example of our amazing community. I received messages asking when the climb was and how they can participate within just a few days of announcing our plans.
I believed in the process. It is not pretty. There are many peaks and troughs, but here we are sending the biggest gift of all this Christmas – an opportunity for a brighter future.
Stay updated on all our social media handles, we’ll be live streaming the event and you may possibly see my friends cursing me for underselling the extent of the climb!