“Mom, why are they killing those animals in Africa? How can I help them and protect them?” “When you grow up, Reza, you can help them. You can go to Africa or anywhere in the world and protect them…”
All of us have been shaped by our environment. Some people in a good way and some people in a more difficult one. Luckily for little Reza, his grandmother and mother were both humanitarians and helped him to become who he is today.
Reza’s grandmother was a descendent of the royal family. As such, she was quite well off. She became a widow when she reached 38 and had to take care of her four children by herself. Knowing the hardships of being a single mother she understood how difficult life can be. So she used her riches to help the ones who needed that the most. She built four hospitals, seven schools, a couple of learning centers for people with disabilities. Now at the age of 93, she still lives by herself without any wealth, since she has given it all away; however, many of those that she helped and empowered go to her home every day and care for her.
Growing up in such an environment, Reza’s mom became a humanitarian as well. And she helped little Reza to understand that helping others is the most fulfilling job one could do on this planet. She became his mentor and a role model when it came to becoming a humanitarian. On long summer evenings, when the air was still warm but breezy, Reza and his mom used to have long discussions about refugees and orphans in Africa. And she always told him: “When you grow up, Reza, you can go see the world and help others. You can go make a difference and you will find out that this will be the thing that will make your heart sing and will fulfill your soul.”
Growing up, Reza had a lot of ideas about what he wants to do with his life. At one point he wanted to be a pilot and then later a race car driver. Like all kids, he wanted to have a cool profession depending on what he was enjoying at that time of his life. But deep down he always knew it would be connected to helping people who needed it the most.