Benjamin Mehanovic set up a tea stand to raise funds for earthquake victims. He ended up raising $100 and a full-ride university scholarship.
Last month the world watched in horror as a catastrophic earthquake rocked Turkey and Syria, killing more than 50,000 people and causing widespread destruction.
Among those watching was 13-year-old Bosnian Benjamin Mehanovic.
After witnessing the devastation on television with his family, Benjamin decided he wanted to do something to help.
How a Young Boy Helped Provide Much-Needed Aid to Earthquake Victims
Benjamin started his own aid campaign in the best kid-way possible — by setting up a small tea stand on the streets of his hometown, Sarajevo.
His mission? To raise funds for the babies and children affected by the earthquake.
The industrious 8th grader told the Anadolu Agency: “I saw the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria on television. Then I had the idea to set up a tea stand. I also invited my friends to join me and proposed to donate the money collected to the local aid organization Pomozi.ba or use it to buy the needed baby products.”
Armed with a small folding table, a homemade sign, and his huge heart to keep him warm, Benjamin braved the cold for 4 hours a day, selling tea for 50 cents a cup.
He raised more than $100 in two days (that’s over 200 cups of tea!). He then used his earnings to purchase diapers, baby food, and personal hygiene products such as toothbrushes and toothpaste.
His efforts didn’t go unnoticed.
How $100 Turned Into a Full-Ride Scholarship
Benjamin’s selfless act of kindness caught the attention of the Foundation for Education Development Sarajevo and the International University of Sarajevo (IUS).
University administrators invited him to the IUS campus and surprised the young philanthropist with a special ceremony during which they awarded him a full scholarship.
Something they feel is well-deserved.
Prof. Dr. Ahmet Yıldırım, IUS Rector said of Benjamin: “He is a little boy who has a big heart. He is an example of what humankind should do in difficult moments. Benjamin has already become a part of the IUS family and he proves that one person can change the world.”
Benjamin plans on using the scholarship toward a medical degree, hoping to become a doctor. “I would like to be a medical student because I like to help people,” he said.
For now, he may only be 13 years old but he’s already making a difference in the lives of those who are suffering.
While many of us think about doing something, Benjamin didn’t hesitate to take action. He saw a need and he immediately did what he could to help fill it. He truly is an inspiration and a reminder that we all have the power to help each other no matter how young or old we are.
Turkey and Syria are still reeling from the devastating effects of the earthquake. According to the U.N. more than 7 million children were affected. Over 850,000 are still in need of humanitarian support.
Donations can still be made through various organizations including the Red Cross and Unicef.