Students Offer Aid

ren mcdermott
Penn Staff Writer
The Penn

Two IUP students are working to offer aid to those who suffered from the deadly earthquakes that hit Pakistan in October. Samrah Humayun (senior/ psychology) and Fatima Mir (junior/ elementary education) began the project Wednesday with one table and the project caught the attention of English professor John Marsden, who then informed Veronica Watson, deans associate in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

From there, the project was given funding as part of IUPs Citizenship and Civic Engagement Initiative.

During the week of Nov. 14, several donation tables will be set up across campus to collect funds that will be given to the AURAT Foundation, a Pakistani relief organization.

Pakistan is a poor country and they dont have the resources to help everyone who was a victim, Humayun said.

It is expected that over 100,000 people could die as a result of the earthquake and the upcoming winter.

The earthquakes occurred Oct. 8 in the northern region of Pakistan.

As of 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, the Pakistani government estimated the death toll to be approximately 87,350 people and many estimate that the total could reach 100,000 when it begins to snow. The mountainous regions of the country suffer particularly hard winters, and with the earthquakes leaving more than 3.3 million Pakistanis homeless, there is a need to get supplies to the survivors as soon as possible.

The UN cited a specific need for medical supplies, food, clean water and shelters. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Oct. 20 that a second, massive wave of death will happen if we do not set up efforts now.

The two students spearheading the relief event said that they started the project because there had been no such effort on campus.

I think that it is important for people in the United States to realize how fortunate they are and to see how much poverty exists in other countries, Humayun said.

There will be tables to collect in Eberly College, Leonard Hall, the HUB, and Folger and Foster dining halls from Monday through Friday.

The two students are still looking for volunteers to sit at the tables and encourage everyone to help.

Donate whatever you can. With the currency exchange, even the smallest amount helps so much, Mir said.