Kamal Aftab, who has died aged 33, was a youth mentor, fundraising champion and optometrist. He was also my younger brother. Originally from Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, Kamal died at Leeds' Saint James's University Hospital on the 7 August 2015 after a six-week battle against Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. My brother's passion was simple, but vast: it was the service of humanity.
Though it may be a life without my Mum, there is a life waiting for me. Whatever happens outside of me, I am still me and I can still achieve amazing things. Hope and gratitude are so fragile, but so important. I am grateful for the brilliant people around me who lift me up, inspire me to hope for the future, and be the best version of myself that I can be.
The Ministry estimates the total damage to the country's education system at US$313.2 (£204.7) million, mainly to infrastructure. Demolition and debris removal, construction of temporary learning centres, child-friendly spaces, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities, plus school repair costs total US$32.5 (£21.24)million.
Volunteering to help others can have diverse benefits both for us as individuals and for those we volunteer with. It can increase people's confidence, boost wellbeing and help strengthen the fabric of society. There is increasing recognition of this from policy makers too. Take for example, the Government's pledge to offer up to three days' paid volunteering in companies employing over 250 staff - a move which could provide new opportunities to around 15 million staff.
I know I'm biased (and I'm sure other organisations who work with volunteers will say the same) but I have never worked with a group of people whose commitment to the cause is so absolute... They fundraise, raise awareness, share their knowledge and experience, and talk from the heart. And they save lives. Our volunteers are amazing. Every day of the year.