LAHORE (SUALIHA NAZAR) – “Every man dies - Not every man really lives”. These infamous words were the essence of Wallace’s struggles against the British regime to free Scotland. His cause was not fueled by the desire to rule the people of Scotland but to help them win their freedom back. And this selfless act of his is what made him an icon in history and though he sacrificed his life for the people of Scotland, he continues to live till now in the hearts of those who cherish their freedom.

The purpose of life, more than being happy is to matter, to live in a way that you are productive, useful and are able to make a difference in the life of those around you. The difference made, no matter how minute, will ensure that you have served the purpose of your life.

For Kinza Shafique Ahmed, a student of National College of Arts (NCA), the turning point in her life came when she, on the urge of her friends, went to celebrate New Year with the kids at SOS Village. Though always the one to feel the pain of others, she had not yet found a way to really make a difference.

On New Year’s Eve, Kinza and her friends were not in the mood to do what everyone else was doing. They wanted to do something different, a memory that will last them a life time. “Someone from our group came up with the idea of visiting the kids at SOS Village, Ferozepur Road and spending some time with them,” shares Kinza. Though at first it seemed a little odd, the more they thought about it, the more it appealed to them.

Thus without wasting another minute they loaded themselves with the necessities and got ready for their visit to SOS Village. They played games, sang songs and had a small tea party with the kids. “The reaction of the kids was astounding. We never expected them to be this delightful,” shares Kinza.

However, hiding behind all the laughter and delight was the bitter irony that these small angels were orphans and things that we took for granted, were of more value to them than anything. Elaborate discussion with these kids opened doors for Kinza and her friends. They realized that a small effort on their part can make a huge difference in the lives of these kids. Thus to formalize the initiative, Kinza along with a close friend Lalarukh Wahid Cheema started their own label under the name of “Inspiration”.

“As our first initiative under the label, we wanted to do something for the kids of SOS, since they are the inspiration behind our work.” While touring the houses, Kinza and her friends came up with the idea of beautifying the space and turning the verandas into study area for the kids.

However, they knew that this will be a major project and would require adequate funds. They decided to contact Master Paints as they knew the company in regards to its prior CSR activities. Luckily for them, the management at Master Paints agreed to sponsor the event at once.

According to Kinza, “we have been very lucky in terms of sponsorship; the team of Master paints has been extremely helpful and has supported us to the extent that brought our ideas to reality.”

The activity which commenced from 16th June deals with providing basic facilities to the children as per the recommendation of SOS administration and faculty. Moreover, they are being provided with toys, clothes and books to make them feel that they are no different than the other kids of their age and can enjoy a somewhat normal childhood.

However, the major part of the project revolves around refurnishing their study area. There are 18 houses each divided into a living space, two rooms, a kitchen and a veranda. The students along with hired help will repaint the veranda and then draw cartoon characters and inspirational quotes to give the place a livelier look and feel.

Though, the project is a long way from completion, the kids are already getting excited about the renovations and this Kinza says is enough gratification for her and her friends who have been volunteering their services throughout.

This is just the beginning, according to Kinza. She says that they are determined to continue brining change into the lives of those who have been not born with special privileges. She wants to bring about positive changes, so that when she looks back years from now and evaluate what she has achieved; she can proudly say that she has made a difference and has fulfilled her responsibility as a human being.