Interview with supporter Shafiq Yari
At the age of 37, as a father of four children residing in Monaco and Ibiza, Shafiq recounts his encounter with IT4Kids. Not entirely coincidentally, given his background in the IT sector, he received an invitation to the IT4Kids gala several years ago. From that initial moment, he has been supporting IT4Kids every year, progressing from a gala guest to an ambassador. He almost always participates in every event, contributing to the recognizability of IT4Kids’s story.
Shafiq, born in Afghanistan and having moved to the Netherlands at the age of four, shares the challenges and limitations he experienced growing up in an environment without facilities for sports and activities. While he had the privilege to participate in sports, many of his friends did not have the same opportunity. “This is where it personally resonates with me,” says Shafiq as he reflects on his childhood experiences. “I was fortunate to engage in sports and go on school trips, but many in my surroundings did not have that chance. The difference should not be underestimated. Youth should be encouraged to be active and participate in sports, regardless of their background. Making the unattainable achievable for children. That’s why I support IT4Kids.”
Sport as a fundamental right for every child Shafiq believes that sports play a critical role in children’s development. “It’s not just about physical health but also about perseverance, teamwork, having an outlet, and a healthy mind. It all starts on the sports floor. I’ve participated in various sports, from soccer to paddle tennis, and it has shaped me into who I am today.”
He also mentors young people and recognizes how sports can transform lives. “I see it with a young world champion kickboxer I mentor. Without sports, the likelihood of him making wrong choices that could hinder his future would have been significantly higher. If we take away sports from many people, the world will look different. It will have consequences on health, but also on how we interact with each other in society. Sports make a difference in the lives of young people. It’s striking that as a country, we can manage many things well, but we struggle to facilitate sports for everyone.”
Water sources in Afghanistan
With a passion for social engagement, Shafiq is also establishing his own foundation, Roshan: creating water sources in Afghanistan. “It’s about giving back to society, helping others. By drilling wells, you provide an entire village with a basic necessity: water. You significantly improve the lives of 500-1000 people. Giving back to the society.”
Everyone can contribute Shafiq has a deep commitment to IT4Kids. “Priority must be given to enabling sports for all children. As individuals, as companies, we can all, no matter how small, contribute to this change. I encourage everyone to help. Experience it yourself, participate, and judge for yourself. It can be as simple as asking at work what happens to the old hardware. Mention IT4Kids. It starts with a step, and that step can make a world of difference.”