bibin raj

Overcoming illness: Dubai Teen Reaches New Heights

Overcoming illness: Dubai Teen Reaches New Heights

Things often don’t go according to plan in life, it throws unexpected hurdles at you when you least expect it. Six years ago, life threw an unexpected challenge at Bibin that most teens his age would have never expected, but that didn’t stop him from working hard and achieving numerous inspiring feats. Back in 2015, Bibin Raj was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer. Today, he is a philanthropist, founder of two non-profit organizations, writer, and public speaker on a mission to positively impact the lives around him. 


From a young age, Bibin’s parents encouraged him to take action and help out others. In 2012, he started a non-profit organization with his sister and friend called Umeed, intending to improve education in developing nations. They collaborated with well-known international organizations such as Dubai Cares, and The Red Crescent to further aid the cause. He then went on to create another non-profit organization along with his friends in 2018, The Smile Guild, which focuses on combating the societal stigma around mental health and uplifting the status of mental well-being in the community. 


When he and his classmates started year 11, a time when most teens go through their very first rounds of  board exams, he noticed that most of his peers were going through an incredibly stressful time. That was when he and his friends decided to start The Smile Guild, primarily to help their classmates and all those facing such problems. Together, they incepted multiple initiatives to deliver the appropriate help such as connecting students to counsellors and holding campaigns that raised morale. Their organization grew quickly to become an award-winning international non-profit that impacted the lives of many youths. In 2019, The Smile Guild won the prestigious Diana Award as a recognition for its impactful work.


Currently, his team is working on a wing under The Smile Guild umbrella, The Smile Guild Foundation, which will act as their in-field social work wing. The first project under The Smile Guild Foundation plans on communicating the modern ideals of gender equality and breaking down gender stereotypes in society. The program will focus on reaching out to semi-urban and urban schools targeting high school students. This project will be mainly based in India to combat the patriarchal society ideals in targeted areas.