Qatar NGO opens 17 schools in quake-hit Pak region
Doha, June 22, 2008
Qatar-based non-governmental organization 'Reach Out To Asia' (Rota) has dedicated 17 new schools in the state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), northern Pakistan, which was completely devastated by a earthquake in October 2005.
The 17 schools, including 10 permanent school buildings and seven temporary structures in the Union Council (UC) of Nar Sher Ali Khan in AJK were dedicated on June 13 during a high-profile Qatari delegation visit to Pakistan.
The delegation, led by Sheikha Aisha Bint Faleh Al Thani, Rota board member included Omnia Nour, director of Rota, and its other top officials and representatives from the Qatar Red Crescent and media.
The opening of the 17 schools was part of the first phase of rehabilitation efforts undertaken by Rota in close co-ordination with the Pakistan Government, Qatar Red Crescent and other social and community organisations.
The schools were completely destroyed during the massive earthquake, which rocked the northern Pakistan on October 8, 2005 and resulted in the death of over 73,000 people.
The estimated cost of damages was over $5 billion and in excess of 3.3 million people were left injured or homeless.
Rota was the one of the first NGOs to reach the devastated areas of northern Pakistan following the earthquake and provide basic amenities.
The main objective of the Rota school project, which will help provide educational access to over 2,300 students, is to assist the Pakistani community to restore some of the education systems destroyed due to the natural disaster, Nour said.
'Rota has pledged all possible assistance to help those affected by the earthquake in Pakistan in 2005. It is a matter of great privilege that we have successfully accomplished the Phase I of our project aimed at offering the children access to quality education.'
'We are extremely thankful to the Pakistani government, Qatar Red Crescent and other like-minded organisations in helping us in this humanitarian initiative,' she added.
The project also aims to enhance the quality of education by providing capacity training for teachers and administration, and has already seen the opening of seven libraries in the temporary schools.
In addition to the restoration and rebuilding of the damaged education infrastructure, the project will have a direct impact on securing the achievement of educational objectives of students within the local community, national educational strategies and influence the achievement of universal Unesco Education for All goals by 2015.-TradeArabia News Service