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Pakistan project: Update II

Saturday, May 23, 2009 by Marianne Elliott

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Here is the most recent update from Amara:

"Our community kitchen for IDPs (displaced families) was set up on May 15, 2009 and the first meal prepared in time for lunch. An additional 400 IDPs came to the area and were accommodated in the same schools. The kitchen is now serving 1200 people in a total of eight schools at each meal.

The meals are taken to the schools with the help of local volunteers and distributed in a manner so as to uphold the dignity of the IDPs and not hurt their pride. 

At dinner time, however, an additional 500 people were served as new IDPs arrived. These newly arrived IDPs were on the roadside with nowhere to go. They could not be accommodated in the schools and were directed on to the larger camps after serving them dinner. The volunteer team worked extra hard to prepare the additional meals, working till 3 in the morning. 

A five year old boy disappeared the day before. He wandered out of the school’s compound and never returned. The mother of the child left her 9 other children and wandered around the streets to look for him but in vain. Volunteer Afzaal Bajwa contacted the local police and had announcements made in mosques of nearby neighborhoods. A family had found the boy and taken him home. When they heard the announcements, they brought the child back. 

The electric water cooler has been greatly appreciated by the IDPs. If we are able to raise additional funds, it would really help the IDPs if we could install similar coolers in all schools. 

An additional four schools in a nearby neighborhood have been identified by
our volunteers, where there are 600 IDPs from Swat. These men, women and children are living unnoticed and un-served so far. 

There are thousands of people who need similar support on immediate basis in Mardan. Their basic and most urgent needs are food, drinking water and appropriate shelter. We would like to extend our community kitchen services to the 600 people that we have identified today, with the hope that we will have enough friends helping us in making it possible."

Remember that anything you can spare for these families who have lost everything will go a long way. Amara and her volunteers can feed twenty people for $10 so please don't hesitate to give because you think you can't give much.

If the chip in target has been met and you still want to give please email me (link in the side bar) and I'll change the target. They can use all the help they can get!

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