Amna’s 30th Birthday Fundraiser

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I always dreaded my birthday. It all seemed so self-indulgent to celebrate, yet self-pitying not to. To be or not to be – but this year, that is not even a question. I want to honor reaching 30.

As I embark on a passage of life most are unfond of entering, I can’t help but notice how much I have. The greatest thing about being a human is that your perspective can always shift. I have now felt the joy of time. In it, the gift of access to work and service.

I wanted to do something special. It would warm my heart for you to celebrate with me in an act of generosity. I’m raising funds for GiveDirectly, a global nonprofit that lets you give money directly to people living in extreme poverty with no strings attached.

For people living on a dollar or two per day, receiving cash can be life-changing. It enables families to cover their needs and invest how they choose, instead of aid organizations deciding for them.

Hundreds of independent studies show that cash transfers can help drive a range of positive impacts through increased earnings, access to education, health improvements, and much more. I was first exposed to a related concept by one of my role models, the deceased Leila Janah (founder of Samasource). Leila dedicated her life to uprooting the unending cycles of poverty and did incredible things in the Global South. She was one of the most well-spoken individuals on the issues that drive the vast economic disparities in the world. I sense she would 100% back this organization with raving accolades.

Thanks to Leila’s model of bringing fair wage outsourcing work to the world’s poorest places, hundreds of thousands were lifted above of the poverty line. I too strongly believe we all need to be given the chance of direct income to create a more hopeful future. Dignified work is the Godsend we all need to keep moving forward. But as Leila stressed, without the basic necessities of life, “talent is equally distributed while opportunities are not.”

When I read Leila’s book in 2019, Give Work, I understood what spoke to my soul in terms of work I could only dream to leave behind – to lift others up in a significant way whether economically, spiritually, or both. Leila helped shed light on the fact that charity based aid often does more harm than good as billions of people continue to suffer without dignified work, targeting only the symptoms rather than the root causes of poverty. I think of the next years ahead and what I hope to achieve in this curious new phase of life. It’s people like Leila whose legacy I look up to.

Thank you so very much for giving what you can and celebrating my 30th with me!

Much love,