By Zac Cornell
Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets superstar guard, continues to use his financial and social status to help underprivileged communities. His latest life-changing donation went towards the Rohal village in Pakistan, one of the poorest in Tharparkar, which has since transformed the area. His KAI Family Foundation worked with the Paani Project to create a clean water source for the Sindh province which has suffered from a water drought for 17 years, and funded solar power for lighting and fans in schools and mosques.
Sonny Khan, a 22-year-old Pakistani-American who is the founder and director of the Michigan-based non-governmental organization (NGO) Paani Project, didn’t have any prior connection to Irving before this project other than being a fan. “Kyrie has always been one of my favorite players,” said Khan to Nets Daily. “One day I was just scrolling online and came across his surreal track record of philanthropy. I was surprised to see how much work he’s done in Africa, the work he’s done for low-income communities, and work towards women’s empowerment.”
Khan explains why he believes Irving chose to support their project. “I reached out to his foundation directly and told them about Paani,” said Khan. “How we have $0 in overhead costs. How we give all of our money to the people. How we record everything from start to finish. How we’ve raised over $1 million as volunteers without any money for marketing.”
Irving and his foundation worked with the Paani Project and completed the entire project in four short months. The project also distributed hand lights to children to navigate in the village and created a small farm for lasting self-sufficiency.
The KAI organization developed relationships with construction partners, the United Nations Development Program, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, which helped efficiently complete the projects.
Irving continues to inspire off the court as much as he does on it!