The Beginning . . .
Kashmir Orphans Relief Trust (K.O.R.T) started after the devastating earthquake that happened on the 8th October 2005 in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.
Like most other individuals, we started as a group of friends providing as much aid as possible. In addition to providing general aid, we began collecting financial aid and within five days had collected over £100,000. With this money we bought 300 tents, food, blankets, quilts, medicine and other aid. We then personally flew out to Pakistan and managed to organise eleven trucks to distribute the aid around the worst hit areas of Kashmir. To ensure aid was distributed equally and fairly we helped to distribute it, to the people that needed it the most.
One of the most horrific sites that we could not have imagined or have prepared for was seeing the dead bodies of all ages lying everywhere and many more still being pulled from the rubble.
Akhtar was in the city of Bagh where he was told that a lot of children had been orphaned, as a father himself this hurt him more than seeing the dead bodies, so we decided something had to be done to help these orphans.
After spending seven days distributing aid, we returned to England and decided to contact the government of Pakistan. The aim was to try and get information on how to set up an orphanage, but we had very little luck and ended up back to square one, nowhere.
We then decided to find a building to accommodate up to 200 able bodied orphans and 25 orphans with special needs, within a few days our colleagues and friends in Mirpur (Azad Kashmir) had found a suitable building.
Within two weeks of finding the building, an old office block, we had converted into a home and a school. Whilst the work was going on the building, Akhtar was working very hard with government officials regarding our project and we were finally able to raise awareness for our campaign. Government officials saw first hand what we had achieved up until now and took the matter very seriously from there on.
Akhtar started to employ staff, we had employed a total of 25 individuals ranging from a principal to drivers, we also bought our own Ambulance!
The 29th December 2005 was a day that all of us involved would never forget, our first lot of orphans arrived.
Mission & Objectives
It is our aim that by December 2012 we would have constructed a building which will be able to house 1000 orphans, our own school and other facilities so that we can take on further responsibilities for the orphans of this devastating earthquake.
It's our aim not only to educate the orphans, but to educate any child that has no means of going to school. We believe that education and support of any child is the way forward.
We are very proud to achieve the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy Award. Our efforts will keep continuing with the help of our organisation members and your extraordinary support.
PCP’s role in complementing Government’s development efforts, corporate and diaspora philanthropy research and NGO certification, has been acknowledged in various speeches of the Social Welfare Minister, the Finance Minister, the Prime Minister and the President of Pakistan and is also noted in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper - PRSP (2003; para 5.190 – 5.191). The Centre’s work and programmes are not only in line with government’s agenda of reforms and supplement its development endeavours but are also is in consonance with donors’ country assistance strategies and broader internationally cherished goals enunciated in UN’s MDGs and UN’s Global Compact, outlining the need for synergised and concerted efforts on the part of all the stakeholders i.e Governments, Business and Civil Society.