As you all are aware, the Kashmir political situation has escalated in the past few months. Some of HOPE USA's home schools are located near border areas. When tensions are high, the schools were closed for safety reasons. After reopening the schools, children were distracted from their routine. They need couseling and motivaton to help heal from these political conflicts.
Naturally, much of the atmosphere in the schools these days revolves around the Kashmir crisis. However, emphasis is being placed on having as much of a normal routine as possible. For example, on September 6th, students celebrated Defense Day where they prepared speeches, national songs, and participated in debates. Similarly, September 11th was the 71th death anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam, founder of Pakistan and students learned about the historical background surrounding his life and death.
Please send your thoughts and prayers towards the innocent children that are being affected by the political tensions in Kashmir. Hopefully just solutions can prevail which minimize loss of life and preserve the freedom and liberties of the citizens.
I hope all of you are doing well! I wanted to thank each of you for allowing us to reach so many needy people in Pakistan during the month of Ramadan. In summary, we were able to accomplish the following in Ramadan through donations and corporate support:
16,000 total biryanis and iftars were distributed house to house
2,000 children total received Eid clothes, jewelry, and gifts
2,800 children and adults participated in community iftars
1,500 families were given food rations for one month
Our activities took place throughout various regions of Pakistan including: Karachi, Gadap, Ghagger, Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, Muzaffarabad (Kashmir), and Muzaffargarh (Punjab).
As always, this was made possible by the will of God, our supportive donor base, and our dedicated corporate sponsors such as Standard Chartered Bank.
The HOPE USA team wanted to wish all of our supporters a blessed Eid! Every year we raise money to provide the children who attend HOPE schools a new outfit to celebrate Eid. The children who attend our home schools come from very impoverished backgrounds and attend school for free or minimal cost. We double up our efforts this month to make sure that each child feels special. Having a new outfit is a rare luxury for these children.
If you would like to learn more about HOPE's multi-pronged approach towards poverty alleviation, please visit our website at:
Some of you who are aware of HOPE's multi-pronged approach to poverty alleviation know that HOPE doubles up its efforts to reach the impoverished in the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is an Islamic month which is observed by fasting, extra prayers, and charitable acts to help the needy and underprivileged. In addition to HOPE's regular poverty-alleviating measures in the areas of health and education, HOPE takes extra steps to ensure that the underprivileged are taken care of this month. Some of our activities include:
Providing meals to underprivileged villagers, women, and children - During the long hours of fasting in hot weather, HOPE has teamed up with RobinHood to serve food to impoverished people daily. It goes without saying that these people struggle to provide food for themselves and their families on a regular basis. In Ramadan, HOPE takes extra steps to ensure that no one goes without. During the first three weeks of Ramadan, we were serving food to 400 people per day, but as the month comes to an end, we have been fortunate enough to be able to serve 590 people daily.
Providing a new traditional Eid outfit to HOPE's almost 10,000 students - The children who attend HOPE's schools - especially the home schools - come from impoverished backgrounds. They are the sons and daughters of laborers, farmers, and domestic helpers. The concept of receiving new clothes seems impossible when your family is struggling just to eat daily. But for 10 years now, HOPE has been pooling resources together in Ramadan to provide the children in its schools a new outfit to commemorate the holiday of Eid. Our philosophy is to put a smile on these children's faces and help them feel human and loved. Dr. Mubina (founder of HOPE) reports that she sees the children wearing their Eid outfits throughout the year at every special school function or occasion. New clothes may not seem practical when you are struggling, but we want every child to feel special. We realize that these actions can have long-lasting psychological and emotional benefits to children.
The above activities are sponsored by our dedicated donor base, corporate parternerships, and also our LaunchGood campaigns in Ramadan. We strive to reach all of our health facilities, vocational facilities, and educational facilities, especially the ones in remote and rural areas.
I hope you will enjoy the pictures of the children in HOPE's home schools in Kashmir benefitting from our Ramadan activities.
As always, you can always learn more about HOPE’s many areas of focus by visiting our website at:
We at HOPE USA are very excited to share our most recent progress report with you - in the last week of January 2019, HOPE founder, Dr. Mubina Agboatwalla traveled from Karachi, Pakistan to the mountains of Kashmir (a two-hour flight to Islamabad and then a rocky four-hour journey by van) to visit the students and teachers in the HOPE home schools in the region. She and her team spent a week in Kashmir engaging the students, distributing new warm clothes, and making sure the schools are running smoothly. All these activities were made possible by your support of HOPE USA's Educate a Girl in Kashmir campaign. Below, please find the highlights of the trip along with pictures of the students receiving new clothing:
Dr. Mubina's HOPE team visited HOPE Home Schools located at Garhi Dupatta, Malsi, Thotha, Chinari, Hatiyanbala, Habibdori, Darbartangi, Dhani Bakalan, and Parhour. Temperatures hovered around 20 degrees Fahrenheit (even colder with windchill) and the electricity and heat supply fluctuated every hour.
They children and teachers were excited to welcome Dr. Mubina and other team members from Karachi after a long wait of one year. The children prepared plays to entertain the team. They also performed different songs including Kashmiri folk songs and Pakistani national and patriotic songs. Dr. Mubina made an uplifting speech to boost the morale of the students and staff.
The HOPE team distributed backpacks, clothes, sweaters, hats, socks, gloves, biryani (rice and chicken dish popular in South Asia), snacks, pastries, and juices to the students. The clothes included high quality pants, shirts, warm tops and fleece jackets.
It was bittersweet (yet heartwarming) to see many children wearing the same clothes distributed to them by the HOPE team last year.
Dr. Mubina gifted winter shawls to the teachers as a kind gesture. The teachers belong to the same poor communities who have struggled to obtain an education and rise from the ranks of poverty. These teachers are living role models in their communities and proof that an education can change the future of generations.
The HOPE team also demonstrated the process of cleaning water using P&G Purifiers of Water (PuR) in Malsi. Through this presentation, the students and their families learned the importance of drinking clean water and how to use the PuR kits by themselves at home. Each family was provided a purifying kit that consists of a cooler, a bucket, muslin cloths, spoons, and 120 sachets of P&G Purifier of Water.
These visits to Kashmir provide proof and fuel for the fact that HOPE is truly making a difference in the communities of Kashmir, and particularly helping to empower girls and women in the region. Girls were at the forefront of extracurricular activities in this visit (and past visits) and many of them go on to further HOPE's cause by helping to educate others.
As always, we wanted to thank every one of your for your support of our Kashmir campaign. We generated new interest and donors during GlobalGiving's Girl Campaign challenge, and we are thankful and proud of all our donors. Please feel free to share our progress with others and help spread the word. We are dedicated to making sure your donations maximize their impact upon girls’ education in Kashmir.
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