Vafa Shelter in Hashtgerd benefits from two managers’ volunteer services: Ms. Farah Azari and Mr. Farzad Shabanpour.
Farah Azari, born in 1966, holds a Master of Science degree in Geology, and she is a retired employee of a private firm. During the winter of 2009 she became familiar with Vafa Animal Shelters’ website through a newspaper article. After that, she picked up a few necessary items for the Shelter and went there. She continued that effort weekly. She served as a volunteer for 1.5 years.
She brought bread and gasoline to the Shelter. She participated in cleaning the Shelter as well as bathing and cleaning the dogs afflicted with mange. In short, she did everything and anything the Shelter needed and was in her power.
As of winter of 2010, with close cooperation with Shelter’s founder, Mrs. Fatemeh Motamedi, Farah assumed Shelter’s leadership. She says: “After accepting the leadership, I realize the difference between being a manager and being a volunteer. Being the manager is a much bigger responsibility. Vafa Shelter has had its ups and downs throughout the years and has overcome many challenges, but overall has progressed. It has been 12 years since I’m a part of the Shelter, and its challenges have not made me run away. Vafa is alive, and I am hopeful it will remain that way forever.”
Farzad Shabanpour was born in 1985. He studied architecture. He learned about the shelter in 2011, and on a few occasions brought in blankets and mats. Later in the same year, he started volunteering at the shelter on a part time basis.
The land for the shelter was purchased in 2014 with the financial support of Ms. Fatemeh Motamedi (the founder of Vafa Animal Shelter) and couple of other philanthropists. With the help of Farzad Shabanpour, Diana Moazen Zadeh and Mehdi Ghorbani the shelter was then up and running.
Beginning of 2017, Ms. Motamedi proposed the idea of Farzad managing shelter’s “Hashtgerd” branch, and he officially started his work on January 29th of the same year. Shelter, under his supervision, started to repair and re-build the old and damaged sections in 2019.
Farzad says: “I believe that to a point, we are like jail wardens, because due to the situation in Iran these animals should stay inside the shelter and are not safe outside. So now that we are given the job of a warden, let’s be kind and make the place beautiful. Let’s turn the place into what they truly deserve. Living with these animals has taught me the most valuable lessons in life, and I have changed to a different person. I am very grateful for them and what they have taught me. They are such kind and wise teachers!”.