Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, self-improvement, increased devotion and worship to Allah for all Muslims. Charity and generosity is especially urged during Ramadan. The act of fasting makes us relate closely with the suffering of others, and it makes us remember the blessings of life which we normally take for granted. The fast begins at dawn and ends at sunset with the fast-breaking meal known as Iftar. This is a time of strengthening ourbonds with family, friends and surrounding community.
Fatima Memorial Hospital (FMH) shared this time of peace and harmony by providing Iftar to over 300 families of non-paying patients admitted at Fatima Memorial Hospital. The meal comprised of nutritional items such asdates, fruits, juices, and a rice meal for dinner. This meal providing activity enabled us to stand by those families in times of distress and pain. The happiness experienced through this sharing is inconceivable.
Fatima Memorial is a Third Sector, Not for Profit, Non-Government Organization working in the field of Social Development, Health Care, Education, Research & Community Development. It is today one of Pakistan’s largest and oldest Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in the healthcare sector.
Fatima Memorial Hospital has an active Community Outreach Programme, registered with the Social Welfare Department as Anjuman Behbood-e-Niswan-O-Itfal (ABNI), which caters to the health, educational and vocational needs of men, women and children in the rural and peri-urban areas around Lahore. Initiated in 1985, by Fatima Memorial Hospital and partially supported by the Women’s Voluntary Service, this programme has provided medical relief to over half a million people. Focusing on communities such as Nainsukh, Malikpur, Lakhoder, and Talwara, where people often live without access to clean drinking water, sewerage, educational facilities, or health care, the team from Fatima Memorial Hospital is welcomed by the community members.[i]
Distinctively FMH has a 35 years record of selfless service to humanity, during which FMH has answered the silent cry of over 5.88 Million patients, out of which 85% were provided medication, diagnostic & surgical facilities, either free or at highly subsidized rates.
In the year 2011-12, free and subsidized health care worth more than Rs. 270 million was provided to deserving patients at the Fatima Memorial Hospital. The income generated from 15% of the private patients is used to cover the cost of treatment of the less privileged members of society.
Iftar to Families of Hospital Patients
Many Muslims believe that feeding someone Iftar is a form of charity and a very rewarding gesture. Indeed it was practiced by Prophet Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, (peace and blessings be upon him) himself as is evident from below Hadith:
Whoever offers meal to his/her Muslimbrother/sister at the time of iftar (the meal eaten by Muslims breaking theirfast after sunset during the month of Ramadan), s/he receives as much reward ass/he has earned. Nothing becomes less of the reward of those s/he offered mealto. (Tirmidhî, Sawm: 82; Ibn-i Majah, Siyam: 40)[ii]
It is very gratifying to feed people. Feeding a fasting person in particular is much more fruitful. Offering food topeople should be believed a blessing. It is declared in hadith-i sharifs:
The most virtuous of deeds isto cover the fault of a Believer, to feed him, and to make him happy by meetinga need of his. [Bayhaqi].
Most indoor patients under treatment at FMH have attendants (from family and friends) with them who look after them in addition to hospital staff deputed for their care. Through this project we provide Iftar to 850 fasting people who are attending to their loved ones admitted in our hospital yet are unable to afford a proper Iftar meal.
Our Mission Continues
To give you an idea of the size and volume of patients we are catering for free and subsidized rates we havedeveloped a pie chart below in figure 1. As you can see close to 1.42 Million patients have been treated for free. This is indeed a monumental achievement!
We continue to strive and struggle for such humanitarian acts. At the same time we are also thankful for your precious donations from the previous years that have made our dream possible. But alas this will all go to waste if we are not able to maintain our momentum.
So we request you to come forward and become a part of a noble deed. Your donations will go a long way towards the fulfillment of our collective mission. We need all the help we can get from socially responsible individuals like you to provide iftar to a person who otherwise couldn’t afford that. Your additional donations will mean a lot to us andeven more to the poor who will be at sooth because of such effort.
We have developed a pictorial collage to showcase the poor attendants with indoor patients.
[i]Fatima Memorial System,Company Website: http://www.fmsystem.org/fms/index.phpaccessed March 2013.
[ii] Quotations on Rewardsof Offering Iftar, Questions on Islam Website, http://www.questionsonislam.com/article/reward-offering-iftar,accessed March 2013.
[iii] Providing Iftar toFamilies of Hospital Patients, Report by Mehr Manzoor,posted December 11th, 2012 http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/iftar-meals-pakistan/updates/,accessed March 2013.
With your support there will be many happy Uzmas whose future can be changed permanently for generations to come.
It is not just girls like Uzma who have benefitted from our Center but a countless stream of people from all walks of life and sections of society.
Figure 3- attached illustrates the numbers of various types and volumes of patient flow from 2011 to 2012. It is clear from the diagram below that ‘free outdoor patients general’ are leading with nearly 4,500 treated. This is indeed a monumental achievement!
So we request you to come forward and become a part of this humanitarian movement to work towards theshared goal of reducing this global silent killer known as Arthritis. Your donations will go a long way towards the fulfillment of our collective mission. We need all the help we can get from socially responsible individuals like you.Your contributions will mean a lot to us and even more to the poor Arthritis patients whose lives will be positively changed forever by your gift.
[[II]]Arthritis Care Foundation, Project Report, http://www.arthritiscare.org.pk/index.php?menuid=14&pageid=12,accessed on March 2013.
[iii] HelpingArthritis Patients Fight Disability, Report by Mehr Manzoor, posted Dec. 4th2012, http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/helping-arthritis-patients-fight-disability/updates/,accessed on March 2013.
Created by Ali Agha, Head of Resource Mobilization atFatima Memorial Hospital
Eid is a day of celebration and happiness for Muslims throughout the world. On this day, Muslims perform congregational prayer, celebrate their community and brotherhood, and wholeheartedly give charity to the poor and needy. Islamic teachings demand a commitment from every Muslim to work to ease the pain and suffering of orphans and the poor so they are not forgotten, especially on the day of Eid. The Holy Prophet of Islam (Peacebe upon Him) guided us to pay the ‘Sadqa-e-Fitr’ (donation of Fitr) before performing the Eid Prayer so that all Muslims remember their poor brothers on this /occasion and include them in their happiness. [I]
For all Muslims, especially children the occasion of Eid brings with it a sense of excitement and anticipation.Naturally on such a grand occasion and in the spirit of Islamic tradition all Muslims wear new clothes and give gifts to each other.
But alas there are always some children who cannot have the luxury of new clothes on Eid. It is in this spirit that theproject for ‘Giving New Clothes’ was started so that these children do not feel isolated on such a blessed occasion. Fatima Memorial through this project has managed to help poor children of NUR Community Outreach Programs (NCOP) schools wear ‘new clothes’ on Eid. NCOP operates several schools in peri-urban areas Lahore (Pakistan) and provides free education, books and uniforms to underprivileged children. Over 7,000 children have been provided clothes through this program since inception.
Fatima Memorial Hospital has an active Community Outreach Programme run by NCOP. It is registered with the Social Welfare Department as Anjuman Behbood-e-Niswan-O-Itfal (ABNI), which caters to the health, educational and vocational needs of men, women and children in the rural and peri-urban areas around Lahore. Initiated in 1985, by Fatima Memorial Hospital and partially supported by the Women’s Voluntary Service, this programme has provided medical relief to over half a million people. NCOP remains focused on peri-urban communities such as Nainsukh, Malikpur, Lakhoder,and Talwara, where people often live without access to clean drinking water, sewerage, educational facilities and health care. [ii]
This specific project has brought smiles on the faces of approximately 1,350 students currently studying in NCOP schools. It has now become a reliable source of happiness and joy for these target community children on Eid dayevery year. Children at this age grow fast and quickly outgrow the clothing they have. Most kids that show up in front of the visiting project team show up with clothing clearly meant for younger children. When these partially cladchildren are given new clothes, the immediate sparkle visible in their eyes is rather priceless. Very few things in the world can bring about greater satisfaction than the smile that comes to their faces when they see their Eid gifts.
Gifts are distributed among the parents of these children too. 200 Shalwar suits were distributed amongst mothers and fathers. Around 2,000 students received sweets, juices and biscuits to celebrate the festivities from last year.
This year NUR Foundation will not forget the children in its outreach schools who fall in flood affected areas of Dera Ghazi Khan (Central Pakistan) on this upcoming auspicious occasion of Eid. Your generous donations will help us spread the smiles on the faces of these children as well.
We have set high targets for ourselves in this endeavor as well. In addition to increasing the number of childrenbeing provided new clothes, we plan to increase this number of animals to 20 altogether.
Fatima Memorial Hospital plans to continue this tradition this year as well for upcoming Eid days around the time of mid-summer. Islamic tradition follows the lunar calendar rather than the solar so Islamic holidays are always sliding on the Gregorian scale. We are resolved in our commitment to continue to strive and struggle for the realization of such humanitarian acts of giving and charity. At the same time we are also thankful for your precious donations from the previous years that have made our dream possible.
In this success story what is most crucial is that we continue to maintain and grow from our initial thrust and enlarge the parameters of our serviced communities in terms of geographic area we serve and the number of lives wetouch.
So we request you to come forward and become a part of this noble deed. Your donations will go a long waytowards the fulfillment of our collective mission of giving joy to the destitute. Join us in this noble cause and multiply the happiness in as many young souls as possible.
[i] The True essence of Eid ul Fitar,http://www.alahazrat.net/islam/the-true-essence-of-eid-ul-fitar.php, accessedMarch, 2013.
[ii] Fatima Memorial System, Company Website: http://www.fmsystem.org/fms/index.php,accessed March 2013.
[iii] Providing New Clothes for Eid to 1350 Poor Kids, Report by Mehr Manzoor, posted 23rd Nov,2012, http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/new-eid-clothes-for-poor-kids/updates/,accessed March, 2013.