A trip to a remote Tanzanian village where his parents grew up when he was 10 years old compelled Calhoun senior Hadi Aziz into becoming a social activist.
“They were lacking the medical necessity found in basic first aid kits and it was then that I knew I wanted to help these people,” said the Calhoun Advanced Science Research student.
Determined to make a difference, he approached the school’s senior experience Fashion Show board last year with his presentation. The board annually selects a philanthropic organization to donate their proceeds. His proposed organization, Safe Motherhood Project, which aims to improve maternal health status, was selected and received $10,000 that was raised from the Fashion Show.
Earlier this year, he was able to visit Kibaha, Tanzania where he saw first-hand how the funds were used — a newly created consultation room and pre/post-natal care clinic at Medewell Health Center.
During his brief visit, a mother had given birth and he said he “was so grateful to see the happiness” on her face. Aziz speaks the region’s native Swahili and was able to learn more about their former available healthcare.
“This clinic now offers prenatal and postnatal care to this impoverished part of the country,” he said. “It’s amazing that we can see how much we impacted a community 3,000 miles away from Calhoun,” he added. “We essentially brought this level of care to the community that was previously unavailable.”
The trip, which was self-funded, was further evidence that Aziz wishes to pursue a career in the medical field one day and travel the world to help those in these types of communities.
This year, Aziz hopes to be selected again as the Fashion Show’s beneficiary. This time his proposed organization will be the Medewell Eye Clinic, which provides on site consultation eye care and cataract surgeries in East African communities.
“Going to an optometrist is considered a luxury here and many suffer from blindness conditions that are treatable,” Aziz explained. “To be able to give these people the gift of sight would be the best gift I could give.”