Norwegians behind soap initiative for poor Pakistanis

soapFaisalabad, Pakistan.In the village of Sultan Town, just outside the million city of Faisalabad, soap is handed out via the Norwegian foundation LAMS.Photo: Stiftelsen LAMS / NTB scanpix

Income disappeared for the poor in Pakistan when the pandemic closed the factories. Soap and food from the Norwegian foundation LAMS is being distributed in the village of Sultan Town.

Among the village’s 1,500 households, 20 tons of food have been distributed to the poorest, who have experienced major problems following the corona pandemic. In addition, 7,000 bars of soap are being distributed to all the houses in Sultan Town, which is outside the megacity of Faisalabad.

“When we initiated the action, the idea was to help prevent the spread of infection by offering soap and information on hand hygiene,” says Amar Bokhari.

Bokhari, who himself is from Lillehammer, is chairman of the board of the LAMS foundation and heads the company that runs the weaving mill in the village. They also run a school with 700 students.

All over Pakistan, factories and offices were closed on March 23.

In Sultan Town, the weaving mill has paid salaries to its 300 employees even though everything has been closed. But many other poor people who are day laborers are left without money because of the closure.

“We are monitoring the situation closely. The closure is now in its fourth week. The authorities recently extended it by another two weeks, but have given exemption to a number of industries, so that some of the economy can get back on its feet. This means that more people in Sultan Town will eventually have the opportunity to work a little, earn some money and buy food,” says Bokhari.

Individuals, the Kid chain and several organizations have been involved in the collection. The weaving mill and the school are working to make the village of Sultan Town a pioneering village and achieve the UN’s 17 sustainability goals by 2030.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today


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