Wednesday , May 23 2018

A Pakistani woman helping other women

Farzana Shoaib came to Karachi some 18 years ago .She came to the city to help her daughter take care of her young children. But as time passed and things grew more and more pressing for the family, she prayed for an opportunity to arise, where she could work and primarily stay within her four walls.A few years later, this came to fruition. Her neighbour at the time – Fatima – was an elderly lady without anyone to look after her. She slipped and fell in her bathroom, left lying helpless, hurt and hungry for 4 whole days. But hope was given to her in the form of Farzana, who, after her rescue, took Fatima in, where she lived for three and a half years until her peaceful passing. However, it was only when two other women came to her, asking to be taken in too, did Farzana realise the gravity of the situation; she felt deep in her heart that this is what she should be doing. And so, using all of her savings, Bint-e-Fatima Old Home Trust(named after Fatima) was established.At first, Farzana had no intention of taking in more than 5-7 women, and that is how she started off. Yet now, 45 women live in the house converted into Home. The women get the basic amenities of shelter, food and medical care. But most of all, they have a sense of belonging and community, which is most important to them and is also what they enormously lacked. The residents are either homeless or neglected senior citizens who in the absence of caretakers, have been living on their own, and are spending their remaining days in poverty, misery and sickness.The job at this magnitude, although immensely rewarding, does not come without its share of hardships. There are many expenses that Farzana has to bear – gas, water, rent and taxes to name a few – all of which have to be managed with whatever funds are available. “We do not rely on donations, but we are very lucky to survive on what we get from the families of a handful of our residents. Thanks to God, we are able to manage. Of course, not all of the residents have families, and even if they do, not all come to visit, let alone send monetary help. This abandonment, more than anything, is what Farzana finds very disheartening. There are a few women whose families brought and left them here, who are more than able to care for them, but do not.However, Farzana takes great solace in her faith, believing that this is her duty in life. She only desires that elderly women all over are better cared for, and often provides counselling to families in the hopes that they stay together if they can help it. If not, she is always willing to provide them a home. “I am happy for people to learn about Bint-e-Fatima, and I will always provide the best care that I can for Read MOre      

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A Pakistani woman helping other women
A Pakistani woman helping other women

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A Pakistani woman helping other women

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