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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Worker Visits School Turned Shelter: People are "Suffering"

Islamic Relief staff member Helen Mould is in northwest Pakistan visiting the displaced persons who have fled the conflict zone. In her diary she writes about her run-ins with “people [who] routinely struggle to access the basic necessities of life.” Mould saw people living in miserable conditions without access to water or sanitation facilities. Her most recent diary entry is below:
Yesterday, I spent some time at the Government Boys High School in Char Gulli where Islamic Relief is installing new bathrooms and hand-pumps. This school is sheltering more than 450 displaced people who have made the various classrooms their homes.

Sheets have been strung between the rooms to try and offer some privacy but inside the classrooms people have nothing. The floors are bare and dirty, the windows broken, and there is no furniture apart from a few blankets. There is not a working restroom in the whole school and nowhere for people to wash.

This school is home to one-month-old Laila who is living here with her sister and two brothers and their uncle’s family. Laila is suffering from scabies and diarrhea as a result of the unsanitary conditions she is living in. She is clearly very ill and I worry about how her family will be able to care for her in such difficult circumstances.

I hope that the clean water and sanitation facilities Islamic Relief is providing will help to prevent further spread of disease amongst other children at the school. But I am also concerned about the many other little girls like Laila who are sick and suffering, but who have no help at all.


  1. message to Helen Mould:
    I am so impressed and inspired with your dedication and commitment to helping the IDPs. How does one volunteer as you are doing? Do you live in Islamabad? I am particularly concerned with the womens' conditions, being in purdah, and lack of health care. Are there many women doctors? How can I be involved "hands-on"? Thanks for your time, hope to hear from you, Marisa (Santa Fe, New Mexico)

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