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    Celebrating traditions, being together

    Day 205

    Friends & Neighbors

    I often work with Afghan refugee families in Islamabad. Many of them live together in a settlement that’s not officially recognized by the city, so that means they go without some of the basic services that everyone else has access to – including schools.

    We run a non-formal school inside this settlement to help ensure that kids are not falling completely behind in their education. I actually began my career here. When we started no girls were going to school at all! Now many of them are learning at our school, and I’ve seen them grow right before my eyes.

    Our closeness is special – many of these families have also been traumatized in the past, and they’re not always trusting of outsiders. I now feel privileged to call them my friends!

    One of our special traditions is having an Iftar dinner all together every year. We invite people from the Afghan community and all of our Alight Pakistan staff. The idea is that we get to serve them – they become the guest and we become the hosts! It shows that no matter what, we are a part of their lives, that stand with them, and that we respect them as equals.

    It’s something everyone looks forward to every year! But this year, with the help of 365, we decided to make it bigger and better than ever!

    We asked everyone what they wanted to eat this year because we could expand our menu….we asked the kids especially! Usually, there would be a big plate and people would share that plate and eat. But this year we were able to make individual meal boxes for everyone – they all got their own Iftar box!

    We also made a goodie bag for each kid to take home after the meal – it had balloons, chocolate, biscuits and more fun treats.

    It was such a happy time for all! The experience of eating together, taking pictures together…it’s such a wonderful meal. My heart is so full, helping to create this happiness for them.


    Meet Fatima!

    Fatima works for Alight in Pakistan as a community mobilizer. A big part of her job involves finding new communities to work with, developing strong relationships with that community, and working jointly to ensure that no child is out of school. Her greatest hope is to bring big, positive changes to the people she meets every day, and especially for young girls who haven’t yet been to school. What inspires her most when she works with communities is how welcoming everyone is. She feels like family – she sees these girls like her own daughters, and hopes that they see her as family, too.

    When she’s not out and about, she loves decorating her home, cooking, and hosting people – her next new hobby is to learn how to paint landscapes!


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    Changemakers 365

    by Alight


    The world’s tough problems can seem insurmountable. So at Alight, while we tackle those big problems we also do what’s doable. Right then. And that’s what Changemakers 365 is all about. Learn more!


    Changemakers 365 members give either $30 per month or a one-time gift of $365 (it’s free for anyone who has ever lived in a refugee camp). Join us!

    Let's Connect!