Helping Hands & Partners help in the flooded areas of Pakistan
"This used to be our child development center. My friends and I went to school here. But now some of them are dead, and many more are injured and sick. Our child development center and my home are completely destroyed. We live in camps and there is no food, no water and no electricity. It is hot and I can’t sleep, especially when my little brother cries in the dark. I’ve lost all my books in the flood. I miss my child development center and my friends and my teacher! I don’t know where they are. Please help us, we no longer have a home!“
The story of 9-year-old Sahil from Pakistan is only one of many stories with a similar ending. The devastating flood in Pakistan at the beginning of August has brutally robbed many children of their future. And yet Sahil is not just one of many, but rather a little boy with very individual needs, with his own pain, hopes and dreams. Just a short while ago he attended a child development center (CDC) run by Helping Hands’ local partner in the north of Pakistan. Now he stands helplessly in front of the ruins of his world.
More than one-third of the country has been flooded. About 20 million people have been significantly affected — 10 times the number of people affected in the recent Haiti flooding. Many of the people have lost everything: their homes, their meager belongings, their harvest and their animals. Some are sleeping in the open air; others were able to find shelter in schools or public buildings. The list goes on. There is hardly any food or drinking water available and the hygiene situation is catastrophic. Children especially are at risk of disease transferred by the dirty water. The country is almost completely helpless in the face of this catastrophe.
Helping Hands already supported emergency and long-term rehabilitation projects after the devastating earthquake in 2005. Now three CDCs have been severely affected again. National co-workers visited the area and, in conversation with the local people, developed initial plans for emergency relief and long-term help.
“We urgently have to help these people,” writes the national Pakistani leader. “The villages are almost completely destroyed. The people live in the open air. We have to help quickly!“
There is currently a major life-saving relief need. The rehabilitation will come later. Through initial emergency efforts, 1,600 families (approximately 12,800 people) will receive tents, mattresses, blankets, medicines, hygiene items and food for three months. The longer-term plans include the construction of interim shelters and the rebuilding of destroyed homes as well as rehabilitation programs for children.
Helping Hands has been working with a local partner for 15 years in numerous development projects as well as emergency relief and is convinced that the help reaches the people who need help.
To extend a “helping hand” to the people in Pakistan, visit the website http://www.ncm.org
For information on Helping Hands, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org