Posts Tagged ‘capacity building’

Gender Equity Program: ASF develops its capacity for providing better rehabilitation services to acid attack victims.

April 30th, 2013

This capacity building exercise corresponds to a partnership between ASF and Aurat Foundation which aims at ensuring that acid and burn survivors avail quality services to rebuild themselves after the attack.

The capacity building cycle focuses on improving the following rehabilitation components: legal counseling, psycho-social, socio-economic.

To this effect, the following steps were followed for each component:

- opening meeting

- need assessment

- production of training material/SOPs

- training delivery

- final assessment.

You can share ASF-Pakistan journey for this process via photos below….

Presenting the consultant for legal counseling services

Sharing views

Presenting the psycho social work

An example of one to one meeting for the need assessment related to socio-economic suport of survivors.

A Press Article After Media Training.

July 25th, 2012

Acid and burn victims: Sensitised questioning and permission beforehand hallmark of ethical reporting

Published: July 23, 2012

Journalists get trained on how to better report on acid, burn crimes.

ISLAMABAD: For ethical reporting, journalists must make sure that the acid and burn crime victims they are interviewing are willing to be interviewed and/or photographed and are comfortable with the questions being asked.

This was said by Action Research Institute Executive Director Zaigham Khan, who was leading a training workshop for journalists on effective reporting on acid and burn violence in Pakistan. The other trainer at the Saturday’s workshop was ASF President Valerie Khan. The training was organised by the Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF), a non-governmental organisation.

In addition to being briefed on ethical behaviour while dealing with acid and burn victims, journalists also had the opportunity to interact with three acid burn victims, Safia, Shagufta and Sidra.

The young women shared their horrific experience of acid violence as well as how ASF helped them regain a semblance of their normal life.

Safia from Multan was only six months old when some people involved in a land dispute with her father broke in to her house and threw acid on her and her mother as they slept.

Safia says she has been getting aid from ASF since she was eight-years-old in the form of support and medical operations.

“I have gone through three operations so far, two on my eyes and one on my nose,” she said.

Thirty-year-old Shagufta from Muzaffargarh — a district with a high incidence of acid violence — was burnt by her husband three years ago.

In a bid to kill her and remarry, he threw burning oil on her, leaving her with burns on her body and part of her face.

She has been under the care of ASF since then. However, the numerous painful operations she has had to undergo are taking a toll on her. “I feel like the operations will never end,” she said.

Participants were given copies of the Acid and Burn Crime Bill 2012 so that they can better understand the crime.

They were also asked to join the Working Group Against Acid and Burn Violence (WGABV), a civil society group committed to the eradication of burn violence, defending its victims and generating awareness.

Earlier, Valerie Khan noted that the media’s role is central to raise awareness about the prevalence of acid and other burn crimes, as well as sensitising the public and government to it.

“We try to cooperate with the media as much as we can,” she said.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2012.

Food for thought…

May 27th, 2012

Quoting Dr Charles Viva in his 9th reconstructive surgery

workshop closure speech: “We need to remember that it is

never a one man’s work, it is a team work. We need to

remain humble, and never forget: the most important

person is the PATIENT”…

Event Report: Sister Bilquees, In-Charge Of ASF NCRU Participates In FPAP Training On Gender Based Violence,

July 10th, 2010






Rahnuma started serving poor and marginalized people of Pakistan as the Family Planning Association of Pakistan (FPAP) way back in 1953, as one of the pioneers in providing family planning services and advocating for the small family norm. The government later embraced the cause by establishing the Ministry of Population Welfare in 196-. In about a decade, Rahnuma -FPAP had grown up from one-room operation at Karachi, Lahore and Dhaka to an infrastructure of district branches with model clinics and information centers extending the message to men and women. It expanded its work through community based infrastructure by establishing the family welfare centers in urban and rural areas. Now the organization has the biggest infrastructure by an NGO in Pakistan, which consists of the Family Welfare Centers, Family Health Hospitals, Focus Area Programs and a wide network of referrals from the private practitioners. Rahnuma – FPAP has also pioneered in the concepts of social marketing of contraceptives, family welfare centers and reproductive health services.

Rahnuma has been working on various innovative programs to increased access of people to quality and affordable health services, advocate for a right-based agenda, empowering the communities, especially the women and young girls, and strengthen the civil society in Pakistan. To meet these ends, the organization widened its scope to cover sexual and reproductive health of the whole family as an offshoot of organizational concern for the total well being of women, children, families and communities, after the 1994’s International Conference on Population and Development, in Cairo. Rahnuma is also working on its poverty alleviation program, as the health and wellbeing of people is directly linked with the socio-economic conditions.
As the organization has celebrated over fifty years of momentous achievements and encouraging history, its name did not reflect the scope of its work. So FPAP renamed itself to ‘Rahnuma’, which means a guide for development and prosperity. The change in name and logo was an outcome of a management review, in which a comprehensive analysis of management and human resource was done to enhance the organizational capacity for meeting its development agenda and serving the communities in a better way. Currently, Rahnuma is working on its strategic framework of 5 A’s that include: Adolescents and catering to their needs; combating HIV/AIDS; minimizing the risk of unsafe Abortions; increasing Access to services, particularly for the poor and the marginalized; and Advocacy for the Rights.

Rahnuma – FPAP to lead a right based movement using the ICPD holistic development paradigm which strengthens family well being, enables empowerment of women, supports youth and protects children.

Rahnuma – FPAP is committed to :-

  • Promoting Family Planning and Sexual & Reproductive Health as a basic human right.
  • Providing sustainable and quality sexual & reproductive health and family planning services to men, women and youth in partnership with government, NGOs and civil society.
  • Improving the quality of life of the poor and marginalized.


Holding of two-days training for Service Providers (LHVs/LHWs) at Muzaffarabad Azad Jammu and Kashmir for “Institutional Strengthening and Awareness Raising to Combat Extreme Forms of Gender Based Violence against Women (particular in Burn Cases)”

Project on Gender Based Violence was started in May 2009 in the Districts of Muzaffarabad, Bhimber, Bagh and Mirpur of AJ&K, Gujrat ,Gujranwala and Sialkot of Punjab while Mansehra and Abbottabad of N.W.F.P., with financial assistance of United Nation Office for Project Service(UNOPS).

The purpose to conduct the Gender Based Violence (GBV) Screening training is that the service providers are involved in the protocol development process because routine screening may require changes to patient flow or clinic procedures, and because providers are ideally positioned to judge whether the protocol will be feasible and efficient. In this regard, two-days training of Service Providers (LHVs/LHWs) was held at Muzaffarabad AJ&K.


Identifying, strengthening and improving the implementation of the existing legislation with the help of LHVs/LHWS and other medical experts and to enable them to record the statement or the dying declaration of the burnt patient. In case the patient or the family cannot register a FIR. and give acid burn survivors access to comprehensive rehabilitation services, to guarantee & safeguard their basic human rights in line with the Constitution of Pakistan and International Conventions such as CEDAW, CRC.



The DHO Muzaffarabad gave a welcome speech to all the participants in which he not only explaining the agenda of the screening meeting & the role of participants but also encouraged them to continue showing interest.

Dr. Anjum gave a detailed introduction and explained the tasks of everyone. Participants were assigned partners who they later introduced. He also distributed stationery and relevant accessories which signified strong social messages such as ‘’Zero tolerance against violence’’.


Ms. Asiya Parveen, National Project Manager, explained the purpose and the expectation that the host team had. She also briefed the participants about sec 174 (A) which informed them about the new law change stating that a Grade 17 Medical Officer can in the absence of a police officer, record the statement of the patient. She showed a case study regarding two victims and asked us what possible psychological effects the violence may have caused. She also explained that FPAP with the support of UNDP UNOPS DFID Gender Justice & Protection (GJP) Project title ‘Gender Based Violence’ is in the process of sensitizing medical staff to record the dying declaration of a burn patient under the existing legislation.

Dr. Asma Hasnat explained about the possible health outcomes of gender based violence and the emergency management of such reports.

Dr. Anjum and Dr. Asma conducted an activity in which ten participants were selected and given roles to present a scenario of violence and the problems attached to it. Rest of the participants were asked to identify the problems in relation to crimes related to Gender Based Violence and Domestic Violence.

They also displayed a Hope Tree on the Notice Board in which all participants had written down their hopes and expectations for the eradication of all forms of violence.

We also discussed the risks attached to helping survivors of gender based violence and how we can overcome these risks.

In the end there was a question-answer session taken by UNDP Representative, Mr. Zishan Ahmed and certificates were awarded to all participants.


  • Patients’ confidentially and privacy is of vital importance.
  • Sensitized about the new legislation and responsibility of medical officers.
  • Responsibility of service providers.

BBC news : Dr Charles Viva, Dr Hamid Hassan From BBH, Acid Survivors Foundation, A Joint Effort.

April 14th, 2010


Page last updated at 07:15 GMT, Tuesday, 13 April 2010 08:15 UK

Pakistan acid victims rebuild ruined lives

By Orla Guerin
BBC News, Rawalpindi

Acid attacks on wives ‘at all time high’

At four years old, Gul-e-Mehtab already knows what she wants to do when she grows up.

This little girl, whose name means “moonlight flower”, wants to be a doctor in order to heal her own mother, Manzoor Attiqa.

“She says: ‘Mama when I grow up, I will become a doctor. I will treat you, and then you will be perfect’,” Manzoor says, with a proud smile.

Twenty-two-year-old Manzoor is a patient in surgical ward 10 in Benazir Bhutto hospital in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi.

Manzoor Attiqa

Manzoor says the attack followed a row over doing the dishes

The ward is a cluster of women in brightly coloured shawls, who share the same scars and the same trauma. All have been attacked with acid.

There are no reliable national statistics, but campaigners estimate that there may be as many as 150 victims every year.

It is an intimate crime – often carried out in the family home, by husbands or in-laws.

Manzoor’s attack followed a row over doing the dishes.

“It was seven o’clock in the morning, and I had just finished making breakfast,” she says.

“My daughter was crying so I picked her up, but her grandmother said: ‘Leave her and wash the dishes.’ I told her that I would wash them, and that we had the whole day ahead of us. After this, they started beating me. I was unconscious for four or five days. I woke up in hospital in Lahore.”

While she lay unconscious, Manzoor was drenched in acid. It devoured her lower lip, neck and shoulders and left her chin fused to her chest.

But when she speaks of the in-laws she blames for the attack, there is no bitterness. In spite of her injuries, and her suffering, she says that she has forgiven them.

“They are like my own mother and sisters,” she says. “I just pray God shows them the right path, so they can’t do this kind of thing to anybody else. I forgave them, so that they could realise they did wrong.”

Get the sellers

When we meet Manzoor, she is about to have her sixth surgery – performed free by a group of Pakistani experts, and British volunteers, led by plastic surgeon Charles Viva.

The retired NHS doctor, with a snow-white walrus moustache, has spent decades treating the poor around the globe, including many victims of acid burns.

Charles Viva, plastic surgeon

Retired plastic surgeon Charles Viva has treated many acid burns victims

“I feel very passionately angry about this because God has made us whole, and for somebody to do this causes a lot of distress for the patients and their families,” he says. “We do what we can to give the women back their dignity.”

In Manzoor’s case, this means grafting skin from her leg on to her neck, so that she can lift her head fully.

Mr Viva wants action against those who sell the acid, not just those who throw it.

“I think we need some very strong deterrents to prevent this happening,” he said.

“I think it’s essential that the government and the authorities should target the people who perpetrate the crime, and those who supply the acid. They are just as guilty for giving the acid.”

Two hours later, Manzoor is back in ward 10. Her surgery was a success, but it won’t be her last.

‘It didn’t end my life’

Opposite her, in bed nine, Saira Liaqat is recovering from her latest operation – her 18th. Her face is still bandaged,already she is sitting up, supported by her mother, Gulshan.

A medical file rests at the end of the bed, with photos of a striking girl in a gold headdress. That was Saira seven years ago, before she was attacked.

Saira Liaqat, after surgery, supported by her mother, Gulshan

Saira Liaqat was attacked several years ago, but has plans for the future

Acid has erased any resemblance to the pretty girl of the past, but it has not crushed her spirit. Since the attack, she has trained as a beautician.

“I want to own my own beauty parlour,” she says.

“I want people to say ‘that’s the girl who suffered and didn’t lose hope’. I want to support my parents as well as a son can. I want to show that person that even though he threw acid in my face, it didn’t end my life.”

Saira’s husband is still on trial for her attack. If convicted, he could get between five and 14 years. Gulshan wants an eye for an eye.

“He should either get the death penalty, or have acid thrown in his face, so he knows how it feels,” she says.

“The law is weak in Pakistan. If criminals like him are given a tough punishment immediately, then nobody will do this kind of thing.”

Campaigners are calling for the introduction of life sentences. They say that while Pakistan is finally waking up to this issue, there is still a long way to go.

“At the highest level, people like the chief justice are taking acid violence very seriously,” says Valerie Khan of the Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF), which helps many of the victims.

“In the past six months, we are seeing higher sentences being handed down. But the vast majority of women are unable to even register a case. And police are still turning a blind eye, due to corruption and social pressure.”

While she slept

One of many still waiting for justice is 23-year-old Naseera Bibi.

She is friendly and talkative, in spite of her debilitating injuries.

The acid thrown in her face, while she slept, ate through her nose and both of her eyes. She believes her husband was the culprit.

I’ve learnt how to knit sweaters and my children are back with me. I can’t just sit around and lose hope
Naseera Bibi

She says she heard his voice next to her, as the acid melted her skin, telling her to say it was someone else.

“I started screaming. Then I heard my husband telling me whoever asks you who did it, just say it was Javed. I told him that I haven’t seen anybody. He kept insisting whoever asks you, just say Javed did it.”

Naseera’s main concern now is how to provide for her children, without her sight.

“I’ve been taken to about 10 doctors, but there doesn’t seem to be a chance of restoring my eyesight,” she says.

“I’ve been very upset about this, because I have become a burden. But the ASF sent me to a school to study. I’ve learnt how to knit sweaters, and my children are back with me. I can’t just sit around and lose hope.”

Like other acid attack survivors in ward 10, Nazeera has been robbed of her looks, but not of her courage.

She has two dreams for the future – to send her children to school, and for her attacker to be punished.

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