An intricate hand-knitted shawl from an 87- year-old Gorbals lady will be used to keep an infant survivor of the floods, alive and warm in the encroaching winter in North West Pakistan.
Islamic Relief’s Habib Malik collected the shawl from pensioner Isa Barr on Monday 4 and said he, personally, will take it to a child in Pakistan.
Isa, who began the Gorbalites Club for the elderly 10 years ago, had donated the shawl to a local jumble sale organised by Anna Malone. The jumble raised over £1500 but Anna thought the quality of Isa’s knitting set the shawl apart for a special mission.
Habib Malik is head of Islamic Relief Scotland, a charity that sends emergency aid teams to disaster areas worldwide. He has already been to Pakistan twice since the floods and will go again in two weeks, taking Isa’s shawl with him.
Habib said: ‘Someone like Isa is making a massive contribution because she is giving from her heart and feels the pain of others. The people who receive her shawl will thank her.’
Isa herself is happy to be able to help. She said: ‘The shawl looks like a spider’s web. It’s great that it’s going to a needy child. If it keeps a baby warm, then I am glad.’
Anna, a humanitarian worker who has spent time in Bosnia and Romania, believes Isa typifies the giving spirit of the Gorbals. Said Anna: ‘The people of the Gorbals brought an incredible array of stuff for us to sell. Three local newsagents raised over £1000 for Pakistan through collecting cans on their counters. And, through another local Gorbals person, bank Santander has agreed to match the total amount raised by both efforts making the final donation to Islamic Relief £5000. This was a great effort.’
Said Habib:’There are no words to describe the suffering. This began as a natural disaster but has become a man-made disaster because the world is watching and not responding. However, the Scottish community as a whole has understood the scale of the disaster. Of the £10 million given to Islamic Relief in the UK, £1 million came from Scotland’
As well as the white shawl, Isa also donated a box full of hand knitted children’s cardigans. She plans to keep on knitting for the children of Pakistan. Follow the ongoing relief operation on website: www.islamic-relief.org.uk/Pakistan_Floods.aspx or contact Habib personally: www.habibmalik.com/
The Gorbals community is asking for clothes, toys, bric-a-brac, unwanted gifts and jewellery for a jumble sale on Saturday 18 September. All proceeds are to go to the Pakistan flood aid effort.
The fund raiser is being arranged by Anna Malone, a former humanitarian aid worker who made many trips to war-torn Bosnia, and narrowly avoided death there when a van she was travelling in fell from a cliff.
Anna is being helped by Glasgow based Islamic Relief, a charity that sends relief teams to areas struck by disasters. The jumble sale will be in St Francis Church Hall and Anna is asking for people to look theirl cupboards and boxes to find items that can be donated. The items should be left at the hall on Friday 17 September, the day before the sale.
Anna launched a similar initiative after the Tsunami that ravaged Asia. ‘We raised £1700 from that event,’ she told the LOCAL NEWS. ‘Hopefully we can raise even more this time. What has happened to all those people in Pakistan is awful. The community of Gorbals cares and we want to help. Please, look all over, in cupboards, in your garage and in your loft for unwanted things to donate”.
According to the United Nations (UN), the floods in Pakistan have affected 17 million people, leaving 5 million homeless. With thousands already dead from these exceptional, seasonal monsoon floods, experts say this number will only rise as conditions worsen and health levels diminish.
On Thursday 26 August, a UN spokesman said the international aid effort has already raised nearly $1 billion, ‘a reasonable response, but we certainly need more’.
Every little counts, so donate as much as you can!
Remember, drop off your unwanted goods at St Francis Church Hall off Cumberland Street in the Gorbals, on Friday 17 September and then go back the next day for the Jumble Sale and spend your pennies buying other people’s unwanted treasures. The sale starts at 1pm!