An Afternoon for the Orphan Children of Pakistan
By Amna Begum
Established in 2006 by Saghir Aslam, a businessman from Irvine, Saba Homes (registered non-profit organization in the State of California – Tax ID No. 20-8642343) is an institution for orphan girls from the rural areas of Pakistan, age range from 4 to 16.
Saghir Aslam and his wife Bushra Aslam identified the pressing need for an institution that will not only provide access to education, health care, food, accommodation and other basic amenities of life to the orphans but also mentor them and help them to become leaders who will bring a positive change within the society and will positively change the image of a county such as Pakistan. It was this vision that convinced Saghir Aslam and his wife to leave behind the luxurious lives they were living here in California and move to the city of Rawalpindi in Pakistan where life is extremely challenging for a number of reasons. It has been now many years that Mr Saghir and Mrs Bushra have been living in Pakistan making sure that the orphans at Saba Homes get the best out of this program and to help achieve Saba Homes team the overall goal.
Saba Homes is fortunate to have the support of people from various backgrounds and ages. For years the organization has been able to provide the most needed support to orphans in Pakistan only because of the constant support of its donors here in the US particularly from Southern California and the commitment of its team under the leadership of Mr Saghir Aslam and Mrs Bushra Aslam.
Among many who love Saba Homes and believe in its cause is Dr Razaq Chaudhry from the Chino Hills area. He has been supporting Saba Homes for many years. This year Dr Razaq instead of just providing financial support went out of the way and decided to bring together all his friends and acquaintances at a lunch at his residence in Chino Hills to raise funds in support of the orphans at Saba Homes. People from various walks of life showed up on Saturday the 15 th June 2013 afternoon at Dr Razaq’s residence. He and his wife were joined by some close family friends in welcoming the guests. Food was served by Shahnawaz and desserts were served by Paris Jolly Bakery located at Fresh Choice in Garden Grove. The most favorite among the desserts were the French Crepes which Chef Kamal was preparing on the site and serving straight from the pan to the plates. It was an excellent and well organized get-together of friends for a great cause.
At the event Dr Razaq formally welcomed all the guests and Mr Saghir Aslam together with his team. Dr Razaq highlighted the work of Saba Homes and the efforts that Mr Saghir made in years to provide the help that the orphans need in Pakistan. He particularly highlighted the fact that the project is not short-term but has long-term vision behind it as Mr Saghir wants to produce a new generation that is well-educated and plays its singular role in changing the image of Pakistan in a positive way.
Dr Razaq invited a few among the guests to speak on the occasion, including Mr Muhammad Khan, Mrs Amna (Administrator for Saba Homes) and some other eminent guests.
A short video documentary about Saba Homes was presented, followed by the fundraiser which Dr Razaq managed to lead. He was able to encourage the participants to donate generously. T-shirts that were hand-painted by the orphans at Saba Homes in Rawalpindi Pakistan were also put on sale and a couple of Islamic calligraphy pieces were auctioned. A good amount of money was raised for the orphans at Saba Homes that will ensure that they have access to basic education, accommodation, food, clothing, health care and extra-curricular activities.
Any non-profit initiatives whether small or major cannot be successful without a collective support. And in the case of Saba Homes it is visible that Mr Saghir Aslam took an initiative which is heavily backed by the community here in Southern California.
The girls that Saba Homes is currently supporting have either lost both their parents or in some cases just the father, but loss of a father who in most of cases is the only breadwinner for the whole of the family in the Pakistani society creates major difficulties for the orphans and the mothers in having access to basic needs such as education, health care, clean drinking water, food, etc.
Saba Homes is a mind-changing institution, empowering orphans with love, affection, understanding, education so that they become peace-loving leaders of tomorrow. Saba Homes is a priority, not a charity.
We at Saba Homes are currently accommodating 60 girls who are provided with:
- Full accommodation with room mothers present at all times
- Three highly nutritious meals a day
- Education to the high school level
- Computer lab equipped with latest computers
- Extracurricular activities such as judo, karate, yoga, gardening, and art
- Providing extra support and guidance to the children who have never been to school
- Free health care and clothing
Our aim is not only providing access to education, health care, food etc but to achieve the overall objective of our programme which is to produce a younger generation that will serve the country and will respect everyone regardless of their beliefs, race or religion. This is an urgent need of the time in a country like Pakistan.
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