In an historic fundraising effort, Leeds raised over one million pounds within hours for a new state-of-the-art hospital complex in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan.

The £32M three-year project at Jorian in Mirpur District is being developed and delivered by the Kashmir Orphan Relief Trust (KORT), renowned for their charitable work in Pakistan over the last 18-years.

Spearheaded by founder and chairman Chaudhry Mohammed Akhtar, the new 576 bed hospital complex will feature an Accident & Emergency department, along with full hospital services such as outpatient care, radiology, paediatrics, pathology, pulmonary, dental and eye clinics.

KORT Hospital Project is also developing, on site, accommodation for staff and students, a dental college, a nursing training college, a teaching college as well as other facilities.

In it’s second night of fundraising on 25th June, KORT, a registered UK charity, raised over a whopping £1M at The Empire Suite on Easterly Road in Roundhay, which has become the city’s biggest Pakistani community fundraiser ever.

Key speaker of the Leeds fundraiser, Mr Abid Hussain – a prominent businessman, said: “The KORT Hospital signifies more than just a healthcare facility in Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK). Moreover, it serves as a beacon of hope for the vulnerable people in the area.

“Our charity efforts here in Leeds are a gift to the people of AJK, and this charitable hospital endeavour will provide millions of individuals with access to advanced healthcare facilities completely free of charge.”

With 4.5 million residents living before below the poverty line, many encounter significant obstacles when seeking specialised medical treatment, often necessitating costly and exhausting journeys to Islamabad.

KORT chairman, Chaudhry Mohammed Akhtar says: “KORT’s journey began 18- years ago in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that rocked the northern areas of Kashmir and Pakistan.

“Back then, witnessing the plight of thousands – especially the orphan children compelled me to respond. In 2005, I took the first steps in opening my heart and home to those in need.

“I rented a building in established sanctuary for orphan children, but that was just the beginning.

“In 2008 fuelled by desire to provide even greater support, I took on what would become the most ambitious project of my life. With a vision in mind I set out to build a new purpose facility, that would redefined the very concept of an orphanage. And am proud to say that we’ve delivered educational and residential projects for over 1,500 children.

“But now our mission extends far beyond the wall of the orphanage.

“We are extending to serve those affected by natural disasters and poverty, by providing access to free healthcare services to the people of Kashmir and Pakistan.

“We have committed to developing a hospital and on site educational facilities – a vision to establish a first of its kind medical centre stemming from a profound need for accessible and quality healthcare services in the region.

“The healthcare system operates under strain receiving just 2.5% of the government budget.

“This insufficient allocation has resulted in shortages in healthcare. Along with providing accessible quality medical services, we are going beyond saving the lives by providing training facilities for medics, nurses and more.

“The hospital presents promises to catalyse economic growth in the area – through the creation of job opportunities for the local populations, and support for educational institutions, the KORT Hospital project will contribute to a sustainable economic upswing.”

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KORT Fundraiser Dates

27th June – The Madisson, 210-218 City Road, BD8 8JP, Bradford
28th June – Eastern Pavilion, Featherstall Road, OL9 6HL, Oldham
2nd July – The Grand River Suite, Northcliffe House, Meadow Lane, DE1 2BH, Derby
5th July – Venue Central, 196A Leagrave Road, LU3 1JD, Luton
6th July – Zayyan Banqueting LTD, Crystal Plaza, 96 Armoury Road, B11 2PN, Birmingham
7th July – Slough Elite Banqueting Suite, The Park, Wexham Road, SL2 5QR, Slough
9th July – Dewsbury Aziz Banqueting, 1 Wesley Place, Wellington Road, WF13 1HD, Dewsbury