My name is Safi. I am originally from Afghanistan, but I migrated to Pakistan at the start of the 1980s. I have lived in Pakistan for more than 20 years as a refugee.
Currently, I am the Associate Regional Director for Community World Services Asia (CWSA). I am working on planning and designing programs, communicating with our community and supporting our team.
I first became interested in CWSA’s work when I was a young child, around six years of age. CWSA worked with my family, supporting us during challenging times when we first arrived as refugees in Pakistan. They provided very good health services for us as Afghan refugees in Pakistan. After I graduated from university, the opportunity to work with CWSA came up and being familiar with the organisation for almost my whole life, I had to take this chance to give back.
My experience as a refugee has really shaped how I approach my work at CWSA, I reflect on my experience and how critical this support was during very difficult times.
To think that I am now involved in making this support happen, providing health services and education is such an honour. I am especially proud of our focus to support vulnerable and marginalised people who suffer when we have drought, floods and other disasters.
The health programs stand out at CWSA, we provide services including antenatal and postnatal care, vaccinations and referrals. There are also initiatives to raise awareness about women’s and children’s health issues in the community. Since 2020, we have also played a role in healthcare related to COVID-19 through awareness raising, such as prevention, signs and symptoms and the importance of vaccination.
Health programs, especially relating to women’s health, maternal and child healthcare are especially important here in Pakistan. In Pakistan, women’s health is often not taken seriously enough. Finding women’s healthcare can be difficult for several reasons, sometimes people have to travel long distances and healthcare is very expensive and men, boys and elders’ health is generally made the priority due to cultural traditions.
Thanks to your gifts, with the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP), this work is possible. CWSA continues to support refugees, providing healthcare and medicines to those that need them most free of charge, making them more accessible. As someone who has experienced hardship as an Afghan refugee in Pakistan, this help is critical in supporting the vulnerable in our community.
Act for Peace’s local partner, Community World Service Asia (CWSA), delivers preventative and curative healthcare services to rural families in Umerkot District, Pakistan. The healthcare program prioritises child and maternal health, helping to combat high levels of newborn and maternal mortality by providing vulnerable mothers with access to quality reproductive healthcare services.
CWSA is also working to address the gender gap in education and improve the quality of educational opportunities available for girls in rural areas of Pakistan. Through these life-changing programs, CWSA is taking action so fewer people are forced to flee their homes and helping to ensure everyone has a safe place to belong.
With the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP), this work is possible.
• For refugees facing uncertainty in Pakistan.
• For the CWSA staff, to continue to provide healthcare for women and children, as well as support the COVID-19 response.
• For the safety of the community from natural disasters.