Dubai: Pakistani youth joined hands in Dubai for ‘Gift a Smile’ campaign to make handmade toys as Eid gifts for the orphans in Pakistan.
Over fifty young boys and girls of all age groups came together to mix, match, stitch and stuff toys for the children at Parwarish Home -- a boarding school for orphans in Swat, Pakistan.
In line with the spirit of giving in Ramadan, the event was arranged by the Pakistan Youth Forum -- a wing of Pakistan Association (PAD) in Dubai, to support the less privileged children living and studying at Parwarish Home.
Parwarish Home was established in 2009 after a military operation in Swat left many children homeless. It is supported by PAD and operates through the concept of Parwarish family. Many families in the UAE have adopted a child providing financial assistance and empowering them.
At present, 320 students are getting quality education, and among them 117 are girls.
“Our aim through this activity was to emotionally connect with the gift we are making and instill a feeling of empathy with the kids who have lost their parents” said Nissmah Atif, chairperson of Pakistan Youth Forum.
“These are small Eid gifts from the youth in Dubai to the children at Parwarish Home” added Atif.
The participants were given a cut outs of fabrics of different shapes, they sewed them together, stuffed them with cotton and customized them with additional stuff. In the end a personalized note was written and attached with each toy.
Dr. Faisel Ikram, president PAD encouraged the efforts the youth were making in sharing joys with the less fortunate ones back home.
“This is an innovative exercise that the Pakistani youth is doing by making hand-made toys for the orphan children in Swat. It is heartening to see the youth making a difference in the community with their time and skills.”
Dr. Ikram urged the youngsters to visit Parwarish Home on their next visit to Pakistan as it will open a new world of learning for them.
A number of parents also came along with their children to make stuffed toys. “My sole purpose of coming here was to make these toys for the innocent souls in Swat, these toys might be ordinary for us but they can make an extraordinary difference in their lives” said Humaira Basheer, mother of two.
Every year 25 new students are admitted in Parwarish. An invitation to sponsor students is sent out in the beginning of every year. The annual sponsorship fee is US$1,200. This covers the students boarding expenses, education cost, utilities, health, meals and other daily necessities. All proceeds are sent through Emirates Red Crescent Society. Families who want to adopt a child can contact the Pakistan Association in Dubai.