British entrepreneur James Caan CBE was born in Pakistan and the nation has all the time had a particular place in his coronary heart.
He has visited Pakistan greater than 20 instances since 2005 – serving to to construct a faculty in Lahore, delivering meals to households after the floods in 2010, and serving to households construct new properties after the earthquake in 2013.
In 2015, he arrange “The James Caan Basis” to assist underprivileged folks all over the world have the prospect of a greater life. One in all its predominant goals is to make use of the facility of schooling and entrepreneurship to remodel lives.
In June this yr, catastrophe hit Pakistan as soon as once more when torrential monsoon rains triggered probably the most extreme flooding the nation has ever recorded – washing away villages and leaving round 33 million folks, together with 3.4 million youngsters, in a determined state of affairs.
James instantly mobilized his group in Lahore, led by Danish Rana.
Sourcing meals provides was the primary problem – shortages and hovering costs made it nearly not possible to search out meals however the group managed to safe a take care of a Pakistani grocery store chain in Lahore – and made up 1000 packages with fundamental survival equipment and groceries. Additionally they managed to supply 1000 blankets.
All the pieces was loaded onto three vans prepared for the lengthy journey.
Danish and his group centered on southern Punjab the place the floods had destroyed hundreds of acres of farmland – the primary livelihood of the folks on this space – and washed away properties, hospitals and colleges. Roads and bridges had additionally been destroyed and it was nearly not possible for assist to succeed in the folks right here.
On Friday twenty third September, the convoy of three vans and two jeeps set off on the lengthy trek from Lahore to Dera Ghazi Khan. Travelling with heavy containers alongside bumpy roads, the journey took round 9 hours. The following day the group headed to the distant mountain city of Barthi, in Taunsa Tehsil.
The folks on this remoted city have been determined for assist – however they hadn’t anticipated any assist to succeed in them and so they have been overwhelmed to see our convoy arrive. The group shortly organized a queue system and we gave out assist to nearly 300 households right here earlier than transferring on.
It was a special story when our vans rolled into Mangrotha, right here they have been met with anger by the locals – who had been promised assist from a number of NGOs however nothing had arrived. They attacked the group however our safety group managed to disperse the group with out anybody being badly harm.
This hostility made sense after we found that different NGOs had delivered the promised assist however native leaders had taken it and offered it for revenue.
Danish moved the group to a safe location at a close-by faculty. Solely 10 households have been allowed to enter at a time, and so they exited from the again door. Underneath these difficult situations, they managed to distribute assist packages to greater than 400 households.
The following day, it was time to move to Basti Ahmadani. With yesterday’s occasions contemporary of their minds, Danish determined to survey the realm earlier than letting the vans enter. He witnessed devastation at a complete completely different degree. Some 57 folks had misplaced their lives, greater than 2000 properties had been fully destroyed, and with no entry to meals or clear consuming water, the locals had exhausted practically all their survival choices.
Villagers helped to organise everybody into queues and our group efficiently distributed assist to nearly 400 households, who stated that they had by no means witnessed this equality in assist distribution earlier than.
A document quantity of donations has been collected for these flood victims. However tragically, solely 10% of the flood victims have acquired any help. With no meals to eat, no roof over their heads and no entry to scrub water, their issues are rising, and they’re now at excessive threat of water-borne ailments equivalent to cholera and typhoid.