by Rob Smith
At 8.53am on 8th October 2005, the earth quaked in South Asia and took away the lives, homes, cities and a whole way of life for Kashmir and its people. Over 80,000 people died, including 35,000 children. 3.5 million people were left homeless and displaced and many are still hospitalised.
In October, members of Sheffield Pakistan Muslim Centre and guests from Rotherham and Doncaster gathered to recognise fundraising done on behalf of the READ Foundation, a charitable organisation that builds schools in Kashmir.
Children representing Parkwood High; Tinsley Juniors and Fir Vale schools received awards for their fundraising. Paul Howard, Deputy Head at Parkwood School explained that students had raised around £800. “Although the initiative was led by our Asian students the whole school took part and it’s been a great vibe for all those involved.”
Councillor David Baker relayed councillors’ support and Mohamed Ali, Chair of the PMC, also thanked all those who’ve helped, particularly Burngreave resident Mohammed Younis. Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed, who visited Kashmir, said: “Our aim to raise enough money to build a school has been very successful.”
Assistant Chief Constable Bob Dyson explained South Yorkshire Police’s role: “We’ve helped raise funds through selling unclaimed stolen property to help the READ Foundation.”
Mr Mahmood Ahmad, Chair of the READ Foundation, thanked the PMC, Sheffield City Council, South Yorkshire Police and local people. “The money raised throughout this city has helped build a school to be called Sheffield High,” he said, to applause. “We now have a place for orphaned children to shelter. However, we have a ravaged country that still has many poor, homeless and broken families struggling to survive.”
The Pakistan Muslim Centre are asking people to sponsor an orphan at Sheffield High School. £5 a month will purchase everything a child needs for school. For more information contact PMC on 243 0691 or Shaffaq Mohammed on 0771 465 4421, email firstname.lastname@example.org.