Newsletter Summer 2021

Jan Dirk Schouten
Stichting Diwa, June 2021

Pakistan is suffering from a third corona wave. The biggest threat is the Indian corona variant. This time the government of Pakistan did partially lock down the areas where corona cases are registered at high rates.

The government urges people to be vaccinated and has arranged special corona vaccination centers in the whole country. Unfortunately, the public is hesitating to be vaccinated due to false stories on social media. Now the government has warned the public that if people are not vaccinated and do not follow the rules, in July corona cases can increase to a very high level.

Students suffered a lot again during the third corona wave. Schools were completely closed. In June, the schools were open again and children are going to school on a regular basis. But still the final exams are postponed.

Climate change is another issue in Pakistan. Winter was extremely cold and now in summer it is extremely warm. In Lahore and Gujranwala at the moment it is 50 degrees during daytime. People are not used to these extreme temperatures. Especially outside labor is almost impossible at this moment. On top of this finding work during corona is difficult.

Additional Corona Help
In the coming months of July and August we want to offer 30 vulnerable families emergency food packages. The cost of one package is around €20,-. On one package an average family can survive for three weeks to one month. This way we help the most vulnerable families to survive this difficult time.

Donations to support this program are most welcome.

Skills Training Center
Skills training center activities are continuing on a regular basis. During the third corona wave, courses were organized on special arrangements. The majority of our students are girls and women, because the Diwa training center is an opportunity close to their houses. Students come with pleasure to attend the courses due to the good quality of the courses and their facilities.

For girls it is also a moment of freedom and for socializing with others. Often they celebrate birthdays and arrange meals together.

The Diwa training centrer is becoming popular in surrounding areas. The girls themselves are motivating their parents to attend the courses. Local pastors contact the Diwa Foundation and recommend and send young boys and girls for training.

Recreational trip
In April, the Diwa team organized a trip to Lahore.  Lahore is a beautiful old and historic city in Punjab. The students visited various places such as museums, zoo, minar-e-Pakistan (the monument for the independence of Pakistan) and a book center for Christian faith.

This trip was a great opportunity for students to go out and enjoy themselves.
Diwa plans to organize more trips for students.

Foto trip

Study Sponsor Program
Stichting Diwa is providing financial support to 21 students at this moment. During this year, we want to support more students. Our policy is to help those students who want to study but due to financial constraints are not able to continue and to finish their diplomas. We have primary school, high school, college and university level students. Higher level students are following nursing, physics, and B-pharmacy diplomas. The cost varies according to study level. At present, we are paying in the range of 11 to 23 euro per student per month.

Our supervisor is paying school fee directly to schools. He is also monitoring the progress of students.

Clean Pakistan: awareness raising campaign on household waste management
Stichting Diwa starts an awareness raising campaign in Francisabad for behavioral change to manage the household waste in a proper way and for the use of sustainable shopping bags.

Household Waste Management is big challenge in Pakistan. Due to lack of resources and capacity, local municipalities are not able to collect and dispose of the waste properly. Only big cities such as Lahore and Karachi partially have a collection and disposal system, but rest of the country have no official landfill sites and no collection and disposal system. People are throwing their waste in empty plots. In almost every street there is a garbage mountain that in the local language is called “rorri”.  These practices cause health problems, underground drinking water contamination, smell, and dirty neighborhoods. In Pakistan, every second person is suffering from hepatitis and stomach problems due to drinking water contamination.

For many people, it is common to just throw garbage somewhere on the street. People are often unaware of what garbage does to their environment and to their health. It is necessary to bring this problem to the attention of the people.

The campaign focuses on two goals. Setting up a door-to-door garbage collection by a local group and reducing the use of single-use plastic, especially plastic bags.

Diwa initially starts this awareness campaign as a pilot project for 6 to 8 months in Francisabad.  In this campaign we approach the community to become aware of the problem and to participate to solve the problem of pollution. If the campaign has positive results, Diwa will contact the local government for cooperation.

With our tailoring students, we made sustainable shopping bags as part of the campaign. The bags are printed with our campaign logo. The shopping bags are distributed free of charge during our meetings. A film is being made about waste problems and the solutions. This film is made by young members of Diwa Gujranwala. This film will be shown at the meetings and will also be uploaded on social media for greater impact.

See a part of the film here:

Greetings from Pakistan!

Hello, I am Nadeem Inayat. I am 32 years old. I am married with Sumaira and  have two children. My son Ophir is 2 years old and my daughter Irene is 2 months old. I am living in Francisabad Gujranwala. I Myself come from a big family. We are seven brothers and sisters. I am number six.

My parents were illiterate but wanted to educate their children. But unfortunately, my father died in a road accident in 1992 when I was four years old. My parent’s desire was fulfilled by my mother with the help of my elder brother and sister. I graduated in business and commerce in 2011. After this I followed my Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and graduated in 2014 at Gujranwala Theological Seminary. Since then I am working as Pastor in King’s way Church and involved in Diwa Foundation Gujranwala. My aim is to work for the glory of God and for the well being of  humanity.