Joe Saghbini joined the Hope for Ataxia team in March 2021 as a Graphic Designer. He uses his skills in apps such as Photoshop to create promotional graphics and designs for our online store.
Joe is originally an Architect from Lebanon and an active member of the Lebanese community. When the idea of immigrating to Canada was first brought up, Joe began to realize the exiting fact that he may soon be introduced into a new community, but with COVID-19 closures delaying international travels, Joe’s anticipation grew stronger and he felt inclined to do his part with the Canadian community, and was eager to interact with the community members, even if it was virtually for the time being.
Although it was not his professional major, Joe had already done some Graphic Design work previously, and his Architecture background helped: as both majors shared the “visual art” framework, principles, and fundamentals. Additionally, his knowledge of Photoshop supported the idea from the technical side.
Joe does not have Ataxia himself, nor did he personally know anyone who suffered from the disease, until he saw an online Ad for Hope for Ataxia (HFA), the name apparently caught his attention, and after Googling some info about the rare disease and the HFA group, Joe contacted Mark and Courtney, who kindly welcomed him into the group as a volunteer for Graphic Design. The fact that Joe had to learn about Ataxia from an online post stressed the importance of online efforts for raising awareness about this rare disease and gave him the motivation to join and help replicate the experience with other people.
What Joe liked most about this group in specific was the presence of humour in most aspects of the activities, especially in the Designs available on the HFA store. A sense of humour or a light-hearted spirit within a group can be crucial to its success, especially during difficult times or circumstances. Also, working with HFA has introduced Joe to new contacts, software, platforms, and experience.
Apart from HFA, Joe is also a volunteer as a translator (English-French-Arabic) with “Make Music Matter”, an NGO based in Canada that helps international trauma survivors internationally, and uses the creative process as a therapeutic tool to empower marginalized individuals, and improve mental health.
Joe’s message to anyone considering volunteering is: Don’t wait till the time is perfect to start volunteering. Just start, and you’ll soon see that helping out is the best and most fulfilling use of your time.