On September 30, SCOLAR Network and Shanghe House held the launch of a one-month Fundraising Campaign, “United with Pakistan,” — a flood-relief initiative to help people in Pakistan. The Fundraising Campaign is supported by the Embassy of Pakistan in China and Pakistani NGOs Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan and Akhuwat Foundation, as well as SCOLAR hubs in Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, and Shanghai. They all gathered offline for the campaign launch.
Victoria Khu, Co-founder and President of SCOLAR Network, welcomed all the speakers and participants, highlighting a need for a global effort to support flood relief in Pakistan. Victoria stressed that SCOLAR is humbled to be part of the Campaign along with its ten hubs in 7 countries, with three hubs based in Pakistan.
Shikha Thapa Magar, Project Manager at SCOLAR Network and Founding Curator of the Kathmandu hub, expressed a similar sentiment and said that this initiative was vital to support our neighbors and members because this unprecedented natural calamity could hit any region and any person.
The event was opened by the keynote speech of Mr. Muhammad Rumman Ahmad, Counsellor of the Pakistan Embassy in China and Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the SCO Secretariat. He mentioned that monsoon rains had triggered the most severe floods in Pakistan’s history, and the impact was unimaginable. The floodwaters have inundated tens of thousands of square kilometers of the country, and the initial estimate of the damage has now been revised from $10 billion to a staggering $30 billion. And it is still an early stage of post-disaster assessment. Further, he added that the Fundraising Campaign would help support and augment the ongoing efforts by the Embassy of Pakistan in Beijing. This campaign will help spread information and awareness about the scale of the crisis, given strong and deeply-rooted brotherly and friendly relations with the Chinese government and people.
The keynote was followed by the presentation of the representatives from two NGOs working on flood relief – Shahid Iqbal, Secretary General of Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan, and Mishal Athar Shah, Director Parwaaz, Akhuwat Foundation. Short video presentations from both foundations reflected the flood disaster, consequences, and support required.
Mr. Shahid Iqbal expressed that there is a need for awareness among people of the world about the current situation of the flood-affected region in Pakistan, and Alkhidmat is searching for solutions for every emerging problem. He added that SCOLAR could integrate innovation and technology, focusing on short-term and long-term support. He also stated that flood victims are affected by waterborne diseases (due to a lack of proper drinking water supply) and hygiene issues among women and children.
Likewise, Ms. Mishal Athar Shah added that Akhuwat has been working for poverty alleviation in Pakistan since 2001 by providing microloans to small businesses with no interest and has expanded its work towards the education and health sector. Akhuwat has helped around 4 million families in Pakistan to this date. And now, in this time of need, Akhuwat is working at the ground level to provide relief and rehabilitation to the flood victims in Pakistan. She also mentioned the concept of “mawakhat,” which means brotherhood and bond between those who have and do not. Along with this concept, Akhuwat is working to help people in Pakistan. For flood relief, the first phase by Akhuwat is rescued by providing food ration and health kits. The second phase is the rehabilitation to flood victims. Akhuwat is working to build houses for flood victims by building it together with victims where everybody will help to build the houses for each other. They also provide micro-loans with no interest and loans for agriculture and livestock.
The Launch Event continued with the Panel Discussion “Flood in Pakistan: Consequences and the Way Forward,” where Shahzaib Munir, Aiza Humayun, Salman Qureshi, and Khola Masood from SCOLAR Lahore, Islamabad, and Karachi hubs joined the discussion which Zoon Ahmed Khan moderated.
Shahzaib Munir, a member of SCOLAR Lahore hub and a flood victim, shared his story. He mentioned that his family had lost their home in Baluchistan due to a disaster. And, now, they have significantly less to live on. He added that he might need to stop his further education to pursue his Master’s due to a lack of financial support and to stay with his family to support them. Shahzaib Munir is just one among many in Pakistan who is going through a similar tragedy.
The curator of SCOLAR Islamabad Hub Khola Masood expressed that SCOLAR could play a vital role in raising awareness about the disaster and why it is happening. She emphasized that change in oneself will significantly contribute to building a better future for us and the young generation.
Salman Qureshi, Curator of SCOLAR Karachi Hub, shared how he and his community came together to collect food, clothes, and medicine to help victims. He believes everybody should contribute from their capacity and join hands to help. He emphasized that connection between people to people is vital.
Aiza Humayun, Curator of Lahore Hub, stated that there is a need to connect with agencies and organizations working to mitigate climate change and disaster relief to bring better solutions for the future.
Finally, the launch event concluded with more determination to work together, starting from supporting Pakistan and advocating the effects of climate change. The fundraising campaign “United with Pakistan” is just the beginning of a new start.
In the framework of the Campaign, SCOLAR Network will bring a range of events on climate change with experts from various sectors. Social Media Campaign“United with Pakistan” is also running from the beginning till the end of October.
We welcome SCOLAR members and friends to support the Campaign!
How to join?
We invite companies and institutes to donate directly to Pakistan Embassy using the following account details.
Or scan the QR code to join the fundraising campaign！
Outside of China
If you want to donate in Pakistan directly, you can donate through these two NGOs’ donation links below.
1. Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan:
2. Akhuwat Foundation:
English text: Shikha Thapa Magar (Nepal)
Chinese translation: Ruina Liu (China)
Russian translation: Olesia Ermakova (Russia)
Layout: Olesia Ermakova (Russia)