Thursday, 30 April 2015

More than just an Insurance Broker

An Act of Kindness Goes a Long Way

As an account manager at Sharp Insurance, Housam Kabalan is more than just a sales person: he is a true humanitarian and human rights supporter. Born in Lebanon, Housam immigrated to Canada in 1976. As a modest, hardworking insurance broker devoted to his work at Sharp Insurance, many of his fellow co-workers were unaware of his philanthropic activities, until recently.

Housam made headlines all over Canada in 1995 for his quest to raise money for, and awareness to, the atrocities committed to the children in Sarajevo. As a first time bike rider, Housam made a cross country bicycle trek starting from St. John’s, Newfoundland and ending in Victoria, British Columbia. This seven month journey created much media buzz and was successful in increasing awareness about the alarming situation is Sarajevo. Housam was featured in the Calgary Herald, The Montreal Gazette, The Ottawa Citizen, the Toronto Star and more. He raised over $67,000 for this cause.

Previous to his ten years of insurance experience, Housam was a former restaurateur, private detective and karate instructor. When we asked Housam what his hobbies are, he said, “Honestly, it’s my charity work. It consumes all of my extra time.”

The charity work he is referring to is his regular trips to Indonesia where he travels to remote and impoverished towns handing out rice and basic necessities to families in need.

We asked Housam why Indonesia? He replied, “During my travels around Asia I discovered a level of poverty I never knew existed before. I could not stand around and do nothing.”

Since 2009, Housam has independently raised funds for items such as rice, cooking oil, soya sauce, tea, and sugar to pass out to families in Indonesia. He received help from the communities themselves to distribute food items among families:  “These villages are remote, I am talking no road access, [and] you have to walk at least 2 km carrying bags of rice in the bush.”

For his most recent trip to Indonesia Housam focused on families without a working parent (a parent who has passed away or who has left the family) and orphanages. “The families with single mothers and orphanages are really the most in need: they have no one to help them.”

Housam said one bag of rice can feed a family for 30 days. 

For his November trip to Indonesia, Housam raised $1965 total, $825 of that raised by Sharp Insurance. The $1965 helped feed about 98 families.

When we asked Housam when he plans to go back, he said it all depends on the money he is able to raise for his next trip.

Want to find out more about Housam’s charity work in Indonesia? Send us an email at [email protected] or contact as via Facebook or Twitter


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