We all take smiling for granted, but not everyone has something to smile about. For the last ten years, IMPACT Day has provided a way for Deloitte to make a difference. And for this year’s IMPACT Day initiative, the Deloitte Syria office joined hands with BASMA, a local NGO supporting children and their families to find hope and battle to smile again amid their circumstances. Over two days in July, Deloitte volunteers visited, entertained, and distributed gifts to 40 kids at the Children’s Hospital in Damascus, the unit for childhood cancer diagnosis and treatment in Syria.

Leaving behind offices, meetings and emails to spend a few hours with little heroes fighting illness to survive was an experience that will stay with us forever. Being alone, away from families, unable to play with friends…these were not happy kids with shining faces and hopeful smiles; cancer steals so much of their past, present, and future and they are not strong enough to handle the pain.

Being together, talking, playing, and dancing, we were so happy to see them willing to smile through the pain. When they asked us in their soft voices if we would be coming back the next day, it really made us feel that we were able to make a difference in their lives, to help them realize how beautiful the world is, and to believe that every new day grants its own gifts.

Thanks to this experience, we learned to appreciate things we take for granted in life while someone else is praying for his own survival. It was a great opportunity to come together As One, put our passion, willingness, and skills to use for the benefit of other people. This commitment and responsibility toward the community we live in was really inspiring for all of us. Real success in life is not only measured by our achievements; what we do for others remains a valuable investment that can never fail, just knowing that someone will always remember us…and may say one day, because of you I did not give up against all odds, against all logic, and I still have hope for the future.

A video about this IMPACT Day initiative was prepared by the employees of Syria office. To view the video, check this link.

by: Laila Al Samman, Partner, Deloitte Syria