Sehri Series: Giving back

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So, we posted a Sehri article yesterday and Alea, one of our regular readers, left a very interesting comment. The post dealt with Corporate Social Responsibility and mentioned The Edhi Foundation’s Coca Cola collaboration. Alea, who is always quite insightful, said that The Foundation could have hopped onto the Cola express because after the tragic death of its seminal founder, the organization needed to do something to latch onto the nation’s trust.

This got me thinking. Because of the advent of social media, we are more connected than we have ever been. This means that it has never been easier to share, connect and ask people for help.

Yet, this also means that it has never been easier to get information. When a not for profit goes belly-up, or a particularly shady scam makes the virtual headlines, quicker than ever before we are all tweeting about it.

At the risk of sounding like a defeatist, I’m going to argue that this inevitably means that we have also adopted an air of pessimism when it comes to people asking for help. This is understandable. A highly connected world means that anyone can promote anything. Some of these things turn out to be scams.

But this month is about self-reflection. You have to ask yourself what you can do with your time and money that benefits someone other than yourself. So, I began scouring the internet for people and organizations that you can support, either through your money, or your time and effort. I have purposely focused on smaller voices, because while the internet has the potential to turn anyone into a star yet the popularity contest model that it usually supports can often mean that those of us fighting the good fight yet not having millions of followers often get drowned out.

We should know, as in a sea of online Pakistani media companies, we are very much the non-click-bait pandering little guy. So, here you go, these are three things you can do before the month ends.

 

Volunteer

We have covered Food for Thought in the past, and they deserve some more love. As the name suggests, they try feed the hungry. But their design is a bit more innovative than the quintessential food bank, they try to bridge the gap between excessive food supply in restaurants and excess demand among Karachi’s most impoverished locals. They also hold food drives, and are always on the look out for volunteers. If you happen to be in Karachi, you should definitely volunteer with them. Literally, all you have to loose is some time.

 

Support Ethical Business

So if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I do dabble in fashion. We are working on some great content on that front, so be sure to check back soon. Today, I wanted to just mention the idea of ethical fashion. The business of fast fashion (that is styles going from the catwalk to the cheap store chains as fast as it can) has had negative impacts on the environment. In Pakistan, the same business has also lead to a depletion of cultural heritage and arts. So, I think that when we can we should support brands that are going against this grain. The Dhurrie Project is one that I feel offer a really unique product line (dealing in handbags) and have really embraced adapting traditional dhurrie weaving for modern consumers. I have had the pleasure of interviewing the team behind it and they are lovely. Particularly with Eid coming up you should definitely buy a bag for yourself or a loved one.

 

Reaching Out  

As I mentioned earlier, because of the internet and social media it has become easier to reach out. One good by-product of this is that in the event of a tragedy, should people not be able to help loved ones because of limited resources, they can reach out. This week, Hamza Bangash (who I love) shared a Go Fund Me page for 19-year-old Shariq Jumani. Earlier this month the young Columbia University student was struck by a fast moving car while crossing the street and needs medical attention. The page is managed by his brother, and has amassed a large portion of the needed funds. However, they still need more so if you can, please donate. In these highly pessimistic times, I hope we can trust each other enough to help when it is most needed.

Click Here To Donate to the Page 

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