Amina, 19, is an Islamic Relief volunteer in Chechnya.

My name is Amina Dzhantaeva. I live in Grozny and am a Biology and Chemistry student at the Chechen State University. When I graduate, I’ll become laboratory doctor and help people. Eventually, I want to open up my own laboratory and give part of my income to poor families.

I enjoy drawing and photography, but there’s nothing better than helping people. I love being able to share my warmth and kindness and see people’s eyes light up with hope, knowing that you are trying to make their lives better.

Amina helping a beneficiary sign for their Ramadan foodpack.

Amina helping a beneficiary sign for their Ramadan foodpack.

I heard a lot about Islamic Relief and its work. I joined as a volunteer earlier this year, when I heard it was looking for help with the Give Your Warmth project. For ten days, I helped to organise and distribute clothes to poor families. Then, I was invited to take part in distributing foodpacks during Ramadan. I got to talk with poor families and learn more about their needs.

To tell you the truth, the work is not easy – but it is very interesting and for a worthwhile cause! I’ve learned a lot as a volunteer, and always get good advice from Islamic Relief staff. I am growing, I am learning, I am developing. In trying to change the lives of poor people, I am improving myself. I feel good helping people. I like to see happy faces of people when they receive assistance. My family respect and support my decision to give my time for such a noble thing. I’m very proud to be an Islamic Relief volunteer.

Amina says Islamic Relief is helping young people in Chechnya.

Amina says Islamic Relief is helping young people in Chechnya.

Life can be hard in Chechnya. Young people here face barriers in accessing quality education and the chance to fulfil their potential – as well as the unemployment that is everywhere. Islamic Relief is helping young people in my country. Projects such as ‘Small grants for the children of war’ gives them the chance to start small businesses and build a life for themselves. That initiative means a lot to me because I lost three brothers in the war. Vocational training courses and support for young entrepreneurs are also making a big difference, so Islamic Relief is very popular with young people.

Decision-makers need to listen to young people, because if they don’t we could become a real headache in future! If they include our interests and needs into their policy-making, we will have a much brighter hope for the future. There is so much pain in the world and we, the youth, could help to reduce it.  More young people should volunteer. By helping others, we help ourselves and we make the world better. Volunteering today will help us tomorrow.

Find out why a volunteer for Islamic Relief Jordan believes decision-makers must listen to young people and how a teenager in the UK is helping herself as well as others.