Role of IEWS/Saba Trust Lauded
By Link Staff Reporter

 

Pictures above: Glimpses of the fundraiser at the Shahnawaz Restaurant

Mr. Abu Bakr Vakil, a prominent community activist, invited some of his friends to a dinner at the glittering and spacious Shahnawaz Restaurant Banquet Hall to share his unique experiences with Saba Trust. He told the audience about his wonderful visit to Wisdom House, which was established 11 years ago with one room and 40 girls, in Pakistan. Mr. Vakil expressed the pressing need to impart education to girls, especially in parts of Pakistan where education enjoys low priority and girls suffer the most. With the blessing of God the Almighty Wisdom House School over the years has undergone major expansion and is now a degree college. 90% of the students of the school passed the Matric exams in the first division last year. The college students performed equally well.
Wisdom House has also added a boys’ wing recently. It now covers 11 acres of land and has approximately 4000 students on its roll. The classroom, labs, library etc. cover an extensive 100,000 square feet area. Wisdom House has an excellent transportation system that brings students from 69 different villages while covering a distance of 37 miles.
Mr. Abu Bakr Vakil then went on to spotlight the laudable work that the Saba Trust has been doing in promoting interfaith understanding. Mr. Vakil was one of the speakers at the Second World Interfaith Peace Conference held under the aegis of the Saba Trust in Islamabad.
Mehnaz Afridi and Mahboob Akhtar made a powerpoint presentation and showed that while many people have forgotten about the earthquake victims of October 8 2005 the Saba Trust continues to be seized of their problems and helps them on a regular basis. Mehnaz pointed out that recently a 40-foot container filled with food and other items was given to Saba Trust for distribution among the 70 most remote villages that they have been helping.
Mehnaz went on to state that Saba Trust believes in long-term planning. And they have taken the steps to plan properly for the long term. Mr. Saghir Aslam had been working in the area for almost two months immediately after the earthquake. At that time the Saba Trust Board had resolved that inshaAllah they would not forget the earthquake victims when many of the other supporters and rescue agencies would leave. The Saba Trust will be there to shoulder their grief and continue to help them in whatever way they could.
Saba Trust has selected 70 of the most remote villages where its teams were the first to arrive to undertake rescue operations. The Trust staff and volunteers had to walk for hours to get to some of the villages. Even jeeps could not be of much help in these areas. Saba Trust teams had made arrangements with the local people and offered them a few hundred rupees a day to carry basic necessities to the villages. For heavier items, Saba Trust resorted to the ancient practice of transporting goods on donkeys. Most of the locals were very impressed by the devotion of the teams. Br. Fazal-e-Rabbi who was the secretary general of the local media called for a press conference to which many people came. They all testified that the Saba Trust team was the first and only organization that came to their help, not just once or twice but many, many times to provide relief items on a regular basis.
In Gulmera, a village that had a nice school which was completely destroyed, Saba Trust along with others collected tents made of metal sheets and worked with others and within a matter of few weeks had the school up and running.
Saba Trust is now currently working on two programs for the uplift of the earthquake victims.
The first project that Saba Trust is concentrating upon is an orphanage for the children of the earthquake victims. Many children have been left homeless after the earthquake. The solution that Saba Trust came up with is to build an orphanage for these children to better their future. Construction has begun on the orphanage in Rawalpindi. Saba Trust’s goal is to provide these orphans with the best accommodation, medical facilities and education. The Trust is looking for supporters interested in joining hands in helping it build the orphanage. A regular room would cost $5,000 while a larger room would cost $7000. The construction of the main hall would cost $10,000. The basement will cost $50,000. The 1st and 2nd floor will cost $40,000 each. The 3rd floor will cost $45,000. There will be a total of thirty-five rooms and in all a sum of $175,000 would be needed for the construction of the orphanage. The cost to support an orphan, including his boarding, lodging and educational expense is $200 a month. Supporters will be provided progress reports of the orphan (s).
The second project that Saba Trust is concentrating on is to institute scholarships for college student among the earthquake victims. The Trust has compiled a list of 100 students that they feel deserve to be sponsored. The cost to support a college student is estimated at $100.00 a month.
The program concluded by thanking Mr Abu Bakr Vakil and many others who have continued to support Saba Trust and all guests who attended the function.
If you would like to know more about IEWS/Saba Trust and its work please visit its website at www.sabatrust.org or you may call up 949-654-3944 for obtaining further information. IEWS/Saba Trust is a non-profit organization registered in the US Tax ID number 33-0716944. All donations are tax deductible.
The gathering was then treated to a sumptuous dinner. The Shahnawaz Restaurant food was excellent and was greatly enjoyed by the invitees.

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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