We caught up with Momin, a youth activist in Pakistan, to find out about opportunities he has found to serve others as his country faces the COVID-19 pandemic.
Think Before You Type (TBYT): Can you tell us about the work you are doing with Cradle Welfare Organization? How did you get involved?
Momin: I heard about CWO (Cradle Welfare Organization) from a friend of mine. I still remember my first visit at their boy’s school campus. They have another campus for girls as well. When I visited the school, I saw kids from underprivileged families studying, playing, and participating. That very moment made me realize we need to get involved in initiatives like these for the development of our community and society. I have been a youth activist for a while now. I have done awareness programs through different campaigns, workshops, and my vlogs. I have done food drives before, but this time with CWO it was different. Their mission to strive for bringing positive change in people’s lives and their enthusiasm got me.
I applied there as a teacher and began to get involved in their other projects like the ration drive. This whole time I have been and still am amazed by the wonderful people, like Saqeeb us Salam (our school principal), who run this organization and are going above and beyond to provide education, food, and medicine to [those in need]. I have seen our Founder, Mufti Asim, carrying ration bags on his back. A high profile person like him being so down to earth gave me the motivation and hope for a better future for our country. I know our country is a developing country, and it has a lot of problems that we need to solve. But above all these things we have great people who are willing to work for these causes, and I am just one of them.
TBYT: How can people help CWO accomplish its mission?
Momin: CWO is an NGO that is purely run on donations and funds. We have generous sponsors such as EBM and Kuwait Consulate who support our mission. [H]owever, considering the ongoing crisis of COVID-19, we need more donations to help people in need here. With this pandemic, our country has been hit really hard. People have been laid off from jobs. Most businesses are shutting, which is making it harder for people to fulfill their basic needs, and the situation [for] the lower class is the worst.
I remember the other day when I went to distribute rations along with my team we visited a family with 16 family members who were living in one room. When we gave rations to their family, we could hear kids screaming with joy and excitement inside who didn’t have enough food for one proper meal in a day.
We at CWO nowadays are distributing Rations (Monthly Groceries) and doing an Iftar drive to make sure people don’t go to sleep hungry and they can open their fast with at least something. So far we have distributed 2,500 – 3,000 ration bags to families in need, but we know this is not enough. There are many more out there who need our help and support considering the ongoing crisis. We don’t know how long this pandemic will last, and we need to help and prepare for it. We are running out of funds, and [through social media] we are requesting [that] people donate to us generously so we can help more people. At the end of every day, I go to bed with mixed feelings, feeling happy because we were able to help some people, but at the same time feeling not fully satisfied because I know there are still a lot more people that need our help.
TBYT: What are you doing to keep your head up in the face of this pandemic?
Momin: The thing that is getting me going these days is the love and support from friends, family, and our sponsors. The happiness I see in the eyes of those who were looking for hope for their survival and we were able to help them gives me the courage that is beyond everything. My words might fail to describe the satisfaction and happiness I experience through this cause. Everything we see during this time is proof in the times of darkness; we can still find love, joy, and beauty. If we look and we can’t find it, then we can be it. I know it is going to get worse before it gets better, but I have hope. We will get through this together. Stay safe, healthy, and sane. Be the light for someone else. Remember to breathe.
This too shall pass.
It is my humble request to everyone reading this blog to please help us to sustain our mission. Please help us by spreading the word and by sending donations our way.
More information on how you can help CWO: www.cradlewelfare.org