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Behnam Daheshpour Charity: The Power of an Idea

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23 April 2015 - It was once said: “Between the pages of a book is a lovely place to be.”


When the UN Resident Coordinator in Iran decided to visit Behnam Daheshpour charity for commemoration of World Book and Copyright Day – observed each year on 23rd April – he had one simple idea: to donate some books to the charity’s library in hopes of enabling the children being treated for cancer to escape reality and imagine the kind of worlds that they would like to live in.


23 april 2015 behnam. GL. BookMr. Lewis had the chance to visit children being treated for cancer at the organization


The Behnam Daheshpour charity is a non-governmental organization driven by the power of one idea – the idea of giving and caring started by its namesake Behnam.


Behnam Daheshpour was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor at the age of 17. After four years of treatment in United Kingdom, Canada and Iran, Behnam passed away in 1996 in Tehran at the age of 21.


But before his death, Behnam was driven by the idea that all cancer sufferers should be treated with respect and dignity and given the best medical care possible. The idea came to him as he watched other cancer patients wait in long queues in a half-finished building at the hospital in Tajrish. Behnam recruited his friends and spent his final years raising funds through charity events, concerts and selling candles in his home.




23 april 2015 Behnam staffThe Behnam Daheshpour charity relies solely on donations from the public



When asked by his friends why he would rather sell candles than rest, Behnam responded that, “A candle’s price is equal to a glass of water. If each person helps to provide a single glass of water, there will soon be an ocean for the patients.”


After his death, Behnam’s mother, Mrs. Shahla Lajevardi, gathered family and friends together and continued Behnam’s legacy by establishing the Behnam Daheshpour Charity. Today, this noble organization offers services and care to approximately 7,000 young patients under the age of 15 and their families, regardless of nationality, religion or ethnicity. The charity is supported by generous benefactors, the general public, core staff and a host of enthusiastic volunteers.


23 april 2015 GL.NoteMr. Gary Lewis signed one of the books donated to Behnam Daheshpour charity on behalf of the UN Iran team



During his visit, Mr. Lewis met many of the staff and volunteers as well as spending time with a number of the young cancer patients currently receiving treatment.


Prior to leaving the organization, Mr. Lewis said: “As little as the contribution of the UN family in Iran might be compared with the great work that the volunteers who are running the charity do on a daily basis, when I reflect on today, I will remember not only the great service this charity is providing to those in need, but also the smiles that the books brought to the faces of those innocent children being treated in this facility, and I am privileged to have had the chance to meet these young champions.” 
23 April 2015 irina bokovaClick here to read the message from UNESCO's Director-General for 2015.

Related Links:

23 april 2015 Behnam D charityClick here to view Behnam Daheshpour's official website.


23 april 2015 Behnam GholakThe Behnam Daheshpour charity relies solely on donations from the public.  Many people in Iran will be familiar with the collection boxes in shops, airports and supermarkets as well as the colourfully painted Behnam Piggy Banks.


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