‘Bread’ navigates the student mindset
When young Mustafa Sheikh took a million dollar Lamborghini to a low decile school in Auckland, it was not to show off his wealth; instead it was to show the children that the rich man’s car was born out of dream on paper and that they too achieve great things in their life with the right thinking and approach.
The Lamborghini, in his view, does not illustrate material value in children.
He said that the concept of monetary worth is developed later in life.
To a child, a Lamborghini is a symbol of freedom, a beacon of hope.
“The energy of children crowding around the car was electrifying. For at that very moment, no matter which issues might have been going on at home or any issues at school were forgotten,” he said.
For all that pomp and show, Mustafa is not a dreamer but a doer. The first step in the move towards bridging the gap between the haves and have-nots is to show the inspire the latter to muster courage and grow, he said.
“Children are creative thinkers. They believe in aliens, Santa and superheroes. We start our mentoring programme by getting students to write their dreams on a piece of paper in a classroom. Alternatively, we can display to them a literal dream embodied by a Lamborghini physically in-front of them. We show the children this car and say now, that is what a dream can accomplish, let us rework your personal goals to aim higher because we just showed you what is possible,” he said.
This young entrepreneur established ‘Bread,’ a charity that aims to mentor youngsters onto positive life-change and lead them on the path of success.
As well as eradicating child poverty from the face of New Zealand, he aims to promote a healthy, vibrant society that will spell overall wellbeing.
About Mustafa Sheikh
Graduating from Gisborne Boys’ High School in 2012, Mustafa obtained his BSc and BSC Honours from the University of Auckland and soon thereafter launched his career.
With proclivities towards charity and community care projects, he volunteered at the Starship Hospital and thereafter established ‘Bread.’
“We cannot sleep knowing that tens of thousands of young Kiwis go to school hungry, that many of them walk to school barefoot and that they stay wet and cold on every rainy day,” he said and asked, “How can we sit back and not help our communities?”
He believes that every child deserves to grow without a worry in the world.
“But these children are missing out. They too have dreams,” he said.
Mustafa believes that Mentoring allows in understanding students.
“If a student is really passionate about Rugby but doesn’t have the right gear, we can help them by giving them a pair of boots,” he said.
Changing approach in life
Mustafa said that the goal of ‘Bread’ is to inspire and motivate students’ mindset and add a sparkle to their day.
“One may ask how donating a pair of rugby boots contributes to alleviating poverty in our communities. Poverty is by definition is an income below a certain threshold leading to difficulty accessing certain resources such as food or clothing. Its issues are far more complex than simply being hungry,” he said.
Mustafa and his team (comprising Co-Founder Hamish, a Year Five Medical Student and Trustee Crystal) hold mentoring sessions with a group of students (mainly Year 7 and 8) regularly, inspiring and promoting their dreams.
Motivating young minds
“We cover aspects such as goal planning and career guidance. If a student wants to sidestep like Sonny Bill Williams or become a nurse, doctor or anything else, we will do our best to support their vision. We will set goals and motivate them to do what they desire. The mentors are volunteers, a large majority of mentors are medical students from Auckland University. We often host lunches for our students too,” he said.
This Lamborghini has sparked students to dream. It’s Bread’s responsibility to now assist them with their new goals, he said.