Where are the Sindhi Organizations when other Pakistani NGOs showcase their Wares?
By: Khalid Hashmani
October 2009 — Washington, D.C. has seen many visitors from Pakistani NGOs in the last two weeks. They were here to secure funding for their pet projects under the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009. A State Department official commented that no final decision has been made whether the new assistance will be channeled mainly through the Pakistani Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) or through the traditional way through USAid department with focus on government-to-government transactions. The Pakistani NGOs, some in collaboration with their US partners showcasing their capabilities and marketing their expertise. The irony is that none of these organizations have any roots in Sindh or Balochistan, where Human Development Index (HDI) is one of the lowest in the world. None of the NGOs officials making presentations had any abilities in the Sindhi and Balochi languages; much of their focus was securing projects in Sindh. A presenter even commented that the Punjab Government does not want much privatization of their public education system. Many in the local Washington Sindhi community are fearful that just as Islamabad government officials have not been fair in distribution of resources to Sindh and Balochistan, so will these Islamabad-based NGOs would divert major portion of the new US funding for their pet projects at the cost of Sindh and Balochistan. In order to ensure that such malicious designs do not succeed, this article provides information about these NGOs, about their claims that they are already running many private schools, health centers, and micro finance projects in Sindh. It is hoped that people of Sindh and Balochistan would be diligent and help verify whether or not such claims are true. Further, in the event that non-Sindhi organizations do win major projects in Sindh, Sindhis ought to monitor their performance and report on any discrepancies to ensure that true beneficiaries of the funds allocated to any projects in Sindh would be Sindhis.
VERIFICATION OF CLAIMS ABOUT PAST PERFORMANCE:
1. Are these organizations telling truth that they have already completed or implementing several projects in Sindh?
2. Are their administrative staff, teachers, and students predominantly from the local areas?
3. Do the student populations of the schools they run represent local areas where they serve or the students are mainly from other ethnic groups and represent much larger percentage than their population ratio in the service area?
4. Do their schools encourage or discourage Sindhis from choosing the Sindhi language as their medium of Instruction?
5. Do their schools ensure that every one in their school is taught Sindhi language and offer courses in Sindhi culture, traditions, and literature?
Recent Presentations From Pakistani NGOs in Washington DC
National Rural Support Program (NRSP) — Dr. Rashid Bajwa, CEO of NRSP made a solo presentation at the Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) on October 13, 2009. Although, loaded with facts and figures, he and another owner of a private educational organization called “Roots Schools” took a strong stand for privatization and centralization of the education system in Pakistan. Dr. Bajwa even provided a figure of US 8 billion (almost the same amount as $ 7.5 billion that US has committed in civilian assistance to Pakistan) to fix economic, education, and health systems of Pakistan in five years. Their proposal of privatization and centralization was strongly opposed by fellow Dr. Ali Shaikh and this scribe expressing fears that death of public education in Sindh and Pakistan will be bad for education and hurt Sindhi culture and language. Dr. Shaikh said that the current problems of the public education system in Pakistan are due to bad governance and the solution is not to get rid of public school system but improve the governance by firing of non-performing teachers and other staff. It would indeed be a tragedy of immense proportions if the Public School system was allowed to be dismantled by excessive involvement of private organizations.
Established in 1991, NRSP claims to be the largest Rural Support Programme in Pakistan in terms of outreach, staff and development activities. It is a not for profit organization http://nrsp.org.pk/index.htm. It has a presence in 46 Districts in all the four Provinces and in Azad Kashmir. The organization says it is currently working with more than half a million poor households organized into a network of more than 57,179 Community Organizations and is emerging as Pakistan’s leading engine for poverty reduction and rural development.
NRSP’s CLAIM OF WORK IN SINDH THAT NEED VERIFICATION:
Sources: Programme Update April 2009 – http://nrsp.org.pk/Program%20Update%20as%20of%20Apr_%202009.pdf
NSRP 14th Annual Progress Report (2007-2008) http://nrsp.org.pk/Documents/AR%20Part%201.pdf
(1) District Offices in the following Districts/Areas of Sindh – Tando Allah Yar, Chambar, Jhando Mari, Matiari, Hala, Saeedabad, Nawabshah, Badin, Golarchi, Tanndo Bhango, Talhar, Matli, Tando Gulam Hyder, Tando Mohammad Khan, Thatta, Mirpur Sakro, Sujawal, Mirpur Bathoro, Mirpurkhas, Hussain Bux Mari, Sindhri, JHudo, Digri, Kot Ghulam Mohammad, Hyderabad (Rural), Latifabad, Qasimabad, Hyderabad City, and Kotri.
(2) Non-Formal education and adult literacy centers established for children in the glass bangle industry in District Hyderabad.
(3) Rehabilitation and Operation of Kario Medical Center in Badin
(4) Number of village Branches (VBs): Badin -1; Thatta – 1; Mirpurkhas – 1; Digri – 1; Hyderabad Rural – 1; and Latiabad – 13 (why 13 in Latifabad and 5 in all other areas of Sindh?)
(5) Appear to have the following Sindhis on the Board of Directors: Mr. Fazullah Qureshi and Mr. M. Nazar Memon.
(6) From a quick reading, here are some projects were mentioned to be in Sindh are:
(a) Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour from the Glass Bangles Industry in District Hyderabad (ILO allocation: Rs. 23.5 million). Author’s Note: The making of Glass Bangle is mostly done in the city of Hyderabad and none in the rural areas of Sindh.
(b) Rural Water Supply Scheme, Garho Gogh (TMA Rohri Sukkur) [US Aid Grant: Rs. 1.42 million from total cost of Rs. 1.9 million]
(c) Education in Kacha (School Improvement Program) in Union Council Bago Daho and Daharki Ghokti [US Aid Grant: Rs. 1.70 million from total cost of Rs. 2.29 million].
(d) Drinking Water Supply Scheme, Jan Mohammad Khaskheli – UC – Jhol, Sanghar [US Aid Grant: Rs. 0.24 million from total cost of Rs. 0.33 million]
(e) Thaalassaemia Center in Badin completed in 2005 – USAid Grant Rs. 2.80 million.
(f) Improving and Reconditioning Road – Qasimabad-Hyderabad completed in 2005 – USAid Rs. 1.4 million.
(g) Educating the underserved Union Council Makli (Thatta District) completed in 2005 USAid Rs. 1.79 million
(h) Construction of Water Supply Schemes, Jhimpir, Thatta USAid Rs. 2.01 million.
(i) Construction of 16 water tanks in villages of Taluka Kunri, Kunri, Umerkot – USAid Rs. 2.41 million
(j) Improving and extending in Kazi Ahmed, Nawabshah District USAid Rs. 2.63 million
7. Social Mobilization Program Villages covered: MirpurKas (28), Sanghar (29), and Nawabshah (28).
8. Number of schools established; Badin (41), Thatta (1), Mirpurkhas (28), Jamshoro (5), and Hyderabad (7).
9. Number of Adult Literacy groups: Hyderabad (20) and Mirpurkas (40) — Total in Sindh 60 out of 977.
10. Number of Community School schemes completed in Hyderabad 952 – Total in Sindh 087 out pf total 6,819 in Pakistan.
Total Credit Disbursements as of April 2009: Badin (Rs. 361.4 million); Thatta 108.5 million); Hyderabad (167. million); ILO (1 million); Urban Hyderabad (380.9 million); Matiari (451.6 million); and Mirpurkhas (247.1 million) – Total Rs 1.7 billion in Sindh out of Rs. 29.245 billion (5.8%).
11. Number of Community Organizations (COs) in Sindh (Hyderabad District) 9,397 from the grand-total of covered divisions of 81,082 — 11.6%
PAKPAC Advocacy at Capital Hill
The Pakistani American Public Affairs Community (PAKPAC) held a session at the Rayburn House Balding at Capital Hill on October 20, 2009. The purpose of this all-day session was to introduce some Pakistani NGOs and do lobbying on their behalf. There were about 150 Pakistanis in attendance along with representatives from the US State Department and US Aid department. There were only two or three Sindhis in this large gathering. Mr. Farooq Soomro, an active SANA member. He is a member of the Board of Directors of PakPac and an organizer of the event. The following organizations made their presentations to pitch their wares for financial assistance:
1. AMERICAN PAKISTAN FOUNDATION (APF) – It appears that this organization was created to support the goals of increasing people-level cooperation between Pakistan and the USA by mobilizing public and private funds from the Pakistani-American community and friends of Pakistan. The American Pakistan Foundation (APF) is a not-for-profit organization. The organization claims that it was formed with encouragement from both Pakistani and American governments. Its Board of Directors includes Ambassador Nicholas Platt, Dr. Nafis Sadik, and Ambassador Shirin Tahir-Kheli. For more information, visit their web site at http://www.americanpakistan.org/.
2. Human Development Foundation — E-mail: email@example.com URL: http://www.hdf.com/ Formed by the American-Pakistani community to facilitate a nonpolitical movement for positive social change and community empowerment through mass literacy, improved education, universal primary health care, and grassroots economic development. HDF supports programs in community empowerment, education, adult literacy, health, grassroots economic development, and infrastructure development.
3. ECOEnergy Finance (EEF) is a non-profit organization that seeks to provide energy for the rural poor in developing countries and the United States. Utilizing modern technology we are installing solar powered lights in villages. http://www.ecoenergyfinance.org/
According to EEF’s web site, EcoEnergy Finance is currently working on raising funds to light Alwani, a small fishing village located about 1 hour outside of Karachi near the coast of the Arabian Sea. This small community is neglected because they are considered too poor to pay. EEF hopes to bring solar power lights to each village, one at a time, beginning with Alwani Goth. This will help in displacing kerosene, which causes many accidental deaths and improve respiratory health. Further it will create awareness in community about the benefits of clean energy to communities about clean energy and help stop degradation of the coastal areas and the livelihood of local fishermen. On a follow-up question, the presenter said that the total price for solar panels including installation to provide basic electricity to about 85 households would be about $ 30,000.
Contact Inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. SOS Children’s Village — Google Search warned that web site may have significant problems. Ms. Rukhasana Rahman made a presented. The headquartered in Lahore and has currently 45 projects in Pakistan. In the context of Sindh, she said that SOS Children’s Village had projects in Jamshoro area and Karachi. In Jamshoro their project is to help a village and in Karachi, they run a Youth hall.
5. Development in Literacy (DIL) – http://www.dil.org
Developments in Literacy (DIL) is a nonprofit organization started in l1997 by Pakistani-Americans with a mission to provide quality education to disadvantaged children, especially girls, by establishing and operating schools in the underdeveloped regions of Pakistan, with a strong focus on gender equality and community participation.
DIL establishes, adopts and manages primary and secondary schools for underprivileged children in partnership with non-governmental organizations in all four provinces of Pakistan. In addition, DIL directly operates community schools in Punjab and Sindh. DIL has developed an educational approach that incorporates the following elements: Dill works in Local Partnerships with regional NGOs and local communities. It focuses on Teacher Development and Curriculum Development. According to their web site, they have two school systems in Khairpur and one system in Orangi. In cooperation with a NGO called NOWA, they run 21 schools in Khairpur teaching about 2,000 students with about 100 teachers. Their other system in Khairpur consists of 31 schools that they ruin in cooperation with Indus Resource Center (IRC) teaching about 1,600 students with about 75 teachers. In Orangi area of Karachi, they have about 20 schools with 2,500 students and 145 teachers. To get more information about this organization, visit http://dil.org/schools.html.
6. The Citizens Foundation (TCF) – TCF is a non-profit organization established in 1995. According to its web site, it has built 600 schools (459 primary schools and 141 secondary schools) with an enrollment of 80,000 students. TCF encourages female enrollment and boasts of a 50% female ratio in almost every campus. TCF has a full Female Faculty of 4,150 members. TCF also has a dedicated Teacher Training Center in Karachi for the ongoing training of its faculty and provides logistical support to all its teachers. 6, 026 jobs have been created in communities in which TCF operates. http://www.thecitizensfoundation.org/main.php. TCF web site says that its assets more than US $ 26.7 millions with annual expenses of about US $ 5.5 millions. TCF charges RS 10 per month in tuition fees. Its web site says that it has schools in the following locations in Sindh:
Badin, Bagan, Dadu, Daharki, Gado, Gharo, Gujju, Haji Kanat, Hala, Hyderabad, Jaicobabad, Jahngasar, Karachi, Kotri, Mirpurkhas, Mirpur Sakro, Moro, Nawabshah, New Jatoi, Petaro, Pir Dino Shah, Quetta, Shahpur, Singhu Goth, Sukkur, Tando Allah Yar.
7. Layton Rahmatulla Benevolent Trust (LRBT) – The main goal of LRBT is to help fight blindness and to promote access to free, high quality eye care for the underserved in Pakistan. This they accomplish by providing funds, surgical equipment and supplies to support the goals and aims of LRBT. The funds we have raised have been used for the purchase of medical equipment and supplies for LRBT hospitals in Korangi, Tando Adam, Akora Khattak, Shahpur, Mansehra, Lar (Multan), Lahore, Quetta and Pakpattan. It was heartening to see a sign in the Sindhi language on one of the photograph of an eye clinic. For more information, visit their web site: http://www.lrbtamerica.org/america/index.html
8. Pakistan Foundation for Public Health – In spite of some effort including going through several lists of Pakistani NGOs, the web site of this organization could not be found. According to the presenter, they had partnered with “Indus Hospital” to conduct a public health survey and partnered with US Aid to organize a seminar in Public Health. According to the web site of Indus Hospital is http://www.indushospital.org.pk/index.php, the hospital is a state of the art tertiary care center accessible to the public free of charge. The hospital facilities are complemented by community outreach programs focused on prevention and early detection of disease, encouraging community involvement and ownership. The Community Outreach Program is being developed in collaboration with Partners in Health to implement Pakistan’s first community-based MDR-TB Control Program. The Community Outreach Program aims to provide volunteer-based health and social services to a copulation of 2.4 million around Indus Hospital through a network of community health workers. The community outreach program consists of:
a. Household Registration and Follow-up – All households in the service area are registered through a baseline census.
b. Disease Prevention and Control – This service is designed to prevent the most common causes of childhood and adult deaths in low-income communities, primarily through vaccination and other low-cost health interventions. High priority diseases include pneumonia, diarrhea, tuberculosis and malaria.
c. Integrated Health Insurance – This service will link subsidized health insurance products for non-affording families with corporate and individual health insurance programs. The initiative aims to provide health safety nets to low-income households and improve the productivity (social and economic) of individuals and families.
9. APPNA Merit – This presentation consisted of a proposal to “Build Disaster Mitigation and Management Capacity by creating and implementing a training program for Health Professionals.” APPNA MERIT is a permanent standing committee of Association of Physicians of Pakistan-descent of North America (APPNA) with 12,000 members in the US. The key components of this program are:
a. short-duration Visiting Faculty Visits for hands-on training
b. Short courses programs for broader Healthcare teams
c. Electronic conferences beamed from US to multiple Pakistan sites
d. Electronic courseware for Online Training
e. Obervorship Opportunities for Trainees to visit/observe US programs
f. Program Officer for Program Coordination and Implementation
g. Optional Add-on – Trauma Center in Peshawar
h. Optional Add-on: US Faculty stationed in Pakistan for 6-12 months.
1. Potential partnership with University of Massachusetts Medical School
3. Medical Universities in Pakistan – Khyber, King Edward, UHS-affiliated
4. Higher Education Commission
6. Ministry of Health.
10. CDRS/Comprehensive Disaster Response Service – This consisted of a presentation on a pilot project designed to “Strengthen the Health Care system and Empower citizens in Pakistan through New Funding Strategies and Strategic Partnerships between the Community, NGO, and the Government.” The project was to be undertaken as a joint collaboration between the people of Chikar and Sulmia Union Councils, the Azad Kashmir Government, and CDRS). http://www.cdrspakistan.org/
(a) Addressing gaps in the healthcare delivery system and ensuring sustainability.
(b) Organize local communities to work with AJK Ministry of Health
(c) Ensure proper management and development of the healthcare delivery system.
(d) Maintain special focus on vulnerable groups such as women, children, elderly, and disabled.
The presenter also mentioned that they had a project in the coastal area in Sindh but there was no further information about their activities in Sindh.
11. National Institute of Health Sciences – A proposal was made by the Islamabad-based National Institute of Health Sciences to construct additional area and medical equipment necessary to expand its facilities. The web address was given as http://www.nihs.edu.pk/. However, the message on the site says that the redesigned site will open on Monday, October 26, 2009.
12. APPNA Seht – This presentation was on the “Low cost preventative medicine with community participation”. The proposal was from the Association of Physicians of Pakistan-descent of North America (APPNA) with 12,000 members in the US. The key components of this program are:
(a) TO help villages become self-sufficient in meeting their heath care needs.
(b) Provide information in clear and concise format
(c) Provide Immunization
(d) Household monitoring
(e) Presentation measures and early diagnosis in TB, Hepatitis, and other such diseases.
(f) Improve methodology that starts with symptoms, root cause analysis, finding solution, and implementation.
The program will have two Boards of Directors – one Pakistan and other in the USA.
13. ACUMEN Funds (Socially Responsible Investments) – Acumen Fund is a non-profit global venture fund that helps to solve the problems of global poverty, including health, water, housing and energy – through innovative, market-oriented approaches. http://community.acumenfund.org/.
Their current investments in Pakistan are US $ 7.7 million, India US $ 22.1 million, and in East Africa US $12.8 million. They participated in a project called “Khuda Ki Basti” – a low income housing model project covering 500 houses in Lahore. Under this project, the house is sold for Rs. 200,000 and provides incentives such as Ownership Title to leave slums. In Karachi, they have an inexpensive health insurance project will cover 20,000 persons. Their additional involvement in Sindh includes micro finance loans for drip irrigation systems in collaboration with Thardeep NGO.
The following additional contacts were made available at the two sessions:
Mr. Joseph T. Truong
Outreach and Public Information Officer for Pakistan
US Agency for International Redevelopment
Lawrence W. Dollan
It is apparent that race among Pakistani and US NGOs and commercial organization is going to be hectic for securing funding provided under the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009 (also called Kerry-Lugar bill). The proposals that have come so far in the open show that the projects that are being proposed are within the scope, competencies and capabilities of Sindh’s educational, government, NGO, health, and commercial organizations. What is lacking is initiative and drive on the part of the Sindhi organizations. As Pakistan’s own economy continues to remain in trouble, sooner or later, the budgets of universities, colleges, health services are going to be adversely affected. The laziness on the part of Sindhi organizations to simply ignore opportunities such as US funding is a short sightedness for which we will not be forgiven by our future generation.
About Author: Mr. Khalid Hashmani is a Washington DC-based veteran human rights activist. He is the founding President of Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) and Chief coordinator of Sindhi Excellence Team (SET) that participates in advocacy activities on behalf of rural Sindhi.