The GoFundMe fundraiser was started in collaboration with Columbia University's Pakistani Student Association. The joint effort aims to raise $14,000 to fund rehabilitation assistance for 57 families in the Pakistani town of Pir Koh. Proceeds will go to the Women Democratic Front, a Pakistan-based nonprofit, according to PPS President and Wharton senior Moomal Ahmed.
The recent floodings in Pakistan, caused by record-breaking monsoons and glacial melt, has affected over 33 million people and is responsible for at least 1,500 deaths, according to Reuters.
“In addition to property destruction, loss of livestock, and widespread deaths, the area is experiencing malaria and cholera outbreaks alongside an extreme water scarcity crisis due to the displacement of people from their homes,” the PPS fundraiser reads.
Ahmed said that the club’s fundraising efforts are important to her and other Pakistani students at Penn.
“It’s a matter of community for me because [Pakistan] is the place that I’m from, it’s where my family lives, and a lot of us, especially Pakistanis here [at Penn], feel the same way,” Ahmed said. “It’s a cause that’s close to our hearts, and so we would like to do what we can for the people back home.”
PPS was inactive for the last year and a half due to COVID-19, when many of its board members were occupied with other projects and endeavors abroad, Ahmed said. The club has since been revived and has taken up several projects, collaborations, and fundraisers to provide aid to Pakistan in light of the recent natural disasters.
On Sept. 9, the organization supported an art show organized by the St. Elmo’s that raised over $1,000 for flood relief in Pakistan. They have also held other fundraisers, raising money to supply tents for people in places where houses have been destroyed.
“There’s the very basic fact of how much material loss or human loss we’ve suffered because of this calamity. So many people have died,” Ahmed said. “So many people have lost their houses, their children, their livelihoods, [and] have had to relocate to another city to start all over again.”