At Destination Namaste we were lucky enough to have a chat with Asma Rasamny the founder of FILLS THE GAP, an ONG that has made it their mission and vision to educate Syrian refugees children displaced in Lebanon. There is something very powerful and determined about Asma’s presence that has been very well translated into what she has created with this project. We were honoured to have a chat with the woman behind this beautiful initiative.
Hello Asma, can you please tell us a little more about yourself?
“I am from Lebanon. I studied developmental psychology at the Lebanese American University. As a little girl I was a dreamer, I drove my teachers crazy and always had plans to change the world. I guess I always saw the injustice in the world and wanted to do something about it. Today I would describe myself as an activist and a humanitarian.”
How did FILLS THE GAP come about and what has it become today?
“Growing up in Damascus, it gave me a deep sense of commitment and responsibility, plus the ensuing Syrian War, all catapulted me to form “Malaak” (Angel in Arabic), an NGO that helps refugees in Lebanon. My vision was to fill the educational gap that the Syrian refugees were facing, and it became my calling.
This wasn’t only about education per se. This was about having the children complete their education before they are pulled out to work or marry at a young age. This was about creating a healthy and happy environment for the children to come to everyday and find that peace, love and academic support. Exposing the kids to music, art and sports. This was about feeding them a healthy meal everyday, and this was about keeping the community of parents actively involved in the improvement of their children’s lives by attending talks, working in the Centre’s Kitchen and Sewing rooms.”
What can we do to help and support your cause?
“To keep Malaak operational and growing thus far, we have had to depend on my savings, donors, material donations that we seek from the social and business community(e.g. Stationery and Art supplies, kitchen supplies etc), and a volunteer program that has seen some true angels support and help the Centre in its mission. Malaak is badly in need of funding to achieve its mission. All the above are amazing ways to help. Also visit Malaak’s website.” www.malaak.org/donate
What would you say to somebody with a dream they would like to manifest, any advice?
“Always start somewhere and don’t be scared to start weak and small! When you help others in need, you become strong and bigger then your dreams.”
We know that you are a mother of three, a wife and that you have a very demanding work schedule. Where did your yoga journey start and what would you say does it bring to your daily life?
“I started Yoga to get clarity and balance and foremost to create time for “ME”. Being a blessed mother of three and a wife with a full-time job ,Yoga is the time where I strengthen my soul to be able to carry on with my family and job.”
What would you like to see evolve in the future in the world, in our lifetime?
“Humanity and generosity needs to evolve. For humanity to evolve, peace needs to come to this world! Violence needs to end. Ideally, to create a peaceful world through our youth we should invest in: Quality Education, the strength to adapt, and building resilience! THIS will change the world.”
Would you like to leave us with one of your favourite quotes?
“Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.”