A BRIEF HISTORY
The Imkaan Welfare Organisation was registered and established as an NGO in 2012. This was the year the Edhi Foundation revealed an alarming national statistical update; whilst 890 infant bodies were recovered in 2008, this number rose to 999 in 2009 and 1,210 in 2010. It concluded that in 2011, 70 dead infants were reportedly found in the city of Karachi alone.
Unique in its intent to address and pare down the rates of both infanticide and child abandonment across Pakistan, Imkaan was founded on the tenet that each and every child not only has the right to live but to thrive.
Working alongside local stakeholders, our outreach programme monitors issues leading to infanticide and child abandonment through community-level research. At the same time, we work with potential adoptive parents in screening and preparing permanent homes for children in such need.
Imkaan does not stop at just finding children loving homes. It is also committed to enabling proper education alongside the physical and emotional well-being of children everywhere. Whilst our efforts concentrate on providing children of any age in crisis with instantaneous assistance, we strive to administer consistent aid for every child’s every need in any given situation.
To believe he or she has a right to not only live but to do so with meaning and dignity is what Imkaan endeavors to instill in the heart of every child.
“No child’s life shall be curtailed by the circumstances of his or her birth because each one deserves absolute love and infinite opportunity to grow.”
Registered in 2012 under the Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Registration and Control) Ordinance, 1961, Imkaan Welfare Organization has been working towards the well-being of underprivileged communities and children at risk in Karachi, Pakistan. Imkaan Welfare Organizations projects are established focusing on the needs of children and women in education, health, sanitation and overall wellbeing.
- To believe he or she has a right to not only live, but to do so with meaning and dignity, is what Imkaan endeavors to instill in the heart of every child.
- Providing and ensuring quality healthcare, education, and recreation to all children;
- To ensure that no child is murdered or left to fend for his or herself under extreme conditions, we offer support prior to, during and after adoption;
- We aim to establish a network of prenatal and neonatal clinics in order to provide qualified support and healthcare to mothers and mothers-to-be. These will function to decrease infanticide as well as infant mortality rates, by educating women and their communities on how to reduce risks to their own health as well as to their families; before, during, and after delivering.
Tahera Hasan, a lawyer by profession, specializes in family law and deals with international adoption cases, custody cases, divorce and khula matters and family settlements and is experienced in litigation connected with children issues. Tahera has knowledge of principles and techniques of child welfare service and is familiar with child growth and development as well as the rules of child welfare.
Further has assisted foreign courts when required with reference to the Pakistan Adoption process by rendering opinions, giving affidavits and all other related documentation. Tahera has also assisted courts in Karachi in understanding the process for International adoption and the process of home studies conducted in the Applicants home country.
Tahera’s work also focuses on advisory vocation in media and entertainment-related matters, as well as on corporate matters regarding the structuring of IP rights and litigation relating to copyrights, trademarks, designs, advertising, merchandising and unfair competition.
She has been involved in several acquisitions and joint ventures in the music and publishing industries as well as in the launch of TV and radio stations. Tahera is the founding member of Imkaan Welfare Organisation and is also on the board and editorial member of The Book Group, board member of the Police Reform Initiative Trust and board member of the KaraFilm Society. Tahera is also one of the ten miracle mentors for 2015 of the Pond’s Miracle Journey.
It was in 2012 that Imkaan Welfare Organisation was registered and came to be an organization dealing with Children and Adoption. This was the formalization of a dream and of work that was being done informally over the past many years as individuals in our personal capacity. Having been touched by adoption personally and been part of several adoption journeys which had amongst happiness and fulfillment also lead to a lot of heartbreak and pain – pain which in my opinion could have been avoided had there been mechanisms and guidance in place. People undertaking these journeys are thrown in the deep end and learn to swim through trial and error. That should not have been the case. The need for an organization that had a holistic approach was deeply felt.
The need to ensure that each child that was abandoned was given the best possible medical care and the families who were united with forever families could find as much happiness in the process without the further pain and suffering.
We have tried to ensure that each child that is abandoned to us for placement is medically tested and all health information that we have is disclosed to the family. It has been the need for an organization that cares for the emotional well being of all persons involved and not only the welfare of the child which is, however, paramount. We have structured and followed the requirements as closely as possible that have been laid down by the Hague Convention keeping in mind the realities of our environment.
To us, each child forms part of the Imkaan family and their welfare and interests are always on our minds. Imkaan has evolved into areas which we had not imagined to begin with.
Our Sehat Ghar programme which is a mother and child healthcare center located in the largest informal settlement in Karachi has been on average seeing [insert the actual number] patients a month. We have set up an ultrasound facility and are looking into the possibility of setting up a Sehat Ghar Maternity Wing. Evaluating need on the spot we have and continue to structure our programmes against the backdrop of what the requirements of the area we work in are.
There has been a lot of awareness spread in the community through the regular women’s meetings and also the door to door awareness that our female motivators carry on – on a regular basis.
We are seeing the beginning of the EGuard project which is a solid waste management program Imkaan is conducting in collaboration with the Akhtar Hameed Khan Memorial Trust. Preventive health is a component that is very important and the same cannot happen without a clean environment and the awareness of what can happen if one does not take precautionary measures.
We are currently focusing on Machar Colony and trying to create programmes to deal with the situations that arise there. Khel – The Recreation Centre is another project that will help bring about a positive change for the children living in this area by providing them a space to learn and explore which shall help in personality building.
Imkaan also is involved in disaster relief management if and when the need arises. Our teams are present and ready to deal with any kind of situation as and when it arises.
Imkaan’s philosophy is holistic and we aim to deal with every aspect of the issue that we are involved in. There can be no change without there being change at the policy and implementation level. We have been involved with many movements on the policy level but aim to make the advocacy and awareness component of Imkaan one of its strongest arms.
We have been fortunate to be supported by people and organizations that have believed in our vision and trusted us to take the decisions we have when faced with different situations. It is this trust that helps us in moving forward towards strengthening and developing our programmes further.
– Tahera Hasan
Manager Communications and Coordination A photographer by profession, Umme has worked with underprivileged communities for the past many years. Umme began her foray into development work with the Sindh Education Foundation. During the course of her work Umme has been involved in organizing conferences, developing content for publications and websites, developed and conducted marketing campaigns for organizations and Media plans and strategies for media agencies and houses. Further, Umme has been part of consultancies which have helped create awareness and impact communities and segments of society.It was during her stint at SEF that she developed a passion for photography and pursued it further by earning a diploma in visual arts through UC Berkeley. Mentors like the Late Professor Anita Ghulam Ali fuelled Ummes passion and love for social work and helping the underprivileged communities. Umme now proudly believes that photography is just a profession but social work is her real passion.
Field Program Manager & Communities Coordinator Hailing from the beautiful district Haripur in Northern Pakistan, Parvez Akhtar has dedicated 13 years of his life working with the people of Machar Colony in Karachi. Parvez has created and initiated programs that provide support to the community. Some of the programs that he has been involved in are setting up and managing Mother and Child Clinics, health education awareness, open forum for men in Machar colony, setting up and supervision of community kitchens, Mapping and Marking of Machar Colony.
Parvez has also been involved in disaster relief work over the years.Parvez believes that by raising awareness and empowering the community a positive change can be created that will help the future generations live a better life.
TEAM ON FIELD
Our team at Sehat Ghar works closely with the community by taking care of their medical needs and creating awareness regarding basic hygiene, infectious diseases, and planned parenthood. Lead by Dr. Huma, the team caters to 3000+ patients each month, conducts free of cost medical camps and hold community meetings to understand the issues that the community deals with and possible solutions.
The team at Khel are not only teachers but caregivers, mothers and best friends to the children at Khel. They have created an environment within Khel different from the harsh reality of machar colony. The team at Khel focuses on providing basic education to the children and involve them in activities related to art, performing art, basic health and hygiene and overall confidence building of children.