Annual charity bazar: Diplomatic missions team up for philanthropy

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ISLAMABAD
The Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association (PFOWA) held its annual charity bazar here on Sunday, providing diplomats a platform to raise funds for underprivileged segments of their community.
First Lady Samina Alvi inaugurated the bazar held at the lawns of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), where families of diplomats set up stalls showcasing their respective national and cultural diversity.
The MoFA’s flagship event was meant to raise funds to support the families of its low-income staffers in the field of education, health and social welfare.
The First Lady in her address said caring for others made better human beings and appreciated the joint efforts of diplomatic corps for a noble cause.
She expressed satisfaction that PFOWA, founded by its first patron Shaista Ikramullah on the recommendation of Begum Raana Liaquat Ali Khan in 1947, was effectively continuing with the legacy of philanthropy.
She said besides fund-raising, the plurality at the bazar presented a colourful kaleidoscope of arts, culture and cuisine that cultivated bonds of harmony among the participating countries.
Samina Alvi also apprised the audience of her social work of over two decades mainly focusing provision of education and clean drinking water to underprivileged sections of society.
She also highlighted the importance of raising awareness about breast cancer, saying that early diagnosis could save the lives of thousands of women in the country.
Foreign Secretary Sohail Mehmood said it was heartening to see the diplomats along with their spouses joining hands for an act of benevolence.
He said the endeavours aimed at making difference in the lives of underprivileged was the ethos of foreign service.
Earlier, First Lady Samina Alvi visited various stalls set up at the bazaar and evinced keen interest in the unique artefacts from all over the world.
An auction of cricket memorabilia including two bats and two balls signed by Prime Minister Imran Khan was also held, the proceeds of which went to the PFOWA charity fund.
The children of diplomatic staffers clad in traditional outfits took the stage in a ‘Parade of the Nations’ and presented tableaus while waving national flags of their countries.
The participating countries included China, Russia, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, Iran, Japan, Central Asian states, Malaysia, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Yemen and several others.

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