Young professionals from Wakefield took time off from their full-time jobs to deliver desperately-needed aid in Mirpur and the Sindh province of Pakistan.
Some 20 volunteers from Hope 4 Humanity charity had raised funds earlier this year. During Ramadan, whilst fasting and under the summer heat, they sold a whopping 6000 chocolate cakes bringing in an astounding figure of £37,887.90.
Projects implemented in Pakistan included constructing a neonatal ward, two solar-powered wells providing water to over 3000 villagers, installing 12 tube wells and, assisting 44 families to reconstruct their destroyed homes following the Mirpur earthquake.
The team also equipped widows with sewing machines so they can sustain themselves with an income.
Ahead of the winter period, the volunteers provided 645 blankets, distributed 1000 food packs, set up eye camps to conduct cataract surgeries, provided much-needed medication such as 600 insulin bottles and supported a street school where books and stationery were provided to over 400 gleeful children.
Nasser Khaliq from Hope 4 Humanity said: “As a father myself, the project that stood out and meant the most to me was sponsoring the construction of a Neo-Natal Ward.
“I visited a room, and whilst I was there I just could not look at the babies. I just stared at the floor instead.
“It was heart-breaking to see a premature baby whose arms and legs were the size of thin sticks almost. Most of the babies were the size of my hand.
“I saw a baby who had a hole through his stomach, and other babies with various physical disabilities and deformations.
“As the main hospital was limited to the number of ventilators it had, the mothers were providing oxygen manually using a plastic device.
“This was well and truly one of the saddest moments in my life.”
To support the hospital, Hope 4 Humanity sponsored partial expansion to assist in providing a further treatment room for premature babies. Ultimately this will provide more beds and allow the hospital to treat more patients.
Another volunteer Roheel Ahmed talks about providing water in destitute areas.
“We were able to construct 12 tube wells in 12 different villages benefiting over 6000 people,” says Roheel.
“It was the most remarkable experience of my life.
“We also constructed two solar power wells in two different villages in the deserts of Badin benefiting over 3000 villagers.
“Every person who purchased a cake has contributed to every single one of our projects. Access to water is important and a basic right for all, I am blessed to have been able to work on such projects.”
Meanwhile, Anees Ayub tells more about the eye clinic: “It was great to be able to set up the eye clinic”, he says.
“All appointments were free of charge and patients were either invited for cataracts surgery or provided with necessary medication.
“We were able to complete 100 cataracts surgeries. Some patients had a loss of sight due to diabetes and so 600 insulin bottles and other medication were provided to tackle this issue. It was an unbelievable experience to witness people recover their eyesight.”
Sajhid Nawaz explains the contents of the food packs. “We delivered over 1000 food packages to destitute villages in the Sindh province.
“Our food packages contained items such as 15kg flour, 5kg rice, 2.5 kg mixed pulses, 1kg sugar, 1 packet of salt, 5 litres of cooking oil, nutritional biscuits, ½ KG tea, 1kg dry milk.”
Mazfhar Hussain: “As the managing trustee of Hope 4 Humanity, the weight of ensuring that everything runs smoothly weighs heavily upon me.
“I have a full-time job, and during Ramadan we sell chocolate cakes to raise funds for those in need.
“I am pleased with the amount of money raised and I was delighted with the projects that we carried out which make a real difference to the beneficiaries.
“We are a small charity. We only raise funds in Ramadan and cover our own administrative and travel costs, nobody in the charity gets paid and it’s all volunteer-led.
“Our funds are transparent, and we are more than willing to account to anybody for every penny that we have spent.
“If you would like to volunteer with us please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org – remember your time is more valuable than money.”
Hope 4 Humanity volunteer Akef Akbar says: “I joined Hope 4 Humanity in Ramadan 2019 as a volunteer because I saw the work done by the team. But two individuals in particular inspired me the most – Nasser Khaliq and Mazfhar Hussain. They took time off work and sold cakes day and night to raise funds for the charity.
“They made sacrifices of their time and money, all of the costs of the charity were covered by these two individuals.
“Their dedication amazed me and I could not help but join them.
“It’s truly amazing what a group of young people can do when they put their heads together, selling cakes in Ramadan raised £37k, beyond belief!”
Hope 4 Humanity said a special thank you to Mr Farrukh Jamal – a retired Brigadier who they say was the backbone and support for the volunteers.
“Mr Farrukh Jamal ensured our safety at all times and made sure that all operations ran smoothly without outside interference. He did all this pro bono as his contribution to Hope 4 Humanity,” says Akef.