Byline: Nazim Ali
I have recently returned from Pakistan (my parents homeland) having fundraised for and distributed 500 Ramadan food parcels to the poor and needy in Jhelum.
This was my first aid trip in over two-years since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and my first ever humanitarian aid trip to Pakistan.
It was a real eye-opener to witness the poverty and the effect of high inflation in Pakistan: the local people were very grateful for the much needed support.
I was involved in sourcing the parcel content, getting it packed, and then distributing it to the most vulnerable.
276 food parcels were delivered to the homes of the beneficiaries and the elderly, with the delivery taking place in the evening until midnight!
The remaining 224 food parcels were distributed during the day but we had over 2,000 people queuing so we had to make a decision to split the parcels so that no one went home empty-handed. I am grateful to Hazrat Sahibzada Sufi Shiraz Sahib for all of their support and providing eligible vital beneficiaries details.
It was profoundly saddening to hear of the struggles of the people. Just to give you an example, local labourers earn around Rs.1,000 a day (£4.50), and two-litres of oil costs Rs.860 (just under £4) – so a person would spend their daily wage which would be equivalent to purchasing two-litres of oil!
It was a short two-week self-funded trip since I work as a careers adviser at three inner city Bradford secondary schools.
I self-fund all my charitable initiatives paying for my flights and hotel expenses so that 100% of donations go to the stated charitable causes, taking annual leave from my work so that I can go on my humanitarian aid trips around the world.
I had originally set out to raise £2,500, but thanks to the generosity of my donors, finished at an amazing £15,025 – enough for 601 live goats to be given to families in Malawi.
Last September, I ran the Great North Run in loving memory of nine-year old Mohammed Haider Rasab who sadly died from cancer.
My original target was to raise £2,500 so that I could provide 100 live goats to poor families in poverty-stricken Malawi so that the goats can be used to provide nutritious milk, breeding and eventually families could benefit from their meat.
I have recently completed this project having raised a staggering £15,025 for 601 live goats, which were provided to 16 poverty-stricken villages during 14 distributions via with Keighley-based Green Crescent Aid UK charity.
I provided full video feedback on my social channels, including special individual videos for those who requested them. As you can imagine this was a big logistical operation which I successfully completed.
I have now single-handedly raised almost £475,000 for a plethora of causes both home and abroad.
God willing with my upcoming 9th Annual Ramadan 10K Run I will reach the £500,000 mark!
I have also been invited to the Queen’s Garden Party in May 2022 in recognition of my community and charity work.
During the Covid-19 period I have continued to volunteer at the weekly Thursday Curry Circle Food Provision for the homeless and needy at Manningham Library, as well as my five-times a year ‘Creating Smiles Gifts Initiative’ providing gifts to poorly children in hospitals children’s wards across Yorkshire.
There has certainly been no let up from my end, if anything I have increased my fundraising and community work as more people than ever need help and support. Ramadan Mubarak.