Zeina Abdo #PiMaker - Infusing people with Vitamin L
Zeina Abdo is a #PiMaker, a human-being positively impacting with the power we have in each of us: Vitamin L (Love). She's the founder of Smile For Hope and an enthusiastic, powerful and resilient #PiMaker contributing to other people’s growth, well-being and happiness.
We met her and instantly connected through our common vision to live in freedom being who you are and following your dreams in consonance with your heart. We'll share soon a very adventurous project of hers full of vitamin L: Together we are limitless!
How did you come to do what you do? What’s your personal background story?
My life is an intricate series of events, some really traumatic, and others beautiful. Life during a raging war in Lebanon as a helpless witness of people’s despair, coupled with my own personal traumas as I was growing up made me commit at a very young age that I would do everything I could to contribute to the well-being and protection of, first and foremost, children.
"I was driven by the deep conviction that my contribution to Humanity lied elsewhere"
I have lived in various countries and continents, developing a global and successful corporate career for more than 15 years. Yet I was driven by the deep conviction that my contribution to Humanity lied elsewhere.
In November 2011, I went on a life-changing trip to Nepal that lead to the establishment of “Smile For Hope” in April of 2012. What started as an organization dedicated to benefitting pediatric cancer patients and increasing access to healthcare in far-flung and forgotten mountainous regions, has grown into a much larger vision.
"Today, I see a world where hope, love, and compassion are limitless, even if resources are not"
Today, I see a world where hope, love, and compassion are limitless, even if resources are not. I believe in a world where humanity is cherished, and where everyone has the opportunity to achieve the livelihood they see for themselves. I do not believe this will be accomplished through band-aid solutions where “charity” is given, and dependence is formed. I see a world where empowerment is the panacea, and sustainable change is the result.
In parallel to my commitment to the children of Nepal, I was also engaged with an environmental initiative to protect Antarctica. From 2012 to 2014, through and for this organization, I have inspired and coached groups of women from the UAE and surroundings to embark to Antarctica, on a life changing trip that would cast light on the serious environmental issues our planet is facing.
"Resilience comes from feeling heard and supported"
Recently, I have launched a holistic well-being programme to empower people to live their vision and believe in their dreams. More than ever today, there is a sense of urgency to support people in times of an uncertain future. Resilience comes from feeling heard and supported.
Ultimately, I just want to infuse people with Vitamin L (vitamin Love) and bring light to their happiness.
How do you feel you are positively impacting your society and environment?
"I have inspired people to take positive actions in their life, and to go back to a place of truth and authenticity"
Since “Smile for Hope” was created, students, young adults, and adults were inspired to take action and look beyond frontiers and barriers.
“Smile For Hope” acts as a connector of all people, and was in many instances the catalyst in creating a unifying push towards understanding and teamwork amongst all people to better this space we each call home.
In Nepal, we have assisted hundreds of families affected by earthquakes and landslides, but also pediatric cancer patients and their families. We have also empowered the local population in taking ownership of their health.
Moreover, through my personal engagement and life mission, I have inspired people to take positive actions in their life, and to go back to a place of truth and authenticity.
What's your dream, your vision?
My vision is to create sustainable, contagious, hopeful empowering movements across the world. I want to build bridges across communities, countries.
"I see a world where boundaries are no longer a reality, where people unite for a same cause, Humanity"
I see a world where boundaries are no longer a reality, where people unite for a same cause, Humanity. We are called to raise up to a new paradigm.
I recognize that there are universal struggles that connect populations all over the world, but there is a perceived disconnect due to different cultural contexts. No obstacle should be tackled alone, and many solutions to a lack of basic needs can be transcended across discrepancies in lifestyles or beliefs.
Ultimately, I want to inspire a movement and reframing of mindset that will engage and be introduced to individuals at a young age, and that will then ripple to influence older generations, in order to inspire positive changes for all.
Do you feel you have found your meaning and purpose in life? Why?
Witnessing sustainable impact and knowing that through hard work and commitment one’s life mission and vision is contributing to other people’s growth, well-being and happiness is all I care for.