A Pakistani-American Youth
Shows That She Cares
By Ras H. Siddiqui
occasions it is refreshing to come across information on our
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:
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
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.
Scoville Peace Fellow
Masters Candidate, International Affairs
Elliott School of International Relations at George Washington
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.