Shifa Foundation Speaks
Quarter Report – April, May, June
The previous quarter (April, May and June) of the year 2020 has been a rollercoaster of happenings. The world we knew had faced the “biggest challenge since World War Two” as declared by the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) while commenting on COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Pakistan had responded to the situation by imposing protective lockdown, closing education institutes, limiting travel and large gatherings. This triggered high inflation and joblessness which then resulted into increased poverty. Even after taking strong steps, pandemic is still moving like a wave that yet has to crash on those unable to cope. By the time this editorial note was written, the national tally of COVID-19 patients had already crossed 160,000 bench mark. Being a national charity working in Pakistan for three decades, Shifa Foundation have had to stand with the effected community. But this year nothing was the usual business. This report elaborates the not-so-usual efforts Shifa Foundation made in these testing times to make a difference. I hope you will read and send your appreciation.
Hissan – Assistant Manager Digital Media and Communication
Naiki Ko Unlock Karo – Unlock The Good Deed
In March 2020, the Government of Pakistan has officially imposed protective lockdown amid Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. The decision, though highly needed, had shattered the economy. According to the statement issued by Federal Ministry of Planning in early April, as much as 18.5 million Pakistanis were destined to lose jobs due to frail economy. Not to forget that later estimates were even higher than 20 million. The daily wagers from small and medium industrial units, factories, restaurants, hotels, travel companies and others have lost means to provide one decent meal to their dependents. Thus out-of-job daily wagers became more vulnerable to COVID-19 due to malnourishment. They were helpless, home-stuck and hungry. In these testing times, Shifa Foundation decided to initiate “Food for Daily Wagers Campaign” with the tagline Naiki ko Unlock Karo read Unlock the Good Deed.
(pictures of food packages)
It was no less than a challenge to organize such largescale campaign this year. But Shifa Foundation’s dedicated team took it head-on. The verification of deserving out-of-job daily wagers was conducted over phone calls. Existing and new donors were reached through digital means i.e. virtual calls, emails, text messages and through social media platforms. The donors were also educated to send donations using no-touch methods like online money transfers, PayPal, through credit and debit cards. The efforts bore tremendous result as within two weeks donation tally reached at Rs. 12.88 million. By the second week of April, Shifa Foundation’s achievement became the headline in major national and metropolitan news-media organizations.
(Pictures of first PR Dawn, National Tribune Herald and Hum News)
As Ramadan Approaches, we decided to expand the scope of our on-going fundraising drive. There were patients who needed of critical life saving surgeries, communities in interior Sindh who needed clean water for drinking and maintaining personal hygiene and last but not least out-of-school children whose futures needed to be taken care of. Thus, we added three more campaign i.e. Treatment of Patients, Sip of Life (Installation of water handpumps in Thar desert) and Education Sponsorship for deserving students hailing from Baluchistan and interior Sindh.
Popularity and Endorsements
Amid lockdown the Naiki Ko Unlock Karo campaign by Shifa Foundation received amazing response. Many university and college students have had become means to spread our message to masses on social media platforms. The showbiz and media celebrities endorsed our campaign that helped us reach to potential donors. The celebrities who joined our campaign are Bushra Ansari (TV/Film Actor), Imran Abbas (TV/Film Actor, Model), Tooba Ansari (TV Actor), Gharidah Farooqi (Anchor), Nadia Mirza (Anchor), Irshad Bhatti (Journalist), Beenish Saleem (Anchor), Urooj Raza Sayami (Anchor), Aiman Chaudhry (Anchor), Soha Afzal (Anchor), Dr. Sundus Mustaqeem (Anchor, Radio Host) and Saqib Tanveer (Multimedia Journalist). Two distinct YouTubers from Islamabad Anum Shaikh and Kamran Siddiqui (CCTV Pakistan) also collaborated for V-Logs.
Moreover, a volunteer group “Team Storm” donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) including face masks and gloves along with hand sanitiser for the filed staff. Another popular online community of v-loggers “Bigo Live – Pakistan” donated a handsome amount and PPEs for our campaign.
(Screenshots of endorsements and V-Logs + MoU Pic of Team Storm + Bigo Team Visit Pic)
The food distribution was carried out very delicately. The social distancing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the Government of Pakistan and World Health Organization (WHO) were being followed by the field staff in letter and spirit. The hands of all the beneficiaries were sanitized when arrive to collect food package. To avoid large crowds the food packages were delivered at the doorsteps of the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries were also given face masks and soaps to protect themselves from being infected. By the end of this quarter, we had succefully delivered food packages to 25000 beneficiaries in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Rawalpindi, Jhelum and Islamabad.
(Pictures of Distribution)
Stories of Change
“I work as bike rider with an online ride-hailing service. I used to earn around 1,000 rupees every day. I was supporting my parents and three younger siblings. Due to lockdown and ban on pillion ride I cannot work. I have heard there is some work in construction sector but payments are maid on credit basis. May Allah bless Shifa Foundation for providing me one month’s ration. Now I can go find the work in construction sector without the fear that my family would be hungry.”
Imdadullah – Rawalpindi
“I was a waiter in a local hotel. When government announced lockdown, the hotel owner asked us to leave. I was given half month’s salary with the acknowledgement to return as hotel reopen. It’s been over a month now. All my savings were spent on food. After today my wife and six kids would have to starved but thanks to Allah that He sent me ration through Shifa Foundation.”
Shakir – Jhelum
“Lockdown took away all work opportunities. We work as construction labours in city. Since everything is closed there is no work. Our families back home were feeding on vegetables picked from wild fields. Had Shifa Foundation not helped us with this ration, our people would have starved.”
Latif – Matiari (Sindh)
(Pictures of individual beneficiaries with blurred faces)
Health and Nutrition Initiatives in Interior Sindh
As the COVID-19 pandemic started its course the governments around the world had to implement protective lockdowns to curtail the spread. At this crucial stage, Shifa Foundation worked closely with the Government of Sindh to develop Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for the field staff working on health and nutrition projects in interior Sindh. This alone helped Shifa Foundation to achieve the following milestones:
- 30,471 Pregnant and Lactating Women were screened.
- 22,795 Pragnant and Lactating Women were provided Iron and Folic Acid (IFA) Diets
- 93,369 children were screened of age between 6 and 59 months.
- 206,530 beneficiaries were provided Micro Multi Nutrient.
Shifa Foundation in Media
(2nd PR Pics)