Considered as one of the most generous nations in the world, Pakistan grants more than one percent of its GDP to charitable donations. (Stanford Social Innovation Report). Privileged or not privileged, people of Pakistan are more than willing to help the ones in need in the form of charity. The idea of charity regularly applies in our religion and culture; Pakistanis are inclined towards assisting the poor in form or another. Based on the Islamic perspective, Muslims give Zakat, Sadaqah, or Khairat to benefit the community and fulfilling their obligations. When discussing the development sector in Pakistan, Islamabad is the hub of non-profit and charitable organizations. Thousands of non-profit organizations are operating in Pakistan to reach out to the millions of underprivileged and marginalized people. These organizations have field offices all over Pakistan and are well connected to assist in the earliest time possible. In the following article, the top 10 renowned NGOs will be discussed and how they are changing the future of Pakistan:
- USAID: Funded largely by the people of America, The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is one of the top non-profit organization working towards human welfare in the underdeveloped countries. With its headquarters in Washington D.C., US AID was established on 3rd November 1961. US AID aims to facilitate the Government of Pakistan on various issues such as energy, economic growth, resilience, education, and health, which benefits the citizens of Pakistan. Through US AID, the American people have successfully funded $7.7 billion to Pakistan in the past ten years. By assisting the Government of Pakistan through multiple humanitarian relief projects, USAID aims to improve the wellbeing of the underprivileged community. These projects positively contribute to the human and economic development of Pakistan.
- Oxfam: Founded in 1942, Oxfam is one of the leading international non-profit organization working in Pakistan. With its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, Oxfam is a confederation of 20 charitable organizations. Currently, Oxfam operates in more than 90 countries with a focus on eradicating global poverty. Oxfam set its foot in Pakistan in 1973 to mobilize the power of the people of Pakistan, especially women, to fight injustice and poverty. Its determination to change the world has allowed Oxfam to implement methods for the underprivileged people to improve their livelihoods, fight gender injustice, and exercise their basic rights. Along with government support, Oxfam provides humanitarian assistance to the disaster and crisis struck communities to rebuild their homes and lift themselves out of poverty.
- PODA Pakistan: Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy (PODA) is a women's rights NGO working for the rights of vulnerable women in the society since 2003. Its main focus is to promote and protect human rights in rural areas of Pakistan through gender equity, economic justice, and "Right to Development." PODA works to empower the women of Pakistan especially youth and marginalized ones through various activities and programs provide in multiple sectors such as education, capacity building, sustainable livelihood skills, legal literacy, and human rights advocacy.
- Muslim Aid: Muslim Aid is a U.K. based non-profit organization that started its operations in 1985. The major focus of Muslim Aid is to provide humanitarian assistance to the crisis-hit people on an emergency basis. It set its foot in Pakistan after the devastating earthquake of 2005 and assisted the affected families. Since then, Muslim Aid is serving thousands of Pakistani people in terms of Education, Economic Empowerment, Health, Humanitarian Relief and WASH (right to safe water, hygiene, and sanitation) and improving the lives of vulnerable people for the better.
- Khubaib Foundation: Khubaib Foundation is a non-profit organization established in May 1999 as a Trust. It started working as a relief foundation for emergencies. Later on, it diversified its areas of working in multiple sectors such as Education, Reformation, and Rehabilitation of Prisoners, Health Care, and Rehabilitation Centers. Khubaib Foundation provides assistance to the poor people of Pakistan and believes in equal rights for all without any racial, creed, or religious discrimination.
- Aurat Foundation: Aurat Foundation (A.F.) is one of the major charity organizations which is working for the welfare of women in Pakistani society. Established in 1986, A.F. is an activist charity organization that has its head office in Islamabad, five regional offices in the provincial capitals and 37 field offices all over Pakistan. A.F. aims to empower women by providing greater access to education, resources, and institutions, along with the commitment to raise widespread awareness about equal human rights for all.
- SOS Children's Village: Dedicated to the welfare of children, SOS Children's Village is the world's largest orphaned child charity headquartered in Innsbruck, Austria. Hermann Gmeiner, a known philanthropist, is the founder of this top non-profit organization working in Pakistan. The organization's core aim is to provide homes for orphans and abandoned children. Since 1975, SOS Children's Villages is assisting the less fortunate children and their families in Pakistan. The organization believes in providing warm and secure shelter to every deserving child in the country. Many of its contributions include community projects such as schools, medical centers, agricultural projects, and vocational training and production centers.
- UNICEF: Formed by the United Nations (U.N.) after World War 2 on 11th December 1946, the United Nations Children's Fund is one of the top international not for profit organization working in Pakistan. The core aim of the organization is to provide welfare and assistance to the underprivileged children and their mothers in the developing world. In Pakistan, UNICEF's services extend to heavily affected areas of Pakistan. One of its key services includes emergency response interventions for the families and people affected by natural disasters such as heavy floods and earthquakes. Currently, its main offices sit in Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore with its emergency field offices located in Multan, Sukkur, and Hyderabad. The field offices allow easy and timely accessibility to highly affected areas of Pakistan. Its contributions in the health and nutrition sector, polio eradication, child protection, hygiene, and sanitation sector have largely helped those suffering in affected areas of Pakistan.
- Human Relief Foundation: Human Relief Foundation is an international non-profit organization working to improve the dire conditions of the most vulnerable communities in Pakistan. HRF started its operations in 1991 with the mission to promote sustainable economic and social development programs for the local communities. With its aim to empower every human, HRF wants everyone to enjoy equal rights and opportunities so that their basic requirements are fulfilled. Some of the areas where HRF provides their assistance include relief programs, creation of sustainable livelihoods, sustainable development programs for education, health, and sanitation, and build local capacities. Without any discrimination of gender, race, religion, class or political affiliation, HRF mobilizes their resources, build partnerships, and developing programs to benefit multiple communities.
- Seed Out: Seed Out is an exemplary not-for-profit organization which has made to our list of top charitable organizations in Pakistan. Established in 2013, Seed Out is a brainchild of Zain Ashraf who is amongst Pakistan's most hardworking social entrepreneurs in Pakistan. Seed Out is Pakistan's first interest-free online crowdfunding platform which is working towards alleviating poverty by establishing micro-entrepreneurs. Seed Out helps deserving individuals establish a small scale business that allows them to earn a decent livelihood and attain true financial independence. To date, Seed Out has established businesses for 750 entrepreneurs and transformed the lives of both them and their families, allowing them to live their lives with dignity. Seed Out works with some of the most vulnerable and marginalized communities in Pakistan and extending support to widowed and divorced females and the differently-abled is a priority.
As the top 10 NGOs are working to make a bigger and better change for the people of Pakistan, these organizations are making efforts each day to tackle various issues. Each NGO having its vision and a mission strives to put in the effort for the betterment of Pakistan. Addressing issues of poverty, hunger, violation of human rights, allows the society to become empowered and fight for themselves in a just manner. The communities flourish, sustainable livelihoods are built, and sufferers escape their misery. It is essential to appreciate the efforts of the Pakistani people and NGOs which promotes the creation of a just and equitable society where every child, woman, and man gets to enjoy a peaceful life.
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