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.
Our Mission Continues
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.
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Chief Operating Officer