FROK 2016 AGM, Saturday 25th June, York.  Details on MEMBERSHIP Page and on EVENTS page

 


 

'UK Friends of Khwendo Kor congratulates Malala on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize'

FROK was delighted to learn that Malala had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and has sent her its warmest congratulations.  It is remarkable that someone so young should receive such a prestigious award but Malala is a remarkable young woman.  For many years she has fought for the right to female education in her home country, something that many in the Western world take for granted.  When Malala was shot by the Taliban for speaking out, the world was shocked.  Malala's courage and determination to keep spreading her message in the aftermath of the attack act as a beacon for all young women around the world and all of us determined to tackle oppression wherever it occurs; she and the cause she fights for are richly deserving of this highest honour.


Click for latest update on KK’s Humanitarian Response Program



Further Update From Waziristan

KK staff report from the field, July 2014

FROK recently received an updating report from two of the KK staff well known to FROK: Maryam Bibi the CEO and Gul Lalai, Director Programmes who spent time at the University of York last autumn. Maryam made visits last week and Gul Lalai visited this week. They bring deeply moving personal insights and individual stories:

Maryam said: “Today I went to see IDPS in Karak. I met with women and children belonging to four families housed in a rented house. I couldn’t control my tears. Since there were only two young boys with the job of heading all these closely related four families, the vulnerability of women and children was very visible from what and how they were talking to me.

They were complaining about the behaviour of the owner of the house, he has increased the rent twice. They said his wife was also very rude to them as she was telling neighbours that these Wazir people deserve this plight. They said that owner had plenty of water but he stopped its supply to them. Now all four families collectively pay for a water tanker.

Two children were identified with polio. I saw one of them, a one-year-old girl who couldn’t walk. Water, clothes, milk, medicine for eye infection, washing soaps were the items they asked for.

I could clearly see the fear and trauma in their faces and feel it in discussions. I couldn’t stay long due to bad smell of the unhygienic condition in the rooms and courtyard with heat, sick children and women looking at me with helpless looks. They told me they couldn’t bring anything with them and had no clothes and that they hadn’t changed for weeks. It was a difficult experience. Almost all families who have moved to Karak are living in rented houses. KK have decided to organise a medical camp exclusively for diseases prevalent among women and children in Bannu and FR Bannu.”

Gul Lalai said: “My visit was an eye opener. There are so many news coming to Peshawar and Islamabad but the reality is sometimes very different from the news.

Following are some of my immediate reflections:

1. There is very limited coordination among the stakeholders providing relief. Even if the officials and individuals want to improve coordination (and they are trying); the system is not supportive because each department/ institution has its own chain of command and local administration is stuck in all this.

2. IDPs are being registered as IDPs a routine but this requires them to have been previously registered (i.e. as citizens). Most of the people of Waziristan have never been registered because of a tribal setup and this is especially true for women. Hence there are so many unregistered families and they are not getting any kind of assistance. Even those who have their documents and are getting assistance from formal and informal sources, this suffers from lack of coordination.

3. Women are the most vulnerable groups and especially those who are head of households because (a) they don't have their documents and are not registered, (b) they are not mobile because of cultural constraints and hence lack access to assistance (c) even if they have their husbands’ ID cards with them, they do not have "nikah nama" and cannot prove that they are the wives of those men (d) due to multiple marriages by men of NW in most of the cases only one wife is able to get assistance (e) lack of education and exposure to understand the processes etc etc.

4. Most of the children I saw there are suffering from trauma and have internalized the fear, and there is no facility/ opportunity for their engagement which is disastrous.

5. Men and women are also suffering from trauma but this aspect is yet to be considered and addressed.

6. IDPs staying in FR Bannu (especially) do not even know what assistance is available for them as information is so lacking

7. IDPs prefer not to stay in camps but do not know what facility is available there: sometimes the facilities are better in the camps

8. IDPs are living in schools and colleges etc, and there is no alternate arrangement for them if the schools are opened

9. Health is the main concern especially for women and children but most of the time the doctors (especially female doctors) are not willing to go to the areas like FR Bannu due to security concerns. KK is planning medical camps in those areas and some teams have agreed to go. “y76

Gul Lalai went on to describe some of the stories of displaced people in more detail:

Misery shedding from eyes (Image to follow)

The boy was suffering from fever and was not able to speak properly when I met him. His eyes were full of fear. He is the son of a 26 years old women who is married as a second wife to a man around 70 years old.

When the operation was started, he came down to Bannu on foot with his mother and 2 younger sisters, because they did not have money to pay for transportation. It took 2 days to reach Bannu. Their neighbors accompanied them along with their cattle.

According to his mother her husband is still staying in NWA and she does not know where his other wife is. She does not have her national identity card because women in NWA are not supposed to register themselves as citizens, hence she cannot prove to the authorities that she is an IDP from Waziristan and is eligible for assistance.

The woman was issued a receipt when she was entering Bannu via Saidgai check post. The date and particulars mentioned on the receipt corresponds to the story which she is telling, hence she was not lying. It was also mentioned on the receipt that she does not have her identity documents.

Queuing for three days in stifling season (Image to follow)

There were more 500 people queuing outside the food distribution point in Bannu (which is a stadium) on July 13 and 14. These are the people who are officially registered with FATA Disaster Management Authority (FATA), and can access all kind of support provided by the government, which is food items, non food items and cash.

I interviewed people and some of them were in this queue for the last 3 days. They stand here all day, sleep on the same ground in the night and when they are hungry they buy things from venders who sell edibles in the carts around them. The temperature was 37-38 degree centigrade and the sun was shining with full spirits. There is no shade to protect the people from the sunlight and they had to use their head covering (Chadars etc) to cover themselves and others in queue. But interestingly there was a medical camp inside the stadium to cure those who gets sun stroke or eyes problem because of heat.


Leading life in open air (Image to follow)

The boy's family used to keep cattle at home for livelihood. When the operation started they came down by foot to Bannu because vehicles were not available to transport their cattle.

The family consists of extended family members of 45 individuals who have never been out of their area. Therefore they do not have friends or families or other contacts in Bannu to stay with. But even then they are not staying in camp, partially because they have to take care and provide for their cattle (and in camp they would not be able do it), and partially because they think camp is not culturally appropriate and safe for their women. Therefore they have occupied an open space in Bannu and have made sheds for them. They are registered IDPs and are getting food items but as they are staying on their own in an open space, they have to sleep either on bare ground or on a cloth on the ground. Nobody is providing tents and mats etc, because government thinks the people in need of shelter would live in tents.

The boy has just come to arrange some medicines for his sick buffalo and is facilitated by a help desk established by agricultural university. People are worried for the fodder for cattle because Bannu district doesn't have the capacity to cater to all the cattle population which accompany the IDPs.

FROK has already sent £4,000 to KK and thanks everyone who has donated so far. There is still chance to donate if you haven’t already done so.

To donate:

    1. Via the FROK Just Giving website - www.justgiving.com/frok/ - please indicate that your donation is for the Waziristan Appeal and whether you wish it to be a Zakat donation.

    Donate with JustGiving

    2. Via the FROK website www.frok.org.uk, and follow donation instructions, again indicating that  your donation is for the Waziristan Appeal and whether you wish it to be a Zakat donation.

    3. By texting to 70070 ‘FROK10£[number of pounds from 1 to 10 as you choose]’

    4. By making out a CAF or other cheque to FROK and sending to Jonathan French, FROK Treasurer, 85, East Parade, Heworth, York, YO31 7YD.  If donating by cheque, please tell Jonathan by letter or email (Jonathanfrench97@gmail.com) if you are UK taxpayer (so that he can reclaim tax) and that you want the money to go to the Waziristan appeal.  Please also tell him if you wish it to be a Zakat donation.


To follow what is happening:
 

KK will be putting up pictures and news on their website – www.khwendokor.org.pk

We will also put a link to this on the FROK website - www.frok.org.uk - and Facebook page by 4th July.

PLEASE SHARE THIS APPEAL WITH FAMILY, FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES – ACTION IS NEEDED NOW!

Marilyn Crawshaw
Chair


Update From Waziristan

The recent influx of more than 400,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from North Waziristan as a result of the military operation named “Zarb-e-Azb” or “Strike of the Prophet’s Sword” which began on 15th June 2014 has made it mandatory for Khwendo Kor to begin mobilizing it’s human resource including volunteer networks and resources to bring emergency relief and aid to the helpless women, men and children who have been forced to flee their cooler homelands and migrate to the hotter plains of Bannu and Karak.

With the advent of the Holy month of Ramazan, it became more imperative to bring aid and relief to the plight of these IDPs. In collaboration and cooperation with other like-minded organizations, civil groups, individual philanthropists and government departments, KK intends to do whatever it can to bring services to these people, be it the provision of food and/or non-food items, health care, shelter, water & sanitation, counseling, addressing women’s and children’s needs etc.

I wish to inform you that we have posted KK’s first announcement regarding its work with the IDPs here.

We hope to update these announcements on a weekly basis as events unfold and progress is made.



URGENT NEWS

Dear Supporters,

We are asking for your help in meeting an urgent appeal from Khwendo Kor (KK).  In brief the Pakistan Government has launched military operations in North Waziristan, a part of the Tribal Areas where KK works and from which, as it happens, Maryam Bibi, KK’s founder and Chief Executive, herself comes. The result is a flood of refugees, no one knows how many, but certainly in the hundreds of thousands.  Their plight is dire, they are moving from the cool of the hills to the stifling heat of the plains, women are giving birth and children are dying of diarrhoea on the roads, public transport is effectively absent, and private transport is iniquitously expensive.  The provincial government of Baluchistan has closed its borders to refugees thus adding to the problems faced by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  According to the Guardian (http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/news/world-news/167033-pakistan-army-north-waziristan-offensive-thousands-flee) the only camp that has been set up lacks food, water and electricity.



However, there is hope. KK is working with a volunteer group in Islamabad which is raising money for them to provide an immediate practical response.  Maryam has been to Bannu, assessing the situation on the ground and developing KK’s plans.  KK is also in active contact with the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, UNICEF, and the disaster management Fund of the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, and is preparing a proposal for the US government aid programme.  They have also been contacted by an influential member of Amnesty International who is in the UK and have advised him to channel any funds through FROK.



The economy and competing demands make this a difficult time for any appeal. There are,however, reasons why we in FROK should respond as generously as we can and ask our friends and families to do the same:

    This is a top priority for KK and a chance for us to show our solidarity with them in their dangerous and essential work

    Money for KK will be put to good use and also increase its credibility and consequent ability to leverage larger funds, and influence others to provide a combined effective response

    KK is already working in North Waziristan which is a particularly dangerous and strategically sensitive part of the Tribal Areas.

    Anything that they do now to help the IDPs in their hour of need can only help to consolidate their base there for the longer term.

    There is little international press coverage of this situation. 

    We know about it and are in a position to give a little help. Surely it is up to us to do so.


To donate:

    1. Via the FROK Just Giving website - www.justgiving.com/frok/ - please indicate that your donation is for the Waziristan Appeal and whether you wish it to be a Zakat donation.

    Donate with JustGiving

    2. Via the FROK website www.frok.org.uk, and follow donation instructions, again indicating that  your donation is for the Waziristan Appeal and whether you wish it to be a Zakat donation.

    3. By texting to 70070 ‘FROK10£[number of pounds from 1 to 10 as you choose]’

    4. By making out a CAF or other cheque to FROK and sending to Jonathan French, FROK Treasurer, 85, East Parade, Heworth, York, YO31 7YD.  If donating by cheque, please tell Jonathan by letter or email (Jonathanfrench97@gmail.com) if you are UK taxpayer (so that he can reclaim tax) and that you want the money to go to the Waziristan appeal.  Please also tell him if you wish it to be a Zakat donation.


To follow what is happening:
 

KK will be putting up pictures and news on their website – www.khwendokor.org.pk

We will also put a link to this on the FROK website - www.frok.org.uk - and Facebook page by 4th July.

PLEASE SHARE THIS APPEAL WITH FAMILY, FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES – ACTION IS NEEDED NOW!

Marilyn Crawshaw
Chair





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