The story of Live it up Foundation began 17 years before the organization formally came into existence.
Little did anyone know then, that an organization would be borne out of need to serve orphaned and abandoned children were neglected within their societies and who were perceived by many in their communities as nothing more than a undesired burden.
In 1996, while doing her Masters in International Development, Yasemin Saib was in search of combining her passion for travel and helping the less fortunate. This passion led Yasemin to start a new “Conscious Travel” tradition. She would organize individual and group trips and vacations that included leisure and charitable work.
Yasemin’s Travel program was popular among her friends and led to visiting hundreds of orphanages, helping thousands of children. But something happened during her trip to Uganda that would forever change her approach to philanthropy, a story so profound and a need so great that it could not be ignored, which led Yasemin to the realization that consciousness vacations were no longer enough.
For years, Yasemin has loved Africa and the soulful beauty of its people and its natural habitat. While on a Gorilla trekking vacation in Uganda, Yasemin discovered children in the Slums who were discarded by their parents and were under the care of a 72 year old Jaja (grandmother) who had taken it upon herself to look after abandoned and orphaned children in the slums of Kampala for over 30 years even though she herself has no means to care herself let alone so many children for so long. Unlike many of the orphanages Yasemin and her friends had visited and helped in various countries in the past, Jaja had no formal support structure other than the random occasional good Samaritans who offered whatever little assistance they could.
Yasemin Saib founded Live it up Foundation, an American-based non-profit organization with headquarters in Tampa, Florida and offices in Dubai, UAE and Kampala, Uganda with the initial humble intention of helping a handful of abandoned children in Uganda. Live it up Foundation’s mission grew to reach out to many more orphaned and abandoned children around the world. To date, the organization has and continues to support children in 11 countries serving more than 2300 underprivileged, marginalized, orphaned and abandoned children.