Lola Lopez has been a dedicated volunteer since the age of 15 when she began working for ‘Meals on Wheels’, a service which delivers immobile old age pensioners a hot meal on a daily basis. Since then, she has dedicated her time to charities such as ‘Battersea Dogs Home’, ‘National Anti-Vivisection Society’, ‘Greenpeace’, ‘Samaritans’ and many more.
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In 2008, Lola collected unwanted clothes from Dubai residents to take to an orphanage in Africa. The task was completed successfully, but on no level did she expect what came next. The high demand for volunteering opportunities in Dubai was brought to light, and suddenly catapulted this personal task into the launch of Lola’s first sole initiative, Volunteer in UAE (previously Volunteer in Dubai).
Since then, Lola has dedicated her time to supporting any cause that comes her way, doing her physical best to ensure that VIU is always there to stand by anyone who is in need. VIU has provided her with many different enriching experiences, each of which have contributed significantly to her adventure as an active humanitarian. She often refers to VIU as a vehicle which carries all the volunteers to reach their ultimate destination, and describes her role as solely a “bus driver” who guides it in the right direction.
More recently, Lola has also started focusing on advocating cases in the UAE for individuals in medical and immigration difficulties. The nature of every case varies widely and each is dealt in a unique manner according to each person's needs. Lola aims to not only ultimately resolve each issue, but also to be a pillar of strength for those in various predicaments, doing her level best to ensure that nobody is left alone in distress.
Lola explains: “I’ve always believed that I simply got lucky with the situation that I was born in. I could have been born at the mercy of any number of challenges - physical, geographical or environmental…and just because I wasn’t, doesn’t give me the right to overlook and ignore the plight of those who were. I believe we all have the duty to somehow get involved and make the world a better place and not sit back and expect the world to change on its own. Or for world leaders, wealthy conglomerates or successful businesses to continuously step in. We all share this planet and we are all responsible for it.”
Lola firmly believes that if everyone in the entire world did one small thing to help another, anything at all, and did so wholeheartedly and sincerely, the world would be a very different place.
Lola runs all the projects with the help of a small group of loyal volunteers, and credits all the successful projects to “team effort executed with inspiring and unwavering spirit”.