Construction work on the Dhs15 million Pakistan Centre project is in full swing, having reached halfway of its completion before August 14, 2019. The project has gathered the Pakistani and non-Pakistani diaspora through the innovative ‘Own a Brick’ campaign.
The community project with a number of facilities – from non-for-profit health centre, club, restaurant and others – was launched in August 2016 to raise funds through ‘own a brick’ with a total of 15,000 bricks to own. Each brick valued at Dh1,000 gives every contributing individual a 10-year membership of Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD).
Legendary Pakistani playwright Anwar Maqsood visited and reassured his support for the project. He had twice contributed his time and skills in bringing the community together at the Association.
“It’s a beautiful sight to see a dream come true. As a nation the community came together for a common objective of serving the less fortunate,” exclaimed Maqsood, who will also be contributing his paintings.
A number of corporates and health groups have shown interest in becoming a partner to the upcoming medical centre. Dar Al Ber Society has also signed a memorandum of understanding to generate funds for the healthcare facility.
The catalyst of this project has been the Medical Wing’s free medical camp held on the last Friday of every month at the association.
“We realised that assisting in the medical needs of the community once a month wasn’t enough; there was much more to it. A permanent facility with doctors catering full time is what we envision to serve the community with,” noted Dr Faisel Ikram, President, Pakistan Association Dubai. “We have received half of the required contributions, there is a certain number in pledges and we depend on the generosity of our community members.” Apart from the medical centre, Pakistan Centre will have a health and fitness centre, seminar rooms, business incubation centre, theme restaurant, sports café, children’s play area and a mosque for men and women. It will be a green building.
This year on Pakistan’s Independence Day, UAE’s Minister for Tolerance Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan launched the ‘Junior Brick’. The junior brick is an extension of ‘Own a Brick’ campaign engaging the schoolchildren towards contributing the paediatric services for the medical centre. It is valued at Dh100 and provides a two-year junior membership of PAD.
This year in March, an ‘Own an Hour’ programme was introduced for university students encouraging them to give back to the community. Students are mentored, they practically perform and complete 100 hours of volunteering in line with commemorating Year of Zayed.
In 2016, when the project was launched it was endorsed by the Government of Dubai as an initiative of the ‘Year of Giving’.
“We are the only social club licensed to do health activities and we are very grateful to the Community Development Authority for their unending support,” said Dr Ikram. “The sole purpose of the organisation is social welfare and we urge people to become part of a more socially responsible society.”
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Pakistan Association Dubai. , Street 11b, Oud Metha Road, Bur Dubai , United Arab Emirates