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EducationIn the Arabic language, the word ‘hidaya‘ means “to lead and to guide.” This is a central theme of the Hidaya foundation as it seeks to perpetually guide orphans and disadvantaged individuals to an educated life.

Since its official launch in 1999, the Hidaya Foundation has participated in solutions to a wide range of global issues: making potable water accessible, planting trees, helping individuals create small businesses and more. The foundation also addresses public health issues through a dissemination of healthcare programs and medical camps to regions where treatments are difficult to obtain or simply not to be found.

Though it participates in many facets of humanitarian work, the principal aim of the Hidaya Foundation is to create educational opportunities in remote and impoverished areas. However, Hidaya’s founder, Waseem Baloch has pointed out that the promotion of education by itself in impoverished regions can be futile without other methods of support. “We realized that when people don’t even have one proper meal, how can they worry about education? Hence we support social welfare and health care as well.” Baloch said.

The Hidaya Foundation achieves its objectives by providing subsidies for orphans, operating and maintaining schools, funding education for impoverished individuals and even providing education courses to adults. In addition, the organization diverts at least half of its resources towards projects that center around agriculture, farming, science and technology.

The “No Orphan Without Education” project provides food, medicine, water and other commodities to ensure that the orphan has to worry about only his or her schooling. The foundation removes all obstacles that could impede the educational progress of involved orphans, and simply requires that the orphan is continuously attending school. All these services are provided based on need with a cost to the foundation of $10 per month for each orphan.

Impoverished students, from primary education to university levels, are able to receive support from the foundation to continue their education. The foundation is currently offering support to over 11,000 individuals. Support comes in the form of tuition fees, school supplies, housing costs etc. The foundation is able to support these students with anything from $5 to $50 a month depending on individual circumstances.

Through funds that are largely received from individual donors, hundreds of thousands of dollars are provided monthly to the Hidaya Foundation’s various humanitarian programs across Africa, Asia, and North America.

Financial support for the foundation has grown exponentially since 1999. In that year the organization fell just short of $112,000 in donations. Six years later, the foundation had raised over $4 million in support of its cause. This rapid growth has given the foundation the ability to begin hiring employees overseas and to develop teams that can respond efficiently to natural disasters when they strike.

Aamir Malik, the foundation’s IT and Advertising Director, and a long-time volunteer for the organization, commented on the rapid success of the foundation, “Donations have increased because Hidaya Foundation has been able to make an impact as it is quick to respond to calamities. Hidaya Foundation always backs up its work by updating the public about what it’s doing.”

The associates of the Hidaya Foundation are very optimistic about the future of the organization. They have confidence that the growth they have experienced will continue, and that they will be able to replicate their efforts in many more locations throughout the world.

Preston Rust

Photo: Flickr