Role of IEWS/Saba Trust
By Link Staff Reporter
above: Glimpses of the fundraiser at the Shahnawaz Restaurant
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
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.