Stories about help

How NGOs can really help

Although Pakistan has a long and tragic history of devastation through natural disasters, the Government has never developed any substantial programs to prevent or monitor the possibility of future destruction. Pakistani and international NGOs as well as international donors are often left making up for the incompetence of national institutions, raising funds and resources to save the poorest of the poor in dire situations. Currently, international aid to Pakistan is arriving slowly, but it’s clear that a substantial amount of money will be coming into the country in the next few weeks or months. Most people who have donated to ...

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Yes, we can make a difference

If you think running a relief camp is a joke, think again. Do you wish away volunteers who pop up at every corner? Please, don’t. They are there for a reason. Two weeks ago, I was spending what was a very boring afternoon with a jet-lagged aunt, who, for some odd reason was very worked up about the floods in Khyber-Pakhtukhwa. As news about the death toll poured in, and she started arranging for boats, I thought that, maybe – just maybe – something more tragic than the airplane crash had happened. However, as news poured in over the course of the week ...

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Victims need action not rhetoric

According to the government, around 800 people have died in floods that have struck Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Around 270,000 people have been affected by floods in Balochistan, more than 15,000 houses have been destroyed and 25,000 families in Naseerabad are homeless. While we sit in the comfort of our homes up to 300,000 people remain without food and shelter, struggling to get to higher ground with what little is left of their belongings. I can only wonder what we are to do for our brothers and sisters who no longer have homes to go back to, who are without food and ...

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The saddest creature

With not even a single street light on the isolated road and accompanied by highly paranoid parents, my 15-minute ride back from work is one filled with fearful glances in the rear-view mirror, always on the look out for ‘muggers’. So just a few weeks back when the car came to a shrieking halt, followed by gasps, I knew that was it. That dark huddle standing in the middle of the road was going to strip us of all valuables and leave my family in post-traumatic shock. But, to our surprise, our midnight assailant was not armed, had a look of despair, and ...

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The kindness (or not) of strangers

I travel a lot by bus. One thing I like about this mode of transport is that I get a firsthand look at the life of the man on the streets and his daily problems. Just yesterday, on my way back from work, as I hopped on to S-2 I witnessed a sad scene. A family of let’s say five, two boys, one girl and parents, climbed onto the bus. That in itself was nothing unique. But one of the boys, of about ten years of age, was suffering from what appeared to be a disease because of which he ...

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