WICHITA, Kansas – On Thursday evening, several Kansans will be honored with Humanitarian Awards given out each year by Inter-Faith Ministries.
One of the recipients is just a teenager, who’s already changing lives around the world.
Saajan Bhakta is getting ready for school, his mother is helping make sure he has enough supplies, but they’re not for him.
“We have 1,000 students so we need to make sure we have 1,000 books, at least for their first set,” said Saajan.
At just 19 years old, Saajan has built a school in Africa. Working with another teen now living in Zambia, they found land and funding to start the “Project Love School” that opened this month.
“When you’re struggling to get your malnourished kid some food, the last thing you’re worried about is sending them to school, which on top of everything is 30 kilometers away so we decided no, there won’t be any school fees,” said Sajaan.
This is an incredible undertaking for this man, but not the only accomplishment.
Through a non-profit he formed called POV-Solve, which seeks to tackles issues of poverty, Saajan and his team of volunteers have worked at the Kansas Food Bank, fed the homeless, and organized fundraisers like the “Color Run” to help those in need.
“We have 10 chapters on three continents, so we have over 2,000 volunteers,” said Sajaan.
He’s even written a book called “Be Your Own Hero” and gives motivational speeches to teens.
“It actually meant more to me just knowing someone my age could write a book. it inspired me,” said 14-year-old Devin Schulte.
Sales of Saajan’s book are helping fund his current project, the renovation of a hospital emergency room, where the poor can get surgical care in India, his parents’ homeland.
“His motivation, what he has achieved in five years, I don’t think I could achieve in the next lifetime,” said Harshad Bhakta, father of Sajaan.
Saajan’s work prompted Wichita’s mayor to proclaim March 18th of this year “Saajan Bhakta” day.
He was even recognized as a top volunteer by President Obama.
To find out more about Sajaan Bhakta and his mission, you can visit his website here.