Alone, we can do so little……..

Introduction:

This blog is being written in the context of Donations Campaign for Edhi Foundation. The Edhi Foundation is a non-profit social welfare organization based in Pakistan. It was founded by Abdul Sattar Edhi (Late).

We all are deeply impressed by all that he has done in the Spirit of Humanity. Also, we feel pleasure to have the opportunity to contribute to Abdul Sattar Edhi’s project through Amal Academy.

Abdul Sattar Edhi Late. Picture Credit: Edhi Foundation Website

Donations campaign was a part of our fellowship at Amal Academy. Amal Academy Career Fellowship is a program devised for grooming higher education students and teaching them leadership as well as communication skills. To know more, you can visit the Amal Academy Website.

So, here in this blog, we (a group of 6) shall be sharing our experience related to funds collection from individuals (including family and friends) and community or business centers.

“The value of life is not in its duration, but in its donation. You are not important because of how long you live, you are important because of how effective you live.”

Myles Munroe

Ata Ul Mohsin

The experience of funds collection for the Edhi Foundation was not so good for me at the beginning of the campaign but it improved with time.

Beginning:

I contacted all of my contacts for donations but I was not getting a response from any person. On top of that, I was already expecting such a disappointing response from my close contacts and family members. It was a disheartening situation for me and was expected due to my pessimistic nature.

So, I shortlisted my contacts again and contacted them over calls. Most of the family members and persons I contacted were hesitant about donations. They were not willing to donate to a social cause. Many of them were excusing that they are already contributing to different social causes. Some of them believed that it’s the end of the month and they don’t have enough money for donations. I cleared their confusion and tried to convince them. Also, I briefed them about welfare projects of the Edhi foundation. For those saying it is the end of the month, I contacted them at the start of the month and a few of them donated as well.

Challenges:

Hesitation and procrastination was the most important challenge I faced & the only solution I found was to contact and remind them again and again. I used to contact all of my close contacts on WhatsApp after a day or so for donations. That’s how I was able to convince some of them to donate.

Another challenge was that many of my contacts were not have any mobile banking apps so they were not sure of how to donate. The solution was very simple. I collected the amount from them and sent screenshots of donations to them. The purpose of sending screenshots was to make sure that the money they donated is transferred to Edhi Foundation.

Learning:

The experience at the end was great for me. My group members were very helpful and cooperative and they mentored me that if people are not donating, it is not the end of the day. Also, it was already mentioned in our project work that the key learning from this project is about accepting failure.

“Giving up is the only sure way to fail.”

Gena Showalter

I learned that we should not accept failure which I was about to. With the help and support of my group members, I was able to cope with this. We should always keep trying till the last moment.

Credits: https://quotefancy.com/quote/881862/Oscar-Wilde-Life-is-a-great-disappointment

Izza Haider

Experience in convincing people

The donation collection experience was great for me. The experience of doing something for humanity was overwhelming, for the first time in my life I did fundraising. Convincing people for fundraising was a pleasure for me, However, to some extent, it was a difficult task. Some people ignored the texts/posts regarding Donations and funds, so it was difficult to convince such people. From the overall experience of this donation collection activity, I found personal comfort. I decided that further, I will continue this activity, Insha Allah. Thank you Amal for allowing me to do something for humanity.

Engaging People

At first, I tried to convince people in the group to donate. Most of the people ignored the messages and Status regarding funds collection. So, it was difficult to convince them in a group. Everyone used to show that this message is not for him, so I contacted everyone separately. This technique proved to be very helpful for me and people start paying attention and are convinced to contribute, depending on their budget.

Challenges

Due to an online payment system, I faced some challenges, not everyone on my contact list had the idea of ​​online payment. Due to covid, I couldn’t meet everyone personally and take donations in case of cash. Some people hung up saying that there is no money in the account so they can’t give donations right now. Some of them told me that they had already donated to another organization. I did my best to convince people with my heart and soul. I did as much as I could. For those who don’t have an idea of online payment systems, I guide them about online banking.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Mursleen

It was hard to convince a few people who were waiting for their monthly salaries to donate anything. We made posts in a group then tried to interact with people individually. First, we started to reach out to people within our circle including family, friends, relatives, and students, etc then further we requested them to support us by sharing it with their contacts so that we can engage maximum people in this activity.

It was not as easy as we thought it would be! People did not want to share screenshots so it was challenging to convince them to share and recall them to donate again and again. They were just saying we will do it tomorrow and then tomorrow again they said we will do it the next day so it was a little bit difficult to contact them again and again regarding funds.

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”

Henry Ford

It was helpful because I experienced this for the first time. I usually think that donation is something that everyone is willing to do by heart so whenever they will get a chance to do that then they will do it easily but after this activity, I realized it’s hard for some people to donate especially in the current situation when inflation is high and everyone is struggling with their expenditures. I failed a few times to convince them but I tried again and I never give up spirit is still there. I’ll try my best!

Manish Kumar Mahato

Being a foreigner in Pakistan, I have always stayed in the hostel of my university. Almost all my friends are also foreigners who stay in my hostel. I tried collecting amounts for the Edhi fund starting from them. First of all, I texted all my friends on WhatsApp about what I was doing and how I was doing. Some of my friends communicated nicely as well. Overall it was not that effective for me, so I decided to meet them in person and explain everything and where their money would go.

Also, my exams were going on so I couldn’t reach out to every student. I told them if they donate even PKR 50 it’s so much. Some of them were ignored but some understood. My bank account was also closed and most of my friends don’t have bank accounts so I was collecting cash from them so that I could deposit it together.

The fund raised by me alone was not that much, but there was surely some collection. I sent the collected amount to one of my circle mates from Amal. He deposited it into the account of the Edhi foundation from my side. It was overall a good experience and I learned how we can help even if we cannot do it all alone. We can always reach out to our friends and family.

Muhammad Soban Anwar

Collection of funds for Edhi foundation has not been an easy task ever. Most of the objections that we receive from our friends and fellows are following:

1- You are not an employee of Edhi Foundation.

2- It seems that your given account number is of some person and not an official Edhi Foundation number.

3- You are working for an NGO which is not registered in our university.

4- You have no official permission from university authorities to collect funds from us..

5- We don’t have jazzcash or easypaisa account so we cannot deposit our donation.

6- Your method of donation is completely online and we are not trained enough to use online methods to pay.

As i am a university student, the above-mentioned four objections i received from my university fellows. When i approached general public and business community for fund collection, i faced many stereotypical denial responses.

1- We are always funding to different organization at our disposal.

2- Edhi Foundation helps people without discrimination of their creed which is not proper.. We as a muslims can donate our money only to our muslim brothers. Edhi helps other minority groups and consider them as equal as other muslim destitute which is unacceptable to us.So we can’t fund you.

3-How much you have paid as a donation by yourself..

The one and the most important rejection comment was that we are short of money and unable to meet our daily needs so we cannot donate..

My methods of persuasion:

1-I assured my university fellows that we are collecting funds for Edhi Foundation as a fellow at Amalacademy who has an agreement with Faisal Edhi sb. Very few people were convinced by this argument.

2- I gave contact number and email address of Sir Saad and mam Iqra for further clarification.

3- I showed them that i am not alone in this collection campaign but we as a whole batch are involved in this activity.

4- I tried to convince those who have not online accounts to give me their donations so that i may transfer them from my account.

5- The most important thing that our people lack is the enthusiasm to donate. They don’t find any inner motivation or incentive to donate. I persuaded them that if you donate today even a penny, it will be a great help to our miserable humanity. Allah will reward you in this world and in the hereafter also..

In a nutshell, the whole experience was not completely good or bad. I faced rejection and received little appreciation. I think there is a huge lack of awareness about Edhi Foundation funds decline. We should start long-term campaigns at university and basic public levels. We should speed up this campaign via social media advertisement and meeting with people in our circle especially.

Muhammad Zeeshan Javaid

To accomplish this challenging task, I used a variety of techniques. Since Pakistanis are known to help one another, I thought about how I could get more people to donate to Edhi Foundation. While working on the task, I wished even small sections could participate. It would make everyone feel more comfortable. With a text, I encouraged people to donate 50 rupees to Edhi Foundation. I would like to share that text with you.

Screenshot of a WhatsApp message

Therefore, I kept 50 rupees out of it for people to be at ease participating in it. As a result, many of my friends who are earning good money preferred to give one hundred rupees rather than fifty, and two hundred instead of one hundred and five hundred instead of two hundred rupees. This is how a lot of money accumulated, but it was still less than I expected. I made a video to make people emotional in which I am telling people a short story. You can watch the video. Link to Video

Realize them it’s Just For the Sake of Help

Also, I made another video to reassure people that I am not working with anyone who pays me. So a lot of people who thought that maybe I’m working for an NGO, that’s why I’m doing it, and if they are paying me for it. So it will be clear to them.

Emotional Attachment

To make people realize this, and so to attract them, I read Edhi Sahib’s message in which he says he will never take money from any foreign organization and he will help the Pakistanis with the money they give. I also attached them with some orthodox approaches.

Another Screenshot of a WhatsApp message in the Urdu Language

Alhamdulillah, I am grateful to those who cooperated with us. During this activity, I realized that the AMAL was trying to teach us a lot of leadership qualities. I have learned how to attract people, how to help people, consider their personal lives and their economic circumstances.

Screenshot of a message in which Zeeshan is thanking his friends for Donations

“None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”

(Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him)

Response from Community Centers and Businesses

To complete this project, we also needed the help of two business communities. Several business communities were contacted to complete this task. They stated that they are already helping many needy people in the local area who are suffering from poverty. Also due to Covid-19, they could not donate anymore because due to the ongoing economic situation. After much effort, a business community was found that agreed to provide funding.

Outfitters, a clothing business was approached by a group member and they donated.

Apart from that, we contacted 3–5 Community Centers (Mosques) regarding funds donation for the Edhi Foundation. The reply from religious centers was that they are already in need of funds. So, they cannot donate.

Conclusion:

Ranging from hesitation to financial constraints, we have tried to share our experiences. It is evident from all individual experiences that due to mutual collaboration and support, we were able to contribute a little to the Foundation.

At this point, we can complete the incomplete title of our Blog which is actually a quote.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Helen Keller

Peace!

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Ata Ul Mohsin

Ata Ul Mohsin

Learner for the sake of Learning. Nothing unique, I am just a particle of nothingness. Wondering to know who I am.