A Pakistani-American Youth Shows That She Cares
By Ras H. Siddiqui

On occasions it is refreshing to come across information on our Pakistan-American
youth being idealistic and trying to do some good in our country of origin. Below we reproduce a correspondence from Farah Mehesri, daughter of Falak and Asghar Mahesri of Fremont, California who is traveling to Pakistan this summer to help the victims of last October’s earthquake. I must admit that I have not seen Farah in years. Last we heard of her, she was Valedictorian of her graduating class at Mission High School in Fremont, and after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley she is pursuing a Masters Degree at George Washington University. I just wanted to share what she has to say about her effort below and hope that some of the Pakistan Link readers can assist her.
One has to give her credit for her determination. Here is what Farah had to say:

As-salam alikum,
I am traveling to Pakistan to intern with an education NGO for the summer, helping to rebuild schools in the earthquake zone. The October 2005 earthquake caused an incredible amount of damage to the northern areas of Pakistan and the aid and help that poured into Pakistan in the aftermath from the entire world was truly amazing. However, there is still much more to do. That is why I am volunteering in the area this summer. I am writing to ask for your help in this endeavor.
There are a number of different ways that you can still help. I will be traveling directly to the impacted areas and would be more than willing to take cash donations for either individuals or organizations. I, myself, will be working with CFC--an education NGO based in Karachi--on their "Project Kitab" which is building schools. If you send me cash donations, I can either direct that money as you ask or I can donate the money to either CFC or another education related NGO (because I do firmly believe that the best investment we can make is the education infrastructure). In this case, the money will be used to train and hire teachers, buy books and other school equipment and go toward the actual rebuilding of schools to help move children from temporary tent schools to permanent buildings.
In addition to that, you can choose to sponsor either myself or another volunteer this summer. I am working through Impak, a DC-based organization that is coordinating the efforts of myself and other interns this summer (their website is www.impak.org). Other interns are working either with me for CFC or helping in the health field or to rebuild infrastructure. Since the volunteers are not being paid, they would welcome any type of sponsorship. If you are interested in doing this, please e-mail me for details (the deadline for this is June 10.) If you wish to give cash donations directly to someone who is working in either the health field or in rebuilding infrastructure/city planning, please also contact me and I can put you in touch with another volunteer.
Lastly, if you wish, I can contact you upon my return with a list of organizations that I either saw or worked with who seem both reputable and are directly making a positive impact so that you may donate to them in the future.
Either way, I do ask that you help as Pakistan continues to struggle with this tragedy.
Thank you,
Farah Mahesri
DACOR Fellow
Scoville Peace Fellow
Masters Candidate, International Affairs
Elliott School of International Relations at George Washington University

I hope that letters like the one above inspire others amongst our youth to donate their time and effort towards Pakistan. Nobody says that this is going to be easy, but again, it is refreshing to see such initiative from our next generation.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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