MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Mehyar Ahmed Hassan has one of the coolest jobs in the world.
The Toronto native gets paid to play video games as a part of Grizz Gaming in the NBA 2K League.
And he knows just how lucky he is.
His parents immigrated to Canada from Sudan before he was born, creating a much different life for him compared to what he saw the first time he visited his parents' home country.
“You really can’t get a grasp on it until you go over there and you see what’s really the problem. I’ve seen kids in trash cans trying to get food and stuff, and it was really heartbreaking,” said Hassan.
Ruled by unstable regimes for years, corruption and poverty are very common in Sudan.
Just this week, the Sudanese military overthrew the government, taking control and suspending the constitution.
Hassan saw these issues in his first visit to the country and knew he needed to do something.
“It was definitely mind blowing knowing that that’s my people suffering. That’s my blood. That’s where I’m from. So, it definitely gave me more of an incentive to try to help as much as I can. That was definitely the first impression I had in terms of the difference between Canada and Sudan,” said Hassan.
Right before joining Grizz Gaming in 2018, Hassan decided to sponsor kids in Africa through a program called World Vision Canada.
For $70 a month, he sponsors two kids and helps pay for their school, food, and other necessities.
“I definitely am seeing results. They’re explaining how much food and water they’re receiving. Not only them, but their families too, are getting a little bit of that. That’s really great. They’ll update me on how they’re doing in school. They’re taking different courses. It’s really great to see them learning more,” said Hassan.
But Hassan doesn't want to stop at just two kids. He wants to eventually build educational and medical facilities in poverty stricken African countries. His job with Grizz Gaming is helping him kick start his goal.
“I think about it every time I wake up. It’s still crazy to think that I’m waking up, playing a video game and getting money for it. The league has done a great job of giving us a platform for showcasing our skills and all that stuff. It’s really giving me more of a way to be financially The league has really helped me in trying to achieve my dream,” said Hassan.