This is part of our annual, series, “14 Days, 14 Stories”, about ordinary Pakistanis who are doing extraordinary things.
Pakistanis are known as one of the most charitable nation. We’ve always been there to help those in need when bad things happen. National tragedies, like the earthquake in 2005, have brought out the most charitable side in Pakistanis. This is precisely how Justajoo was founded – these are people who want to give people their time along with helping them out.
Justajoo is a NGO which works to build a society in which the smiles are evenly distributed between the self-sustaining and the deprived
Their story dates back to 2014 when there were only four college students who had a passion for helping people. And their idea was to take out time and actually put in an effort to help people.
Since students are busy the entire year long, they wanted to choose a time period when people are relatively free and are also pumped up to help people. What month could that be? In the Islamic calendar, Ramazan is the month in which people, out of love and respect, are more generous and willing to help. They chose the month of Ramazan to work in and set up one rule for themselves. There would be no hierarchy in their NGO, the idea was just to build a team ready to help people and not worry about official positions.
Their unique approach has helped them build a team of over 200 volunteers and these volunteers are all college and university students who are invested in the cause of helping others out
What happens during Ramazan is that they collect donations and these donations initially were very time to consume because it takes a lot of effort to convince people to believe in your cause, however, over time the donations now come from 10 to 15 countries.
The donations are then used to buy material for making ration bags and feeding people every day until the end of Ramazan. The team goes out to buy everything in bulk themselves, they pack them up themselves and distribute them themselves. Same is the case with arranging iftaaris they arrange. They do everything on their own. The day goes by in this work and the preparation of the next and only those volunteers are there who actually believe in doing something themselves for the people of the country.
Their network has strengthened over time so much that this Ramazan they managed to collect donations worth Rs. 7 million
They try to reach the most impoverished areas of Pakistan, where civilians generally cannot go. For this, they collaborate with the army to provide them the security they need to reach areas in FATA, Balochistan, and certain areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa too. The reason why they choose to visit these areas is that they have an ideology that says “winning hearts and minds”. According to this ideology, the aim is to show these people that those living in metropolitan centers do care about them and they are willing to come to them to help them out.
Since their network has expanded people still reach out to them in the months that the team is not active. In those months, they try to conduct blood banks and also financially help people that reach out to them.
Taking out time to bridge the gap between people and especially such a gesture coming from the youth of this country is nothing but remarkable.
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For more stories from our series about extraordinary Pakistanis check out “14 Days, 14 Stories”.