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Eq Redevelopment Projects

 
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Omar Biabani



Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 93
Location: Boston, MA
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:24 pm    Post subject: EQ Redevelopment Projects Reply with quote

Guys,

I have started contacting people we have worked with in the past to initiate the process of finding Earthquake Redevelopment projects. We have about US$63K in our Redev Fund and I think this is the right time to start looking into these projects. Our biggest challenge will be to fund rehabilitative projects owned by reliable organizations without getting caught up in the process.

Complementing our efforts to find reliable projects through past connections, our Lahore team lead by Sajjad, will start a similar process of scouting long term redevelopment projects in that region.

Copied below is an email from Dr. Nayyar, our guest speaker who spoke in August 2005 about Education Reform in Pakistan http://www.developpakistan.org/Default.aspx?tabid=131




---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Abdul H. Nayyar < nayyar@princeton.edu>
Date: Jan 19, 2006 11:44 AM
Subject: RE:
To: Omar Biabani <obiabani@gmail.com >
Cc: hoodbhoy@lns.mit.edu, zia@princeton.edu


Dear Omar,

You have been very clear in describing the ADP efforts, and I think you should be proud of the work that ADP has done.

While Eqbal Ahmed Memorial Education Foundation started off with relief supplies, it shifted the focus after seeing the enormity of the relief supplies pouring in, not just from international and national organisations but also from individual Pakistani citizens. We thought of providing the affected people with shelters that would be more suitable than the tents that had been supplied to almost every family, but would still be temporary in the sense that they would be meant to allow the survivors pass the winter safely. We realise with humility that what we did was a small fraction of what others have done, and even a smaller fraction of what is needed. Much much more is needed.

We also started off by thinking about rehabilitating schools. Almost all the public sector school building had collapsed. In my first visits to Kashmir, I noticed that the schools had reopened in the open. I came to know that the Kashmiris valued education more than people from Pakistan, and definitely more than the people from the adjoining earthquake affected Hazara areas. Besides public sector schools, there are many private sector schools also in urban and rural areas of Muzaffarabad, Bagh, Rawlakot, Chikar, etc. Also conspicuous are schools operated by religio-political parties and groups. Although far fewer, but there were also private schools being run by secular groups like the former members of the National Students Federation, etc, who were eager to provide quality education. In one place at least we saw co-education in such high schools.

We debated among ourselves on which schools to help rehabilitate. The public schools were, we thought, the responsibility of the state, and the state ought to rehabilitate them with the enormous relief money it has received. Initially, for private schools which sought our help, we showed reluctance because we thought they were running on commercial basis, and hence did not deserve any aid for reconstruction. On second thoughts, however, we have come agree to provide them reconstruction aid because, besides putting students back to studies, reconstruction would create jobs for the laid-off teachers. We have now sought some negotiations from the owners, who are not like the rich owners of private schools in urban Pakistan, but dedicated social workers also, to let Eqbal Ahmad Foundation have a say in school affairs for promoting quality of teaching, like defining curricula in early classes, training teachers, and conducting other activities that can lead to a greater emphasis on creativity, critical thinking, communication skills, etc. We have received positive signals, and it is possible that we may start this process as soon as the students return from their winter break. I am hoping that our work on schools reconstruction will start in about 2 weeks.

Thus, if ADP thinks that this is a worthy cause, we will do our best at this end to make sure that the donations are utilized properly.

Best wishes,
Nayyar




-----Original Message-----
From: Omar Biabani [mailto:obiabani@gmail.com ]
Sent: Wed 1/18/2006 11:07 PM
To: Abdul H. Nayyar
Subject: Re:

Dear Prof Nayyar,
Salaam.

My apologies for not emailing earlier. I hope all is well at your end. I will expand on what we spoke about over the phone last Friday.

24 hours after the earthquake hit the northern region of Pakistan, ADP started collecting funds online. We started off with two funds

1) Edhi and
2) President's Relief Fund.


Later on we added two more categories

3) ADP's Earthquake Redevelopment Fund (long term needs) and
4) Relief Shelter (short term needs)


We have, so far, raised close to half a million dollars for all the funds combined.

We are looking for Earthquake Redevelopment projects. Think of these as the long term rehabilitation projects to bring back normalcy to the lives of earthquake survivors. Here is how we have described this fund online at http://www.developpakistan.org/Default.aspx?tabid=149

While ADP has been responding to the immediate crisis, we anticipate the coming months and years to be even more challenging. Millions are likely to spend the rapidly-approaching winter in tent cities before being rehabilitated through long-term redevelopment projects. We have launched the ADP Earthquake Redevelopment Fund to address the longer-term needs of the communities affected by the earthquake. Over the coming months and years, we will work closely with partner NGOs operating in the affected areas to identify and support specific projects addressing the most critical needs of the impacted areas.

As you already know that hundreds of organizations have sprung up in that region to do 'redevelopment' work. Surely most of them will have their own agendas and some may not even be authentic. This is a serious issue for those who are so generously donating for the redevelopment of that region. That is why we want to take the right steps and make sure that a donor's money is spent on a deserving project.

The reason I am writing to you is to seek your help regarding long term redevelopment projects. I know that you and your team (QuaideAzam university students and Iqbal Ahmad foundation) are actively working on the ground in the earthquake region. You will most certainly come across worthy projects and initiatives OR would know other reliable organizations doing authentic work. It will be very helpful if ADP is introduced to such projects/organizations so we can evaluate and fund these deserving projects. Our redevelopment fund has reached US$ 63K and is growing. Once again we would like to take utmost care in investing these funds into reliable, constructive projects; it is only fair to those who are in need and it is only just to those who have donated.

Now, you mention to me over the phone that you have a few ideas regarding redevelopment of schools in that region. I would love to learn more about this initiative, or any other effort that you may know of. Please feel free to ask me questions if I have not been clear. Let me summarize my thoughts again

1) We are seeking to invest in long term redevelopment of the earthquake region
2) We are looking for reliable projects that will benefit the people in the years to come
3) We have a budget of US$63K as of now
4) We would like any help you can provide in soliciting project/projects of such nature

Sincerely,
Omar Biabani
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