In Northeast Pakistan, CRS Celebrates a Job Well Done

Pakistan skit

Actors perform a skit related to CRS’ programs for villagers in Kashmir. Photo by CRS staff

In October 2005, a 7.6-magnitude earthquake shook mountainous northern regions of Pakistan. An estimated 73,000 people were killed, and approximately 3.5 million more were left homeless. In this impoverished region, already struggling to develop, infrastructure like roads, schools and universities, hospitals and water systems were also destroyed.

Catholic Relief Services took action immediately, providing more than 10,000 shelters to more than 90,000 people. CRS then opened an office in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and began long-term reconstruction efforts. Over the past four years, CRS in Kashmir has built 27 elementary schools serving an estimated 1620 students per year, and 47 water systems providing drinking water and crop irrigation to close to 50,000 community members. CRS also constructed roads that connect isolated villages to markets and health care; taught villagers about health and sanitation; and enabled 1738 households to earn a living through its livelihoods programs.

Pakistan skit

Participants laugh and applaud during a closing event for CRS programs in Kashmir. Photo by CRS staff

In mid-December, CRS celebrated the successful conclusion of its quake relief efforts in Kashmir, inviting beneficiaries of its programs to an event with speeches, contests and food. “We had some 360 guests from almost all communities we served,” says Niek de Goeij, Head of Northern Operations. “One lady made a 200 pound replica of her community, including CRS shelters, school, link road, water systems, livelihoods and hygiene trainings.”

“Also, actors who used to conduct hygiene theater trainings for us did a sketch,” de Goeij continues. “The funniest part was when two actors lined up saluting as soldiers ready for action the moment a CRS social mobilizer entered their community.”

“We achieved exactly what we set out to,” de Goeij says. “It was a true celebration.”

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One Response to “In Northeast Pakistan, CRS Celebrates a Job Well Done”

  1. Syed Mumtaz Hussain Shah Says:

    it was also a great event for all CRS family, and community. in this event beneficiaries and all of those who link with the progtrams evaluate their work which was done by them during the last 4 years in Kashmir. People of Azad Jammu and Kashmir having smooth feelings for all universe. being a Kashmiri I am also thinkful to world community who took action after great mass distruction in the region. I am proud that I was also the part of the CRS family before the 01 January,2010. I having great memories about CRS operations in the area. In future, it should be possible that I publish thats. I believe that we are living in global village. so we can’t change the world without coopration and soliderty. our work is to promote the humanity in the world with out regard to race, religion or nationality. we will approach to an enlighted, moderate world with peace and prosperity.
    Syed Mumtaz Hussain Shah
    Muzaffarabad AJ&K

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