A step towards a world where poverty exists only in history books
“Always remember: the alleviation of poverty is never a political or an economic issue – it is moral” – F. Sionil Jose.
Poverty is a crime against humanity. It drains people of their resources and strips them of their dignity, leaving them helpless and defeated.
With Pakistan ranking 99th on the Global Hunger Index as of October 2022, approximately 37.2% of the country’s population is grappling with poverty, according to the World Bank in 2023.
The ongoing economic crisis and the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic have caused many citizens to lose their jobs, pushing families into dire circumstances and a loss of hope.
Even individuals who once earned decent wages now find themselves struggling to provide basic sustenance for their families.
Situated in the Bahawalpur district of the Punjab province, Hasilpur is a city where many colonies with poverty-stricken families struggle to make ends meet. These villagers whose livelihoods mainly revolve around farming and labour live largely on a daily wage. While some families have only one breadwinner, others are left with no choice but to engage women & even children in labour to support their large families.
With inflation in Pakistan rising rapidly, securing meals for one’s family has become a challenge to the people of Hasilpur,and educating their children and hoping for a better future seems to be a dream that is drifting further away by the day.
Guided by Marlon & Jeri Wambeek, founders of WAOConnect & WAOImpact, our Pakistan team member, Nabeel, initiated a heartfelt mission to uplift the lives of those less fortunate. Nabeel, along with his family members and with the support of WAO, set out to offer crucial assistance to these families facing dire circumstances.
Although the city has many poverty-stricken colonies, our resources and allocations towards other projects, limited our outreach. Therefore, amongst the many colonies, we were forced to choose the colonies of Chak 63F & 64F and offer assistance to 30 selected families who were among the most affected.
Each of these families consisted of 3 to 5 members and faced challenging circumstances that necessitated external support. Carefully assembling and distributing dry rations, Nabeel ensured that the families most affected by poverty received essential items such as food, sanitary products, oral care, and other necessities. These provisions were intended to alleviate their hardships and offer some relief from their burdens.
The expressions of gratitude and heartfelt appreciation conveyed by our teammates vividly depicted the positive impact we’ve made. Since these are colonies, to ensure that none of the beneficiaries faced any discomfort, instead of mass distribution, Nabeel along with his father, visited each family with the pre-packed supplies of food and other household necessities.
However, he added that following the initial distribution, many more families reached out to him and requested support, as they too were in great distress. This was a reminder to all of us, as we tend to overlook all that we have. Many of us don’t have to wonder how to feed our families, how to nourish our children and provide them with the education they need. It reminded us of the millions of families whose basic human rights of food, shelter and education are not met. An eye-opener to the pleas and cries of the less fortunate.
Beyond the simple distribution of rations, our efforts symbolised hope, unity, humanity and the potency of extending a helping hand to those in need. Knowing that our actions have brought smiles, alleviated hunger, and provided a sense of support to those who were once helpless is a joy that words can hardly describe.
However, this endeavour signifies only the beginning. WAO pledged to make a greater impact by committing to provide essentials to these families for a year commencing 1st June 2023 with quarterly distributions to take place thereafter. With this ongoing commitment, we are dedicated to illuminating lives, demonstrating that even small acts of kindness can yield profound and enduring effects on the lives of others.
Here’s to hope and a silent prayer that future generations will only learn of poverty through history books and never experience or witness the same.
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