IRUSA’s Pakistan Celebrity Tour reaches out to hearts and minds while bringing stars to the forefront
When Wasim Akram walks into a room full of fans of his legendary career in cricket there’s a charged silence that ripples across the crowd. Whispers saying “That’s him, that’s him” drizzle from front to back and finally he bestows everyone with his grand smile allowing everyone to remind themselves that he’s human.
This year Wasim was an honorable guest at IRUSA’s Pakistan Celebrity Dinner tour, and his presence brought what it usually brings, donors who believe in uplifting Pakistan and people who love reminiscing about the incredible plays he made as a phenom in cricket.
However, Wasim himself was starstruck by a young sister Alina Afzal, whose story represented what can happen when strangers come together to support those who aren’t fortunate enough to have an entire family back them. When she was only in first grade, a generous donor from the United States began supporting Alina through Islamic Relief USA’s orphan sponsorship program.
Alina started receiving a monthly stipend that supported her throughout her education and childhood. The sponsorship meant far more than just a monthly dollar amount. It symbolized opportunity, care, and hope. Alina is enrolled in her third year of medical school to become a physical therapist. She speaks about her dream to become a doctor with such confidence, it’s as if it’s already happened.
A New Way out of Poverty
Orphans support is just one method of poverty reduction IRUSA is leading the way on in Pakistan. This past year another avenue opened up and IRUSA staff and beneficiaries couldn’t be more happier to see it come to fruition.
Poverty to Profit is program that helps blossoming entrepreneurs, many of whom are women, be supported one-to-one by donors. It is one of the first micro-finance projects of its kind. Entrepreneurs apply for an interest free loan in Pakistan to help setup and/or grow their business. Their information is added to the website to raise funds to cover the loan and so that it can be used again and again once the loan has been repaid. Over 99% of loans are repaid in full.
This means that businessmen and women can have a true chance to use their talents to grow their enterprises. The opportunity to support their work just became that much easier.
Thanks to brave souls like Alina we saw the possibility that lies in generous acts, and Wasim showed guests how excellence can bring hearts together for a cause. In Pakistan, IRUSA wants to continue partnering with your generosity so that families experiencing hardship can also attain excellence .