Associations: So that luxury doesn't remain the privilege of the
offers leisure moments for underprivileged children
providing leisure time for the underprivileged children
is the aim of Time4sharing.com, a movement present
in many countries, mainly Lebanon, Bahrain and the
Czech Republic. A little more than six months old,
the association sponsored a dozen of events in many
different countries. On the 1st of June, on the occasion
of the World Child Day, the movement beat the records
when 812 children from 42 orphanages in Prague created
the longest human chain of friendship and joy in the
Offering the underprivileged children true leisure moments is the
challenge that Mrs. Viviane Boulos-Tolan -founder
of Time4sharing.com and major shareholder of Platinum
International, a company specialized in providing
leisure and luxurious holidays- wants to take up.
Some people give away clothes and others food to the
underprivileged children. Vivian Boulos-Tolan decided
to offer them leisure time and encourage others to
follow her lead. "With time, clothes become small
or old, food products are perishable whereas pleasant
moments remain engraved on memory", stated Boulos-Tolan,
whose movement aims mainly at children in orphanages.
Sometimes, when everything goes wrong, nice memories
give you hope. "It's is more important to devote oneself,
one's time. It's not costly, but nowadays, time is
becoming a rare commodity", she added.
Before founding the association, Vivian and Michael,
her Irish husband, used to visit Lebanese orphanages,
mainly during festive times. When they did not take
the orphans in a round, they tried to spread joy in
their fostering house. And when the couple, after
8 years of marriage, knew they were expecting twins,
visits and activities aimed at orphans did not stop.
On the contrary, Vivian had just delivered when she
took children from an orphanage in Kesrouan to an
amusement park by bus. "When the person in charge
knew these children had lost their parents, he decided
to offer them a free ticket to the park", she said.
"It proves everybody can give whatever he has to offer".
She dreams of seeing, one day, the underprivileged
children live like the lucky few. The association
helps fighting injustice as it can. When she was a
student, Vivian used to help her mother, Laura Boulos,
founder of Amali Association, in forwarding medicine
to free clinics.
"The association is six months old, nearly the age
of our two children, Angelica Christina and Alexander
Christian", says Boulos-Tolan, who added that the
idea of founding Time4sharing.com occurred to her
spontaneously after the birth of her children. '"All
children must enjoy leisure moments, not only mine".
Having children has not been easy for Viviane and
Michael. While traveling round the world for work,
they decided, five years ago, to settle in Lebanon
and found a company specialized in providing leisure
and luxury holidays. Until last October, Vivian used
to work twelve hours a day on average. She traveled
a lot, too. Since Angelica and Alexander's birth,
she traveled much less and installed her office in
her house in Adma, so she can be closer to her babies.
At the moment, she is devoted to the movement she's
created. Time4sharing.com has three tasks: "providing
leisure time for the underprivileged children; encouraging
volunteers to devote themselves and some of their
time; and mobilizing companies to take part in the
The founder started with mobilizing volunteers from
her own company. "For the time being, a great number
of the company's employees take part voluntarily,
with their family or friends, in the activities aimed
at underprivileged children".
A Kangaroo named Boomerang
Time4sharing.com started its activities in Prague,
when the orphans of the city adopted a kangaroo living
in the zoo of the Czech Republic. " Ever since that
event, children who had lost their parents benefit
from a free entry ticket to the city zoo", says Vivian
Boulos-Tolan. " The kangaroo named Boomerang has been
chosen as the association mascot, as it symbolizes
maternity ", she explains.
Progressively, the association started reaching those
children who had lost their parents, but also the
youngsters. For instance, last May in Bahrain, two
events were organized in collaboration with the Emirates
Special Olympics Committee. One of the events consisted
of accompanying children with particular needs to
a Dolphin show. In the Czech Republic, Time4sharing.com
has managed, inter-alia, to offer a week of winter
sports holiday to 21 children. Boulos-Tolan indicated
that " this kind of activities requires one volunteer
for every two children ".
In Lebanon, to date, the association has reached more
than 120 children from different orphanages, mainly
SOS village, Sisters of Besanšon orphanage, Dar al-Aytam
al-Islamiya, and the Eucharist children.
Children who took part in the events organized in
Lebanon spent several days outside their orphanage,
watching Walt-Disney movies at the theatre, making
the most of the games at Sun City Resort, or yet taking
part in the training of the Racing Football Team of
Within the framework of the Special Olympics to be
held in Bromana High School from June 23 to June 29,
the movement invited the Olympic Team of Bahrain to
participate in the games. Transport and accommodation
shall be provided by the movement. Time4sharing.com
will also invite children with special needs to attend
the games and meet the Bahraini team.
If the movement started its activities in three countries,
it is because the luxury leisure company owned by
Boulos-Tolan has branches there. In the first place,
the founder of the movement encouraged Platinum International's
employees to volunteer. Hence, for the sake of leading
the events, some of the employees became instructors,
others clowns, and others puppet masters.
Time4sharing.com is determined to grow so it can reach
destitute children in the United States, Thailand
and India. The movement also intends to unify its
activities in all countries, mainly for the new school
year and for Christmas 2001.
In order to hold the attention of a greater number
of people, Time4sharing.com chooses trustworthy and
well-known people to represent it. In Bahrain, the
ambassadress of the association is Sheikha Sabika
el-Khalifa, member of the reigning family. In the
Czech Republic, an honorary member of the movement
takes part in its activities: Yadislav Dizek, a well-known
football player in his country.
Vivian Boulos-Tolan wants to mobilize enterprises
and volunteers so that they give whatever they have
to offer. " Ten enterprises took part in the last
event in Prague; some offered presents to the underprivileged
children while others provided water and food ".
"For the time being, it is like digging a well" notes
the founder of Time4sharing.com. She hopes the movement
will have a snowball effect and mobilize several volunteers,
enterprises and associations.
Only this way the association will be able to reach
the greatest number of underprivileged children.
WHAT YOU CAN
For Vivian Boulos-Tolan, founder of Time4sharing.com,
" devoting oneself is the most valuable gift". "Time
does not cost anything, but nowadays, it is becoming
a rare commodity ", she says while calling upon volunteers
to join her. Enterprises can also give what they have
to offer: a restaurant can offer lunch, an amusement
center or a swimming pool can provide free admission,
and printers may stamp logos on caps and T-shirts
for children. In other words, they may sponsor the
activities. For the moment, only Platinum International
assumes these tasks.
" We are not asking for too much, each one can offer
what he has to give ", indicates Boulos-Tolan.
In Lebanon, the next event of Time4sharing.com is
scheduled in the framework of the Special Olympics
to be held in Broumana High School, from the 23rd
to the 29th of June. So that children with special
needs fully benefit from their time, the association
is calling upon all goodwill persons; individuals
who can devote some of their time, and enterprises
capable of providing services. Other activities will
be scheduled soon.
For more information, Call the
hotline of the movement at the following mobile number: