Volunteers Boost Nutrition Efforts in Pakistan
An organization is only as strong as the people who support its work, and in Pakistan that support for Action Against Hunger is rock solid! Since 2005, we have worked in Pakistan to combat acute malnutrition and provide emergency relief to those affected by natural disasters. On the municipal and national level, Pakistan has shown increased dedication to fighting acute malnutrition as a country. This past April, Pakistan took a critical step in combating malnutrition by joining the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement, a collaboration involving donors and partners to increase nutritional intervention where it is most needed. A recent case study reveals the positive response that our teams have received in the country. Here are the stories of two of our volunteers.
Bringing help closer to home
In an area of the country known as Saeedpur, we have been able expand our programs thanks to the donation of a satellite site, made by two community members. One nutrition volunteer in the village of Dhani Bux Bughio shared how he became involved in our work in his community.
This young man was chosen as a volunteer at our Saeedpur treatment facility, which was more than four miles away from his village. Realizing that the treatment center was too far away to meet his community’s urgent needs, he appealed to his influential grandfather to help make treatment more accessible to the village. His grandfather, the retired head of the village’s school, invited us to set up a satellite site in one of his buildings. The young man continues to volunteer his time to help with mobilization, screenings, and awareness sessions and has seen significant improvement in the health of his community. As a result of the newly established site, services have been brought closer to the community and more outpatient treatments can take place.
Saving lives and inspiring others
A second man, Mr. Bilawal Bughio, has been a nutrition volunteer for us since 2011. He works with the nurses and screens patients, noting new admissions, and supports the nurses’ nutrition counseling. Bilawal also has responsibilities at home tending to the crop fields he owns, so he balances his time between work and volunteering by devoting his weekends to his agriculture and his weekday afternoons to volunteering.
Bilawal learned about Action Against Hunger and our work in his community back in 2011. He was curious about how to save children from dying of malnutrition, a disease that takes the lives of many children in his community, he said. “I was inspired by Action Against Hunger’s attitude and its goal to save the children from disease and death, and to help them get healthy again.” Bilawal said. After learning more about our programs, including that they are free of charge to the village, he agreed to help identify children suffering from malnutrition.
He took time to educate himself about severe acute malnutrition and its effect on children. “From that point I would come daily to see whether the children I had screened in the community had come for treatment on the day I scheduled for them,” he said. “I have worked here up to this day and the benefit we get as a community is payment enough."
"I was inspired by Action Against Hunger’s attitude and its goal to save the children from disease and death, and to help them get healthy again.”
—Mr. Bilawal Bughio, Community Volunteer, Pakistan
An attitude of gratitude
After two years of volunteering, Bilawal continues to be motivated by the many lives that have been saved since he began volunteering. He sees his efforts as part of the greater good and is very grateful for Action Against Hunger’s work in the community. "Action Against Hunger is benefitting our community and preserving our future by getting kids healthy again,” he explained. "It is my responsibility, and my community’s, to facilitate and support the great work they’re doing here".
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