under 21 club: 13-year-old author, Bilaal Rajan, started changing the world at 4

photo curtesy of unicef.org

photo courtesy of unicef.org

Bilaal Rajan is an incredible young adult from Canada, who has been making changes around the world since the age of 4.

He tackles one issue at a time, raising money through various fundraising opportunities. He started in 2001 at the very young age of 4, he sold clementines in his neighborhood where he raised $350 for victims affected by earthquakes that occurred in India. Over the following years he sold cookies, handmade crafts and raised funds in many different ways, including around 5 million dollars for various global causes like children with HIV/AIDS and the 2004 tsunami. He was the youngest fundraiser, advocate and spokesperson for UNICEF in 2003. By 2005 he became the National Child Representative, and an official ambassador for UNICEF Canada.

Bilaal has traveled across the globe to see the impact of his work in impoverished nations and to volunteer and help on-site. In 2009 he started an annual campaign called “The Barefoot Challenge” where he gets sponsored to walk around barefoot for a week and asks others to do the same. The purpose of this campaign is to understand the challenges faced by children in third world nations whom are too poor to buy shoes and to raise money for kids in those nations.

He is only 13 and has already done a lot to make positive changes in the world. He has even already published a book titled “Making Change: Tips From an Underage Overachiever.” The book is meant to inspire kids from all over to jump in and find a way to fund-raise for a cause that they care about and make a difference. Bilaal has said “Everyone has potential… I thought, what if we didn’t wait until we were adults? What if there was something for kids, written by another kid?”

Bilaal is even has his own blog “Wave’s of Change,” where he posts information on issues that matter to him and signs each post with the sentence “Together We Can Make A Difference.” He has already received several awards such as the Our world/Simms Award for outstanding youth in philanthropy, Barron Prize Honoree, J.D.Y. Hickman Award, “Top 20 Under 20″ recipient for outstanding efforts in philanthropy and several more. His success is only growing as he learns more and he will continue to raise millions for charity. He is a young adult who has already changed lives all around the world.

Bilaal, thanks for being an amazing role model!

August 19, 2010 by Yasemin
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