Doing Whatever It Takes

Realizing the immense needs, our efforts are directed to address children’s unique needs, giving them a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protecting them from harm. In Pakistan, our work creates lasting change for children, their families and communities; ultimately, transforming the future we all share.

 

Our work is all encompassing, helping children to go to school also protecting them from dangers such as child labour and early marriages. Keeping children healthy from diseases and malnutrition means their parents are more likely to avoid costly treatment and be better able to provide for their family. Orphans who are often more vulnerable are at the heart of our work. For many orphaned children, the reality of poverty is a daily burden. Left wondering: where will my next meal come from? Where are we going to live? If we get sick and can’t afford medicine…will we survive? Every day is a challenge.

Deprived of their education, health care and safe places to play and grow, orphaned kids face a bleak future. They need critical care and support – and that’s what IR Pakistan steps in.

 

Our flagship Orphan Sponsorship Programme dates back to 1992 under which we have supported more than 7,000 orphans to reshape their future. With your support, we can help orphans and transform the lives of vulnerable children across Pakistan.

According to some estimates, Pakistan has the third-highest number of child labourers in the world after Mauritania and Haiti. Experts suggest that there has been a four-fold increase in child labour in the country over the last two decades. Child labour demonstrably harms a child’s physical, intellectual, and emotional development, compromising their future contributions to society and the economy upon their adulthood and contributing to systemic and generational inequity and poverty. Through well thought-out projects, we are fighting the menace of child labour in Pakistan yielding positive results.

From Tools To School

Danish Ali is a 13-year-old boy who resides in a gypsy community with his parents and four siblings. His family natively belongs from Faisalabad but they decided to migrate to Rawalpindi before Danish’s birth due to economic woes. Financial constraints have been a constant challenge for Danish’s family and they work hard to make ends meet.

 

“My father is an electrician, working on a daily wage basis within our area. My elder brother is a motorcycle mechanic, contributing to the family’s livelihood. I also used to help my father with his work but I always wanted to go to school like others of my age.”

Danish happily studying in class

Islamic Relief under its Protection of Children at Risk (POCAR) initiative rehabilitated the schools in the slums of Rawalpindi with school furniture, boards and learning materials so street children like Danish can get educated through a non-formal basic education schools (NFBE). In addition to that, elder siblings or guardians of street children were trained on different skills easing the financial burden on families. Islamic Relief also provided street children with education material such as, books, stationery and bags.

 

“My family initially hesitated to send me to school due to our financial constraints. Affording education expenses was a challenge for us. However, the opportunity for my elder brother to receive skill training was a turning point. It allowed us to generate additional income, making it more feasible for me to come to school.”

Danish is in grade one. He expresses a strong desire to continue his education and contribute to his family’s well-being.

Danish in his school in Rawalpindi

We also leave no stone unturned to reach children affected by disasters and emergencies. The floods of 2022, the worst flooding to hit Pakistan in decades resulted in devastating loss of life. The government described the situation as a “climate catastrophe … of unimaginable proportions,” affecting more than 33 million people, including 11 million children. Owning to the needs, we were quick to reach the children in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with lifesaving aid. In order to address the education halt, we established temporary learning centers for children as well as child friendly spaces to protect them from harms and improve their wellbeing.

Learning During Disasters

Naheed, like thousand others, returned to a pile of rubble upon coming back to her house that left her traumatized. She started thinking about the uncertain future of her and of others like her. Naheed is a resident of Khuda Bux Morai, Mehar, Sindh. She has 7 members in her family, her father works as a labourer.

 

“When we came back it was like our whole world had been destroyed, our homes, shops and even our only school was damaged that we could not risk going back in there.”

In just a month, hundreds of schools and colleges were destroyed due to the floods all over Sindh and thousands of children could not continue their school learning. Working extensively in most affected areas of Sindh, Islamic Relief carried out efforts for children so they can resume their education.

 

Islamic Relief was able to help thousands of children in Sindh to continue their education through Temporary Learning Centers established in Dadu as life slowly started to get back to normal. Through six Temporary Learning Centers in flood affected areas, Islamic Relief helped children to continue learning and gaining knowledge.

Naheed with her friends she made at school

“Every day teachers come from nearby villages and help us learn. We do not worry now, that our school was destroyed because with the facility provided by Islamic Relief every child in our village in getting education.”

 

Temporary learning centers are accommodating children from a young age and using interactive learning methods to help students be able to learn.

 

“After completing my education I will become a doctor and also make a big school. Children from every village will get education and no one will be left behind due to lack of resources or any other reason.”

 

Unleashing the Youth Potential

Today, more than 60% of the population of Pakistan is under the age of 30. Young men and women stand to gain significantly from global opportunities. Islamic Relief Pakistan believes in investing invest more in their skills and mold their ideas into new products, services, and successful businesses that will benefit us all. The productive engagement, empowerment, and inclusion of these young people will be critical to bringing Pakistan to its full development potential.

Believing in their abilities, skills and passion, we are creating an ecosystem full of opportunities for the youth in Pakistan. Through our projects, we are providing the young minds in tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with economic opportunities. We are also collaborating with university students to raise awareness climate change alongside training bright students on leadership.

We along with our partner in Canada teamed up for an inspiring 10-day workshop. Together, we organized a children’s camp aimed at promoting learning and development. During the camp, children engaged in various exciting educational activities, helping them with valuable experiences and growth opportunities. The volunteers had the chance to meet our youth ambassadors.

We also renovated local schools ensuring that children have access to a conducive learning environment. All in all, our efforts have a lasting impact on both the children and the community, promoting a brighter future filled with opportunities for learning and growth.

 

Volunteers and Children engaged in different activities

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