There is a small Pakistani community of around 30 people here in
Waterford Ireland. They are mainly students at and graduates of
Waterford Institute of Technology. They have integrated well into the
community and have made many strong friendships. The Irish media has
reported widely on the dire plight of the flood victims and this group
felt a deep compassion and decided to do something to help.
Their first activity was a bag pack at one of the major supermarkets
(Tesco) in the city. In order to create awareness in advance, they
sent out press releases to the local papers and went on the radio to
appeal for contributions. They displayed a large TV at the
supermarket checkouts with a film showing the rescue of children from
the rising floodwaters.
They and their Irish friends gave up as much time as they could on
Friday 3rd September and helped shoppers with their packing. The
shoppers were delighted with the service and were very moved to see
the fund raising efforts of these young people. This translated into
some very generous contributions. The group members took the
opportunity to spread awareness and gave out flyers showing the
agencies working in Pakistan which can accept on-line donations. The
expectation was to raise around 500 Euro directly, but the result was
way beyond this, in excess of 5600 Euro.
On the following Monday evening the core group met at the home of Dr
Venie Martin, their Irish “Mum”. They brought along Pakistani food
which they shared after sunset, so it became a lovely social occasion.
It took several hours to count all the coins and bag them ready for
the bank. The photograph shows this group when their task was
The leaders of this initiative are two WIT graduates, Hassan Khan and
Ali Naseer, from Lahore. They are both working and living in Ireland
with their families nowadays.
There was a long discussion about the agencies which would make best
use of the contribution. The decision was made to divide it between
Concern and the Imran Khan Foundation. The IKF was chosen because
most of the group support the politics of Imran Khan and they also
believe that the funds will be well used for the purpose intended.
Some members of the group are involved in the local college cricket
team and they plan to organize more fund raising events in the coming
months. They understand that the need will be on going as flood
victims try to rebuild their lives.
On behalf of the Waterford Pakistani Flood Relief Group, I wish the
Imran Khan Foundation every success in your important and impressive
work, both in terms of this emergency and in the longer term
development of your country.
Dr Venie Martin,
Director, Waterford Academy of Education.
Friend of Waterford Pakistani Flood Relief Group