A NORTH-east charity which launched a fundraising campaign earlier this month to support the victims of the devastating floods in Pakistan has had a fantastic response from the local business community.
Aberdeen-based EMAT (Emergency Medical Aid Trust) officially launched its fundraising appeal to raise £100,000 at a charity auction during a celebration Eid Dinner at Ashdale Hall, Westhill on Saturday (September, 11).
The event raised £23,000 on the night, with Aberdeen based transport giant, FirstGroup, adding to the success of the early stages of the campaign by agreeing to donate £10,000 to the fund.
The fund has also already received pledges from a number of local companies, including Wood Group which donated £3,000, and Talisman. The local community has also dug deep and helped raise the current total to a staggering £73,000.
Last weekend’s event saw attendees mark the end of their period of fasting at the charity dinner where local MP and MSPs Anne Begg, Lewis McDonald and Frank Doran spoke about their communities.
Among the items auctioned on the night were Tiffany vouchers, tickets for a Manchester United home game and a cricket bat signed by the Pakistan team.
Sarfraz Ali, a director of Aberdeen-based property investment and development company, West Coast Estates, will visit Pakistan later this month to distribute the aid on behalf of EMAT. He said: “We are absolutely overwhelmed by the level of support the Aberdeen community has shown us so far.
“It has been an amazing start to the campaign, and we are hopeful that we are well on track to reach our target of £100,000. We are extremely grateful and appreciative of all the support the campaign has received to date and look forward to really making a difference where it matters the most.
“We are currently making the final arrangements for the trip to Pakistan, and the early success of the campaign – including online donations – has been a welcome boost prior to our departure.”
Sir Moir Lockhead, chief executive of FirstGroup said: “Many of our staff from across FirstGroup have expressed their deep sympathy for the millions who have been affected.
“Earlier this month, we donated £25,000 to our charity partners, Save the Children, to assist with its aid effort in Pakistan. We are only too pleased to provide further support through EMAT.”
He continued: “On behalf of everyone at FirstGroup I would like to offer our deepest sympathy to everyone affected by this disaster.”
Says a spokesperson: “More than 1,600 people are believed to have been killed by the floods and up to 20 million inhabitants have been affected by the devastation with entire villages and communities having been washed away.”
Aberdeen-based EMAT (Emergency Medical Aid Trust) was originally established by retired, local businessman, Mr Mian Akbar Ali, in 1999 as an eyesight saver charity.
To date, around 10,000 people have attended the free Cataract and Tuberculosis screening clinics the charity has organised and funded in the Rahim Yar Khan district of Southern Pakistan, where Mr Mian originally comes from. More than 4,000 patients have been successfully operated on and a permanent, specialist eye hospital, funded by EMAT, is scheduled to open in the area next year.
For further information about EMAT or to make a donation to the flood appeal please call 07590 712030 or 07590 712031 or visit www.emat.org.uk.
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