Beginning of UOL Relief Trust
UOL Relief was established at the time when Pakistan was hit by one of the most devastating earthquakes in history. The year was 2005, and the country was preparing for the onset of winter when tragedy struck one morning in October causing destruction and casualties in several areas especially Northern Pakistan. Thousands of people were affected, villages were wiped out and roads were damaged making it difficult to rescue those under collapsed homes and buildings in far off valleys. It was a time of national emergency and crisis. It was then that a group of volunteers from University of Lahore under the guidance of Nasir Mahmood were gathered to respond to the situation that was challenging in itself.The team worked diligently rescuing people trapped under concrete, arranging medicines and food, and offering first aid treatment to the affected. Since the temperatures continued to drop it became increasingly necessary to provide shelter to those who had lost their homes. Hence temporary tent villages were erected to offer protection against the weather and further calamities.
University of Lahore (UOL) is the largest educational institute in Pakistan among private sector and offering more than 150+ degree programs. UOL comprises on seven campuses in different cities. UOL is providing quality education with dynamic opportunities to bring positive social change in society with the help of young blood enthusiasm and their active participation with idealistic educational approach.
The work did not stop there
The work did not stop there. Rather, the spirit to rebuild and reconstruct was stronger and so with the passage of time, the determined members of UOL Relief team initiated various programs and projects with the intention of developing the infrastructure of the affected communities. The projects included:
- restarting and rebuilding of education system by setting up tent schools
- reconstructing water channels
- building bridges
- improving sewerage systems
More programs were launched that focused particularly on individual and family improvement. These included:
- a food and ration program
- widow support program
- medical assistance
- on job trainings
- vocational training for the unemployed
After more than a decade most of the communities are now able to sustain themselves well due to the mentioned programs while some of the projects are still being supervised by UOL Relief. For further details on how the rescue and rebuilding happened click….
Barely 4 years into addressing the repercussions of the earthquake, UOL Relief rose up to respond to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Crisis in 2009 where huge populations of people were evacuated from West Pakistan and settled in and across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to a military operation. The team set base in Charsadda and used the experience from the earthquake crisis to help support the displaced people. The situation worsened by 2010 due to the monsoon rains and floods. IDP camps were in a precarious situation as was the rest of the country. In fact, most areas of Sindh and Punjab were submerged in water thereby expelling the affected and thus adding to the population of IDPs across the country. The floods had caused massive damage to the infrastructure, destroying entire cities, villages, homes, bridges, roads and even railway lines. People had lost their assets including cattle and wheat crops. UOL Relief took up the challenge to serve the IDPs in Rajanpur, South Punjab, and in Chilas, Tatto , Thalay Valley, Ganchay District in Gilgit Baltistan as well as in Charsadda in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. UOL Relief launched projects that catered to the basic necessities of life and reconstruction of infrastructure. To learn more about the UOL Relief support to IDPs….
The massive floods revisited in 2014 and UOL Relief focused specifically on the Rhodu Sultan and Atth Hazari areas at the South West side of River Chenab in Punjab. The Trust provided more than 1000 food packages, shelter, clothes, and basic medical help including 5000 mosquito nets for prevention of Malaria and Dengue. It was no mean task as the flood waters were infested with poisonous snakes and insects and had to be crossed by the volunteers to reach the affected families.