Introducing Elaf Hamid, our new Shipping Coordinator!

In this Q&A, we introduce the ILBF community to Elaf Hamid, our new Shipping Coordinator. Elaf is a law student at the University of Surrey, currently on her placement. She has taken the role of ILBF’s Shipping Coordinator for the remainder of the academic year.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi! My name is Elaf Hamid. I was born and raised in Uganda with Sudanese roots, I’m currently an International Law LLB student at the University of Surrey, marking a proud milestone as the first female in my family to pursue university education abroad. I moved to the UK two years ago and I am currently completing my placement year, where I have embraced the shipping coordinator role of the ILBF. My personal pursuits are a vibrant mix of digital artistry—where I translate my cultural heritage into compelling visuals—and a history of leadership in high-impact community projects before my university tenure. I also enjoy keeping active, learning new languages, reading multifarious books and volunteering in organising events for children. Alongside my placement, I continue to immerse myself in diverse activities, always seeking to expand my horizons and embrace new opportunities for growth and impact.

When and how did you come to be involved with the ILBF?

I joined the ILBF in September 2023. I initially came across the ILBF during my search for a suitable placement. Many of the options I initially encountered failed to captivate my interest, prompting me to seek guidance from my university tutor. It was through her insightful advice that I was led to the ILBF, where my journey towards a meaningful placement truly began. I was immediately intrigued because it was a placement that aligned perfectly with my passion for both the legal field and humanitarian work. Diving deeper into the ILBF’s mission, my interest escalated, particularly as an international student. Discovering their commitment to expanding access to justice and contributing to my beloved homeland, Uganda, through various book donations, deeply resonated with me. I submitted my application and I was invited to interview with the remarkable CEO, Mrs. Katrina Crossley. She provided more insightful details about the vacancy and I was certain that this was the right role for me. Having secured the role, the Clifford Chance team, alongside other trustees and patrons comprising the ILBF family, extended a heartfelt welcome that instantly made me feel supported and included. I look forward to embarking on the remarkable journey that lies ahead with the ILBF.

What does your role as shipping coordinator involve?

The Shipping Coordinator role consists of a variety of miscellaneous tasks that are integral to the organisations operations. Primarily, I oversee the entire process of book shipments in collaboration with the CEO. This includes operational aspects such as reviewing applications alongside the CEO, sorting, packing, and labelling boxes of books for shipments. Moreover, liaising with various entities for logistics coordination, actively engaging volunteers for packing, tracking shipment progress, and following up with recipients.  It also includes attending to various administrative tasks such as regular progress reporting to the CEO, refining spreadsheets, storing documents neatly, maintaining accurate ILBF records, meticulously managing the shipping schedule, managing book storerooms across various locations and drafting and sending communications on behalf of ILBF. The role demands patience, effective communication, teamwork, and meticulous attention to detail, as we work collectively to ensures the entire process runs seamlessly from donation to delivery.

What do you enjoy most about working with the ILBF? What are you most looking forward to in the role?

What captivates me most about working with the ILBF is the profound sense of purpose that comes with knowing I contribute to a meaningful mission. The realization that the work I engage in has a tangible impact, particularly in countries close to home. Being an integral part of a team and a process that is in constant evolution, facilitating access to crucial resources, is an unparalleled experience. Looking ahead, I am excited by the prospect of leaving my distinct imprint on this noble cause, actively contributing to its expansion. Moreover, I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to continue broadening my network and immerse myself in diverse experiences that will undoubtedly enrich my professional journey.

What does the ILBF’s mission mean to you? 

Having grown up in Uganda, where millions face a scarcity of knowledge and resources concerning basic legal rights, the ILBF’s mission holds profound personal significance for me. It represents not just a professional endeavour but a personally fulfilling journey towards fostering knowledge, justice, and positive global impact. I have been fortunate enough to benefit and receive a quality education, acknowledging the profound impact obtaining knowledge holds. I am aware first-hand that this access isn’t exactly widespread and not everyone has the same educational opportunities. Therefore, being able to contribute to the ILBF’s cause, providing donated books that empower individuals to expand their legal literacy, understand their rights, and enhance legal systems, brings me genuine happiness.

What are your future goals and career plans?

I envision a career that both embodies a profound sense of social responsibility as well as spans various realms of law. I have a particular interest in commercial and intellectual property, as well as delving into specialized sectors such as aviation and medical law. My placement year has been an eye-opening journey, offering me a glimpse into the dynamic nature of the legal profession. I aspire to continue enhancing my personal development by acquiring valuable experiences and expanding my professional network. Post-graduation, my aim is to secure a training contract that will pave the way to becoming a qualified solicitor. I also intend to maintain my involvement with the ILBF, supporting their noble cause, aiming to amplify their mission and extend their impact through increased awareness and strategic partnerships. With a passion for innovation and commitment to ethical practice, I aspire to contribute to legal advancements that resonate on a global scale. Ultimately, I seek to leverage my legal training and international perspective to foster legal collaborations and initiatives that not only propel my career forward but also create tangible, positive impacts in communities both in the UK and back home in Uganda. While recognizing the ambitious nature of these goals, I embrace challenges with fervour and I am determined to turn this vision into a reality.

What is your favourite book?

My favourite book at the moment has to be ‘Flowers for Algernon’ by Daniel Keyes. It’s a profound story that delves into the complexities of human intelligence and emotion through the eyes of Charlie Gordon, a man with an IQ of 68 who undergoes an experimental surgery to increase his intelligence. The novel is both touching and thought-provoking, charting Charlie’s intellectual rise and the ensuing struggles with his own identity and relationships. It’s a poignant exploration of the human condition, and the narrative’s raw emotion and ethical questions have left a lasting impact on me.