Silicon Valley Rises to Help Pakistani Flood Victims
By Riaz Haq
For every Pakistani hit by floods, there are eight who are still standing and ready to help. That was the theme that guided the recent Silicon Valley Iftar and Fundraiser organized by Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs (OPEN Silicon Valley) at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.
About 300 attendees contributed nearly $300,000 at the event. It was specially gratifying to see that my fellow NED alumni were at the forefront and donated $60,000, with a pledge to give another $40,000 to match any additional contributions made within a week of the event. There was another offer of $70,000 match by an unknown contributor.
In addition to various fundraisers to aid twenty million flood victims, Pakistani-American employees have persuaded their high-tech employers to make significant matching contributions for flood relief. For example, Intel's Pakistani employees expect their employer to contribute about $250,000.
While each if these reported amounts at individual events and companies in the valley appear too small to meet the massive challenge ahead, I believe that it will all add to up to a substantial amount of several million dollars for at least the initial phase of rescue and relief effort.
Beyond that, the community and their friends and neighbors will need to be energized to support the much bigger and longer term effort required for the reconstruction and rehabilitation phase of about twenty million victims.
Here is a list of some of the organizations actively raising funds for flood relief:
- Imran Khan Flood Relief Fund [Pay Online at " www.imrankhanfoundation.org"]
- Edhi Foundation
- IMANA [pay Online at " www.imana.org"]
- HumanityFirst [Pay Online at " www.humanityfirst.org"]
- Developments in literacy (DIL) [Pay Online at " www.dil.org"]
- HOPE USA [Pay Online at " www.hopecharityusa.org"]
- Human Development Fund (HDF) [Pay Online at " www.hdf.org"]
- Naya Jeevan [Pay Online at " www.njfk.org"]
- APPNA [Pay Online at " www.appna.org""]
- The Citizens Foundation USA (TCF) [Pay Online at " www.tcfusa.org"]
- Hidaya Foundation [Pay Online at " www.hidaya.org"]
- American Red Cross [Pay Online at " www.redcross.org"]
- HelpingHands [Pay Online at " www.hhrd.org"]
- UNICEF [Pay Online at " www.unicef.org"]
- Islamic Relief [Pay Online at " www.islamic-relief.com"]
- Relief International [Pay Online at www.ri.org]
As Pakistan faces the worst natural disaster of its 63 year history, the failure to aid the victims could perpetuate the misery of the poor victims and play right in to the hands of the extremist forces of intolerance who are actively taking advantage of the human misery amidst social inequities of Pakistan's rural feudal society.
As heart-wrenching and destructive as this deluge has been, I believe it could also be a blessing in disguise for the millions of poor peasants who have have been toiling on the feudal lands from time immemorial. If the reconstruction and rehabilitation effort is designed and implemented to help the victims escape the degrading life as slaves of their feudal lords, Pakistan could see a new beginning toward greater human development and a prosperous future that is free of violence of violence and terrorism.. www.riazhaq.com