I have had a dream to help others since childhood. In Seychelles, my homeland, during my childhood I was taught how to cook on firewood and how to go fetch water from rivers. I was raised to know what we had and what others did not have. My father was a philanthropist and made sure we knew the difference and his teachings were engraved in my heart. He always taught us how to give to others when we have the opportunity to do so.
After so many years of living a privileged life at my University in Switzerland and while I was working in Italy, I felt I wanted to move to Africa to start a business with the intention of helping others in mind. I felt as if it must have been destiny. I knew that I had wanted to live in a close community with the rural people. I fell in love with the place and suddenly realized how good it felt to be there.
When I moved to Tanzania in 1985, I was astonished to see the level of poverty within the country. I tired to imagine myself in the place of all those millions living in poverty. As I have been living here for the past 27 years, I have seen the worst conditions that people live in. These individuals have little to nothing to live on and I started thinking of what I could do to help.
I knew that Something had to be done about this. This is how my desire to start a charity foundation came about.
In the year 2001, I visited my friend Sajida Mamdani in Albany, New York. Sajida who was born in Zanzibar, Tanzania, moved to Albany, New York 30 years ago and lives there with her family. She had been a housewife for many years. She expressed her wish to do something for the people back home, and that is when we discussed my ideas of wanting to help people back in Tanzania. The fact that their were others who had the same aspirations as me and wanted to be part of my dream touched my heart!We started creating awareness and raising funds in Albany New York. African Reflections Foundation was then born!