Building Bridges over Religious and Cultural Divides (2009-2012)
Journey of Building Bridges over Religious and Cultural Divides started in 2009, when FACES, in collaboration with CCFD-Terre Solidarie and the National Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism (NCIDE), and other partner organizations initiated a youth program among University/College students from Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, to counter issues of extremism and to promote peace, harmony, tolerance, co-existence and acceptance. Considering the present social and economic situation of South Asian region, it is of paramount importance that this potentially productive segment of the society is taken care of and their energies and skills are used in constructive activities. The main purpose of Building Bridges over Religious and Cultural Divides was to raise need-based awareness on acceptance and coexistence, in order to build a tolerant society. The project focused on formation and mobilization of youth clubs to act as ambassadors and volunteers groups to act as community motivation speakers. Apart from this human resource capacities of youth in India, Pakistan, Srilanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan were developed to draft a Charter of Peace. Finally in 2012, a three day Regional Conference was organized in Lahore in which students from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan took part to build peace in the regions. The three day conference encompassed discussions on various topics including violence and non-violence theory and practice in addition to role of media and peace. The conference allowed the students to participate and then share their feedback, achievements and future plans to cascade the message of peace in their respective regions. Now we are continuing this project under Neighbors for Peace to create awareness sessions and most importantly a web portal which is designed specifically to keep everyone connected.
Escalating Flood Risk in Pakistan (2010)
After the floods in 2010, FACES Pakistan and partner organizations started their own relief work. The idea was to provide relief goods to the flood affected people who had either fled their homes and were in relief camps or had managed to flee the waters but had not been able to reach the camps: they were in neighboring areas, wherever they had found higher ground. It was also to make sure that the religious minorities, that is, Hindus, Christians and Ahmadis, who had been left out in many places and had not received aid due to biasness on the part of the aid organizations, were helped. FACES Pakistan gave aid irrespective of religion or any other criterion. The international partners such as Caritas Austria and Caritas Germany contributed the mission of FACES Pakistan to cope up with the flood situation. NCIDE and implementation partner FACES Pakistan decided to focus on four areas: District Nowshera of KPK, District Jafarabad of Balochistan, District Rahim Yar Khan of Punjab and District Kashmore of Sindh, with marginalized mixed communities particularly Hindu and Christian families. The aid they brought was distributed in a systematic way: first they registered each family, gave them a token and told them to show it every time they were given aid. Other than arranging mobile medical camps, items such as tent, charpai (sleeping cots), bed sheets, floor mats, water cooler, mattress hand fans, mosquito nets, hygiene kits and food items were distributed among the flood affected. Relief goods were distributed among more than 3500 families and medical camps facilitated almost 4100 families in the targeted areas.
Rehabilitation, Shelter and Livelihoods in Kashmore (2010-2011)
From October 2010 to September 2011 Faces Pakistan with the collaboration of Caritas Austria focused at providing shelter and livelihood opportunities to indigenous people of UC Haibat, District Kashmore. For this purpose agriculture input were distributed to 1025 small farmers of Kashmore. The input included fertilizers, seeds and hand cash grant for hand tools. To provide long-term rehabilitation, 525 one room core shelters were constructed for 525 affected families in the targeted areas of the districts.
WASH Promotion Project for flood affected mixed religious communities in UC- Haibat, Sindh (2010-2011)
Health is a major issue in disaster struck areas as the unhygienic conditions often become the cause of various diseases, thus affecting the health of the community members who are already facing a number of other challenges. In case of flood and heavy rains, water standing on the roads and in the streets often becomes the cause of vector and water borne diseases and exacerbated by poor sanitation conditions. From January 2010 to September 2011, FACES Pakistan took an initiative to rehabilitate flood affected mixed religious communities in UC-Haibat, District Kashmore of Sindh and constructed 525 Wash room and 427 septic tanks for 525 families. A total of 1575 beneficiaries of the targeted area received SODIS material for treatment of water during the trainings organized in targeted villages. To provide long-term and sustainable solution against water borne diseases, 1575 villagers including children were trained on sanitation, hygiene and on use of SODIS.
Peace Networking Campaign (2011-2012)
From November 2011 to October 2012 Faces Pakistan conducted Peace Networking Campaign Project which aimed to bring interfaith peace and harmony amongst different faiths within the Muslim community as well as outside it. The approach used in this project was holistic, participative, consensual and national with a cascading effect to grass root levels in the districts. It recognized the importance of support of the like-minded organizations, media and youth as catalyst for peace. In this regard, FACES Pakistan took the initiative to promote peace and harmony amongst different religions of Pakistan by starting a dialogue between interreligious communities of Pakistan. Under this project, training sessions and peace activities were arranged for peace development and youth formation in 36 district of Punjab. FACES Pakistan further defined the area of work by designing a cluster map of religious institutions through GIS in all over Punjab and developed a peace curriculum for all religious institutions which they can follow in their institutions. For better implementation of the project, FACES Pakistan established Peace and Harmony Network Pakistan (PHNP) consisting of notable religious personalities from all religions existing in Punjab province. The membership of this network is now growing day by day.
Rain/flood Emergency Appeal for the people of District Badin, Sindh (2011-2012)
Unprecedented rainfall during monsoon of 2011 severely affected the southern districts of Sindh Province with Badin as one of the most affected areas. Under this project, FACES Pakistan with the support of Caritas Austria and Caritas Germany, distributed NFIs, hygiene kits and food package to 1000 affected families of district Badin from September 2011 to March 2012. The Non-Food items included: tent, floor mats, water cooler, mattress, hand fans and mosquito nets which provided them better drinking water facilities and protection from harsh climate and diseases.
Emergency Relief for the Rehabilitation of flood affected families in District Badin, Sindh (2011-2012)
FACES Pakistan is committed to promoting sustainable and long term development of disaster struck areas. The flood of 2011 caused damage to crops, infrastructure and human settlements compounding the damage of the previous disaster (2010 floods). The floods claimed many lives, most of them women and children. The number of lives lost due to the floods was increasing due to the outbreak of disease along with food shortages. Aid organizations had not reached most of these areas and the plight of the affected was worsening. FACES Pakistan conducted in-depth assessment of the most affected areas to direct the prioritization process and target assistance. In collaboration with Caritas Germany, FACES Pakistan provided transitional shelters to 1000 families of 25 selected villages of UC Tarai, District Badin, Sindh.
Active Citizen Youth (2011-2013)
This project was initiated by FACES Pakistan with the collaboration of the British Council, with the aim of promoting tolerance among the different religious groups who do not share the same beliefs and lifestyle as each other. The trainings ensure that the versatile youth of our country gets a platform to sit together and reconcile their differences in a civil and peaceful manner through healthy talks. Active Citizens had four dimensions: dialogue and social participation, locally and globally. From July 2011 to March 2013 FACES Pakistan conducted capacity building trainings and Training of Trainers to encourage youth participation in social uplift through various activities and workshops. The participants were educated about understanding one’s identity and culture and being proud of it and ways of sharing it with others. Later they were taught about practical aspects of social actions like leadership and project planning skills. Finally the trained youth initiated different Social Action Projects on their own for various social issues in their local areas. The projects were from diverse areas such as education, vocational training, health and interfaith harmony. FACES Pakistan also forwarded the project proposals of youth and their letters to different donors willing to fund their projects. Through this project, FACES Pakistan has now developed a volunteer network of 5000 young people.
Flood Rehabilitation for the Affected Families of Union Council Kario, Badin, Sindh (2012-2013)
To provide relief to flood affectees in Sindh, in collaboration with Caritas Germany, FACES Pakistan initiated the “Flood Rehabilitation Project” in District Badin. With the help of village Development Committees (VDCs), FACES Pakistan conducted in-depth assessment of the most affected areas to direct the prioritization process and target assistance. In second phase of this project 800 families were provided with transitional shelter, SODIS material including 800 corrugated iron sheet tables and 4800 PET bottles in 7 selected villages of UC Kario, Badin Sindh. In the third phase, the project helped in rehabilitating 595 families of 5 selected villages of UC Kario. FACES Pakistan conducted hygiene session in these villages where 7185 individuals including men, women, boys and girls were also trained to practice SODIS. Moreover, 32 hand pumps were also installed to provide clean drinking water facilities to the local people in these selected villages.
Flood Rehabilitation Project in Badal Khan Sabzoi and Jatoi Chachar Villages (2012-2013)
After the floods of 2010, FACES Pakistan with Caritas Austria decided to implement a rehabilitation project having components of livelihood, shelter and WASH in UC Haibat, Kashmore District of Sindh. This was one of the hardest hit provinces and the population consisted of mixed religious communities/minorities. Other international or local organizations had not paid much attention to this situation and the government also neglected this region during the flood response. In addition the majority of the affected people were women, children and infants (the average family size is 7) which made them more vulnerable. FACES Pakistan facilitated the villagers with 202 one room core shelters, 202 wash rooms and 202 septic tanks and distributed 202 SODIS material among them. Training sessions were organized on SODIS method with 661 males and females of these villages. Trainings were also conducted with 643 males and females to educate them about basic health, sanitation and hygiene practices and their benefits in their daily lives.
House Keeping Awareness session for Marginalized Women (2012-2013)
On 1st April 2012 to 31 August 2013 with the collaboration of US Agency for International Development (USAID), FACES Pakistan initiated a housekeeping training program for 1300 marginalized women of mixed religious communities and underprivileged economic background in five areas of Lahore: Youhanabad, Township, Qadri Colony, Iqbal Park and Charar Pind. They were educated about punctuality, job understanding, interpersonal relationship, personal hygiene and grooming. To further assist them in improving their economic condition, after a successful completion of these trainings, women were placed as housekeeping maids in houses, schools and offices with the help of FACES Pakistan.
Flood Affected Families in Punjab (2013)
South Punjab, District Dera Ghazi Khan was severely affected by the floods of 2013. To provide relief to the victims of this natural calamity through this project, with the financial support of Caritas Germany, FACES Pakistan provided 300 relief packages to 300 affected families. The organization conducted surveys to evaluate the needs related to shelter, food and rehabilitation of the affected people. The packages developed took care of their immediate food, health and accommodation needs and included: Tent, Floor Mats, Water Cooler Mattress, Hand Fans, Mosquito Nets, Food Package, and Hygiene Kit.
Economic Rehabilitation & Empowerment of GBV Survivors (2013-2014)
Gender Based Violence (GBV) against women is one of the most prevalent global human rights violations. The pandemic atrocities committed against women are innumerable, both in the private as well as the public sphere, which know no bounds - transcend all boundaries of caste, religion, race, age and creed. In the light of these issues, Faces Pakistan took a step against this injustice towards females in Lahore. From March 2013 till March 2014, 60 trainings on skill development, life skills, business and entrepreneurship with 734 women were organized for GBV survivors. 163 women were also motivated through 12 sessions with women who are working for the rehabilitation of such victims. Moreover, linkages were also developed with Akhuwat, First Women Bank and Kamata Pakistan to provide them better job and economic empowerment opportunities. The project took into account the long term needs of GBV survivors. FACES Pakistan equipped the women with the required skill sets to make them economically self-sufficient and most importantly to reintegrate them into society in a successful manner. Through this program, FACES Pakistan gave significant focus on evaluating the need for para-legal services and on the facilitations for any development initiative for them. Trainings of 400 GBV survivors were also conducted in the shelter homes to facilitate their economic rehabilitation and empowerment.
Social Action for Conflict Resolution and Radicalization through Religious Institutions in 36 Districts of Punjab (2013-2015)
Since interfaith crisis remains a major challenge to Pakistan, FACES Pakistan and its networking partner, Peace and Harmony Network Pakistan (PHNP) felt the necessity to design and initiate a linkage with other like-minded religious institutions with an aim to develop a strong voice for peace. FACES Pakistan carried out an exhaustive and meaningful mapping exercise in 36 districts of Punjab with the support of Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO). It aimed at identifying those religious institutions which are pro-peace/like-minded and have potential to become a part of a bigger peace network for effective advocacy and to form a unified strategy for peace reforms and interfaith harmony. For this purpose a Memorandum of Understanding MOU was signed with 2774 religious institutions in these districts through which 7871 Madrassas were registered with Pakistan Harmony Network Pakistan (PHNP). The project also ensured registration of 784 religious institutions with Society Act 1860 and Wafaq-ul-Madaris. To further reduce the radicalization, 6527 teachers (Male & Female) of these institutes were trained through 138 trainings and 670 youth were trained as Peace Ambassador. Youth committees were established in each district and for the whole province. These committees were empowered to deal with social conflicts through 88 capacity building sessions with 4400 youth out of which 670 potential youth members were selected for further trainings. These members sensitized another 28388 youth of different religious institutions who then sensitized almost 480000 youth members of different religious institution and communities in 36 districts of Punjab province. The project also integrated value education in curriculum of 2200 religious institutions. Currently more than 7000 institutes from different religions and sects are engaged with FACES Pakistan for promotion of peace and harmony.
Capacity Building Program for Small NGOs (2014)
FACES Pakistan implemented this project as an implementing partner of Greenacre Associates, UK. Through it we enhanced the capacity of around 5000 small NGO’s in all over Pakistan from January 2014 till July 2014. We provided them training on Governance, Financial Management, and Project Management, Risk Management and Networking and Cooperation. In the first phase FACES Pakistan selected 200 champion NGOs out of 5000 for the next phase. In second phase, these selected NGOs were given specialized trainings of Governance & Advocacy, Project Management, Report Writing and Financial Management from August 2014 till December 2014. Every champion NGO was allocated with a small network of between twenty and thirty organizations from 1st phase program of 5000 NGO’s. This network was made up of NGOs from the program that have similar activities, and that as far as possible are in local area. Champion NGO was also assigned to deliver refresher course for all small network NGO’s who have already taken generic training of Greenacre Associates. FACES Pakistan helped Greenacre to develop refresher course for upcoming trainings and was also engaged in an online policy document assessment of all 5000 NGO’s.
Rehabilitation Project for Rain/flood affected families of province Punjab (2014-2015)
Caritas Germany and implementation partner FACES-Pakistan decided to cope with the flood situation of 2014. They focused on District Chiniot and District Hafizabad with marginalized mixed communities because they are usually neglected by the government and other relief organizations. Faces Pakistan realized that due to unprecedented torrential rains, the agriculture infrastructure suffered massive destruction, resolved to rehabilitate the flood affected families. Therefore agricultural input was distributed to 214 small farmers of district Chiniot and Hafizabad which included fertilizers, seeds, and urea. Each farmer family received 3 bags of DAP fertilizers, 3bags of urea and 3 bags of seeds. Solar water disinfection (SODIS) kits including PETT bottles and corrugated iron sheets tables were also given to 374 women and men. For its sustainable use, 1100 individual were trained on SODIS method through 44 trainings.
Engaging VIOs at National Level in Post-2015 Discussions (2015)
The purpose of this project was to create a platform at provincial level towards SDGs with special focus on volunteerism by engaging youth, civil society, community and development actors and to build synergy with government counterpart. Under this project, FACES Pakistan organized a Workshop on ‘Role of Volunteerism in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Pakistan’ in collaboration with United Nations Volunteers (UNV) and Ministry of Human Rights and Minority Affairs (Government of Pakistan) in Lahore. The workshop proposed to set up a volunteer network within development forces and to build strong workgroup that can strengthen volunteering activities in Punjab through Provincial Volunteer Policy to support long-term planning for peace and development process under Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). FACES Pakistan has worked with hundreds of volunteers in different regions of Pakistan. In order to manage its volunteer network more effectively, FACES Pakistan decided to develop its Volunteerism Policy. Therefore, consultation meetings were organized to discuss ‘Volunteerism Policy’ with our volunteers from youth and local community residing in Faisalabad, Multan and Rawalpindi. The objective of organizing these consultation meetings was to get in touch with volunteers residing in these particular areas and acknowledged their efforts, and enlightened them about the importance of their role, in bringing to forefront the problems which are propping up at the grass root level. FACES Pakistan also organized Focus Group Discussion (FGD) on Volunteerism Policy in Bahawalpur, Gujranwala and Gojra. The objective behind these FGDs was to take note of the opinions of the community members in a small and safe group and to read their thoughts regarding Volunteerism.
Emergency Relief for 2015 Rain/Flash Flood affected families of District Chitral, KPK (2015)
In 2015 monsoon rains and fast melting glaciers become the major cause of flood and massive destruction in Chitral and took 86 lives. The flood fully and partially damaged hundreds of houses belonging to approximately 85,000 individuals in the assessed areas. The flood also destroyed electricity supply system, micro-hydel units, water supply system, irrigation channels, standing crops, household belongings and livestock. The degree of destruction and poor external support led the communities to encounter another devastation of hunger and starvation. There was a serious risk of waterborne diseases in the region due to non-availability of clean drinking water. With the support of Caritas Germany, humanitarian staff members, volunteers, and members of FACES Pakistan our local NGOs Network monitored the flood situation in district Chitral and selected areas for emergency relief. The primary focus was given on providing temporary shelter (Tents and plastic sheets), food assistance and health services to families/households to eradicate diseases and other ailments. The selection of families for relief and distribution was successfully completed with the help of Village Committees (VCs) and Members of Community. Through this project a total of 230 mixed-religious families were selected for medical, shelter and food and non-food support package.
Winterization in Chitral (2015)
On October 26th, 2015, a catastrophic 7.5 – magnitude earthquake struck Pakistan. Within the province of KPK, it caused massive destruction in the cities of Shangla, Swat and Chitral. Team members of FACES Pakistan, distributed relief goods among the flood and earthquake affected families in Chitral, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. After this horrendous natural calamity, FACES Pakistan accelerated their work and conducted a survey within the areas affected by the catastrophe. According to the survey, more than 200 people lost their lives and 1600 were injured. The findings also revealed that 490 schools and 42,000 houses were either damaged or destroyed. These figure made it clear that thousands of students will be deprived of education and thousands of families won’t have a shelter. After completion of this survey, the team of FACES Pakistan, distributed relief goods according to the requirement. The near approaching harsh winters were prioritized, and therefore, double-ply tents, warm clothes, blankets, food items and hygiene kits were also distributed among the affected families in Chitral.