TheIsmaili > Family & Wellbeing > Family & Wellbeing
Alaudin Bhanji receiving NASA's Outstanding Leadership Award, in 2014. He is with the (then) Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr. Charles Elachi (L), and Dr. John M. Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA.

It is a rare and historic honor to have an object in space named after an individual. It is usually reserved for someone who first discovers it, generally after years of painstaking observation of the night sky through giant telescopes. So to be recognized in this manner is indeed an occasion worthy of note. Yet, this is precisely what happened at the end of 2018.

AKU nurses Salima Pirani (Dallas) and Amina Huda (California) review patient records during their volunteer shift.
“Thank you again for all you are doing to help staff the shelter. You and all the Aga Khan Council volunteers have been a tremendous help, and I really can’t thank you enough! Your nurses wanted to be here. They came with such open hearts. It was fabulous.” -Monica Soderstrom, Nursing Director for the Butte County Public Health Department, California.
Swatson, mascot of the Sugar Land Skeeters, posing next to a few of the donated food items., Over 30,000 pounds of food were collected at the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center and donated to the East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry in Stafford, Texas.

The Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center (IJKC) in Sugar Land was transformed into a bustling site on December 7, 2018, as countless individuals made their way to donate thousands of pounds of food. For the third consecutive year, IJKC hosted the annual ABC 13 Share Your Holidays Food Drive where over 100 I-CERV volunteers gather to help collect, package, and transport over 30,000 pounds of donated food to the East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry, located in Stafford, Texas.

Maya and Tabish Tharoo doing their Christmas rounds at Winnie Palmer Hospital, Miami.

Born a premature baby at Orlando Heath Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Maya Tharoo weighed only one pound and fourteen ounces with a height of twelve inches. Maya’s journey into this world began with a surgery on her small intestine combined with multiple other health challenges, required her to remain at the hospital for 110 days. She believes she owes her life to the excellent care and dedication provided by the team of doctors and her family. Today, she has dedicated her life to raising awareness and serving that medical institution as her cause.

Global Encounters Reunion at the Lisbon Ismaili Centre.  A handful of participants and faculty from the Pakistan 2017 camp pose for a group picture.

A junior in high school, Insha Merchant has been blessed with experiences that would be the envy of students her age.

In the summer of 2017, Insha participated in Global Encounters,  the international service and leadership development camp that annually brings together Ismaili youth from multiple countries and diverse cultures. Although she would be one of the 720 participants since its inception in 2012, hers would be the first camp to be based in Pakistan. As part of the camp, Insha had the opportunity to spend a week in the beautiful and pristine Gilgit and Hunza in Northern Pakistan.