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Hetal and Humaira
Breaking the silence
Outstanding volunteers are to be honoured over the weekend for their services to the community. Humaira Bokhari is one such volunteer. Following in her family's footsteps, she spends time helping mentally challenged adults gain basic skills.
In Pakistan Humaira grew up watching her grandmother accommodate her four deaf and mute sons in a country where no support was available. In time she then became the first woman to open a sign language centre in the country. Her son's then becoming gold medalists in Fine Art.
Humaira's mother continued in the same vain and so perhaps it comes as no surprise that Humaira wants to do the same, help and support the less able like the generations before her. Compelled to make use of her signing skills Humaira found herself supporting the Asian People's Disability Alliance in Wembley when she arrived in the country.
It was after meeting Hetal, a 19-year-old with Cerebral palsy, she realised, despite what doctors had said, she could make a real difference. Within a few months of spending some quality time with Hetal, he began to speak for the first time. She says:
"He's just picked up on a few words but they mean a lot... they mean a lot to me...now when he listens to music he smiles and likes to clap his hands..."
100 hours of Volunteering
An award ceremony honouring volunteers in the borough has been organised by Ealing CVS and will take place this Saturday. It's not just an attempt to appreciate the efforts of people like Humaira, but also to encourage volunteering, a message Hamaira herself wants to pass on to her own children. She says:
"My kids don’t find sense in what I'm doing, when I was a kid I didn’t have an interest in it either, but I saw my mum doing it and so I want my children to see me doing it too."
If you want to find out more about volunteering contact Ealing CVS.
To hear Humaira's story click on the audio feature below.
last updated: 09/06/2008 at 10:18