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“Giving makes you happy” – real time

by News Room
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“My first salary, which I earned as a sixteen-year-old girl, went to charity. I don’t know exactly in which country, but my father also did social work and through him it ended up in a third world country,” says Fazia Habib, entrepreneur and president of the Women Society Foundation in The Hague, Holland. right time.

Text Sharon Singh

Private collection of images

Although this social organization was founded only last year, the Habib family has been implementing social projects for over fifteen years, mainly in Suriname. This includes Christmas packages for the socially vulnerable in collaboration with Hindu Media Organization, tools for agriculture and one person’s home has had its roof repaired. “As soon as we arrived in Suriname, we visited institutions for disabled children and celebrated with them.”

“I thought people were afraid of obstacles, but more than four hundred came to pick up a plate of food every day”

In February of this year, the Women’s Association offered two hundred pensioners from different homes a fun day of food, drink and music. Last month, six orphanages were invited to a fun afternoon at Hotel Torarica. “A lot of the kids hadn’t seen the inside of the hotel yet, and I wanted to let them experience it.” The program included clowns, face painting, magicians, food, drink and sports and games.

Making people happy

“Giving makes you happy,” says Habib. He adds that kindness is not for everyone, but those who give know that they are rewarded differently.

The joy on the faces of both children and seniors made him want to do more, including bigger projects. “We have been implementing projects ourselves for years, but if you want to reach more people, you need more partners.” And that’s why the foundation was founded on 14 September 2023.

The Women Society Foundation is an organization for women of all ages, regardless of race or religion. “The purpose is that they can network with each other, support each other and grow together through lectures and workshops.” Eighty members are donors.

There are also women in Suriname who have signed up to volunteer for the foundation. Hillegonda Leeflang, who lives in Suriname, is a significant driving force behind the projects implemented in Suriname.

The foundation gets its money for its projects from its own fundraising events in the Netherlands. – A large part of the donations is food and we think it’s excellent because we need it the most.

To make food

The family has run the Midnight Roti Shop in The Hague since the 1970s, founded by Abdoethak Mohamedajoeb, Fazia’s father. “The Roti store was later handed over to me and my husband. The company has continued to be successful.”

Cooking has always been an important part of her life. Now he applies it to his social activities. He often works in the kitchen with others. Last year, Fazia and her husband Farid cooked food for no less than five thousand needy people. He did this in cooperation with different churches. “Hunger knows no religion.”

Arya Dewaker Mandir, SIV Mosque and Latour Church made their buildings available for charity so people could pick up food every day. “I thought people were afraid of obstacles, but more than four hundred came to get a plate of food every day. We even had to cook more.”

Entrepreneurial spirit

In 1957, father Abdulhak settled in the Netherlands. Fazia: “I admire the courage he had at the age of sixteen to take this step. He was not only brave, but also a sportsman.”

In the 1960s, while visiting Suriname, he met his wife Irene Imamdi, who also moved to the Netherlands. He made rats that his grandparents sold at the market. Father Abdulhak, who worked for KLM, also sold rats in cafes in Schilderswijk. It went smoothly.

Fazia: “My father had his heart in the right place. She was always a socially engaged person.” Her children, three daughters, have learned this from an early age. “When I was seven years old and I got pocket money, I bought sweets for the whole class,” Fazia laughs.

In the 1970s, his father founded the company “Sranang Wojo” and imported tropical products from Suriname and Brazil, among others. Soon after, he opened his second business, Midnight Roti Shop. – Despite the success of the companies and his extensive social work, my father instilled a sense of responsibility in his children. Everything was given to us – food, clothing, shelter – but we had to work for it. it means helping in the shop.”

He didn’t like spoiled children. “I have three daughters and they have also adopted the same principles.” They also do a lot of social work on a smaller scale.

The Women’s Association Foundation organized a fun day for children at Hotel Torarica.

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