Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Come Along on a Journey to Help Pakistan One Family at a Time

Perhaps a few years ago, many people would not have been able to place Pakistan on a map -- well, those of us who were around when Bangladesh (East Pakistan) ran into trouble in the 1970s might have been able to put two and two together. Pakistan, however, was rarely in the news, at least in the regions where I lived, until right after 9/11 when the US needed help from that country. Now that country needs help from the USA -- and from the rest of the world, from you, from me, from anyone with a heart. Perhaps people gave all they had to Haiti; perhaps Pakistan is too far, too Eastern, too foreign for those of us living in the West. Whatever the reason, assistance from the West, which usually comes through for people in dire need, has not been as forthcoming in this instance, a place and time when help is needed in an overwhelming amount: 16 million Pakistanis are suffering from the devastation caused by the floods. (Help, of course, is needed and welcomed from everywhere and anywhere. Readers of this blog come from 109 different countries, including Pakistan. I hope that among you, there will be people who can help.)

Among the readers of Blest Atheist, the blog that preceded 100th Lamb, was Wajeeha, a young acquaintance of mine from Karachi, Pakistan. She and I mainly communicate via FaceBook. Over time, I have come to feel like she is just another of my children, and I am proud of what she is doing, both in college and in her current plan to help her country. A college student, living in an area unaffected by the flood but nonetheless concerned with the lack of help coming to the families stranded, impoverished, and left starving by the floods, she and her college classmates are taking matters into their hands and trying to help the people of Pakistan one family at a time. I asked her to write a post about her journey, and so I will let her tell it in her own words:
I, Wajeeha Asrar Siddiqui, with some friends and colleagues of mine have started the effort to help those who are affected by flood in Pakistan. We are collecting funds in this regard and have decided to take up the charge of everything under our own control. As prior we had trusted some government official with our money but there is nothing come to name of progress and God knows where the money gone. Now, we have decided to do everything by our own.

We are up for the task of rehabilitation for the people of Besham, Kohistan and connected districts. Our main motto is not to just provide them with food. The main motto is to let those back to their normal lives with all their respect and dignity. We are up to help those people without let them feel inferior to other members of the society.

We have aim to help those with food, water and clothing at first and then with books, raw material and space to practice and sale their handicrafts. People in those regions are masters of handicrafts. As we are already having Ramadan here so, the very first thing that is needed is drinking water and then food.

We would leave from Karachi to Besham and beyond by the end of August 2010. Our first target is to help 2000 families. An average cost of drinking water, food and clothing of a family for a month is around $150 - $200. We still need hands to join in and help us making our targets possible.

As we do not have much time left I request all those you’re seeking to help to send us their donations in cash. As the fact is, transferring of cash would take less time as compare to transferring of good. For all those who are looking forward to help can reach me by email ID:

You can also reach our representative in Besham, Engr. Said Mehmood ( who is working with Catholic Relief Services to help all those who are affected by flood.
I promised her some help from God's credit card now that it is paid off once again (see God's Crazy Math -- it took only two days for money to appear to pay it off), but that has a credit limit (probably a fortunate thing). Won't you help, too? Even a couple of dollars can make a difference. Given the exchange rate and the cost-of-living difference, a little can go a long way. I will ask Wajeeha to report on her journey periodically when time and electronic resources permit. Let's measure the compassion of the blogosphere with Pakistan as a criterion!

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