Now that my parents have retired, they have plenty of free time on their hands. Except that every waking moment has been accounted for thus far with travel and babysitting all summer long. They just returned to enjoy Ramadan in the peace and quiet of their own home when they decided to answer the call for volunteers to assist the victims of the flood in Pakistan.
Along with another doctor, they have attended several days of training sessions through Edge Outreach, a Louisville, Kentucky-based, international faith-based nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization (hint, hint) that trains and equips people to provide, among other things, clean water, health and hygiene, and sanitation, around the world. One disaster relief water purification system costs $2,700. Their fund raising activities have been successful enough to obtain 25 water purification units. They will deliver the units to Pakistan personally and pass along their knowledge by training others (at least 40 people thus far) on how to assemble and use them. The new trainees will then take the units to the flood ravaged areas and use them for production of clean drinking water. Members of The Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of Kentucky and Indiana are now also collecting medicine and other supplies to ship to the disaster area. The logistics are staggering. The benefits, if successful, are immeasurable.
Of course, being the cantankerous lot that we are, the suspicion of corruption and misappropriation hangs over the operation. But it appears that the folks running things have taken that into consideration as well. They want to empower local communities who are residing in relief camps so that they could use the units even after the disaster is over. They have identified some relief camps/communities who would be very dedicated and motivated to use these units. The Secretary of Health has stepped in to provide logistical support and the volunteers have strong networks of family and friends who would assist them in case the government does what some governments tend to do . . . [radio edit] They already have secured a private location with networking on the ground as Plan B if needed. My gigantic family throughout Pakistan is sending several members to Lahore to provide whatever assistance/know-how/bribery that may be required as well.
Pakistan International Airlines has generously offered to ship the water purification units to Pakistan for free. The training is complete and now all that is left to do is to get the volunteers there safe and sound and train others. There will be plenty of support awaiting them upon their arrival. So. All du’as, prayers, well wishes, good vibes, happy karma, and warm thoughts are welcome. And, if you are so inclined, you can donate online via Edge Outreach and specify “Pakistan flood relief”. Many thanks. And yes, that’s my dad on the homepage. The one with the smart tie but the not-so-lush mustache as the gentleman next to him. ::love::