Service hours not a burden for one Lane student

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By Neka Barrera

Plumbing, electrical work, wood crafting, houses needing to be built, and so much more having to be done. This is not a problem for Sarfaraz Sajwani, Div. 029, who builds community centers for his service hours and enjoys doing so.

Sajwani got all of his service hours from an organization called Aga Khan Development Network, but turned in all of his mandatory service hours during his freshman year. He has continued to contribute to the organization on his own time for seven years now.

Aga Khan Development Network is a network of organizations that have mandates toward the environment, health, education, architecture, culture, microfinance, rural development, and disaster reduction.

“The programs can have as little as fifty people, and have as many people as 20,000 people. The person who established the network is the guider of the Ismaili religious community that I am a part of,” said Sajwani.

Ismailism is a branch of Shia Islam, and is the second largest sect of Shiaism.

Sajwani’s group funds the whole network by building and setting up community centers around the Midwest. Sajwani works for a branch of the organization in a group called the facility management team.

“We have built many community centers, one being the Gelview Jamatkhana. I have been doing this since the age of 10, at which I was only doing small jobs such as helping cut wood, grabbing tools, and many simple chores,” said Sajwani.

As Sajwani kept at these small jobs, he learned everything he needed to know to continue to help and get further with his volunteering. He now does much more than just the small jobs he was doing at age 10.

“We do everything from plumbing, electrical work, wood crafting, and much more. We also set up the audio, manage the stage and crowd control and help manage the programs being held [in the community centers],” said Sajwani.

Sajwani and fellow members not only build and set up these facilities, but they also manage them. So changing light bulbs, fixing air conditioning or heaters, cleaning the carpet, even reconstructing the entire floor, are all tasks covered by Sajwani and his group.

In 2007, Sajwani was made a facilitator, allowing him to teach and lead the projects. Being a facilitator, Sajwani is more than willing to put work before rest.

“I worked three days straight without going home or sleeping,” Sajwani said.

Sajwani’s diligence and admirable amount of hard work has impressed his friends, as well as his community.

“I say well done because that is something very inspirational. Doing something for your community is something to be rewarded upon and it’s nice to know that people still care these days about stuff like that, because nowadays people are lazy. It’s nice to know my friend does it,” said Hira Rehman, Div. 023.

For more information on Aga Khan Development Network, you can visit http://www.akdn.org.

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