Posts Tagged ‘valerie’

New Documentary, New Adventure…Come And Check!

November 18th, 2013

Please click on this link, you will be amazed…


http://vimeo.com/75087640

Gender Equity Program

September 25th, 2013

Nusrat, an agent of change

Speaking for gender equity after a long journey

Burning Voice

September 23rd, 2013

Interview for Dr Hamid Hassan and La Croix representative

Acid Survivors Foundation always continues with its project Burning Voice as part of its Communication for Change Campaign: our doctors, patrons and partners regularly interact with partners.

It is important as we need 1) better implementation of  criminal law amendment act 2011 and the passage of Acid and Burn Crime bill, stay tuned!

In collaboration with Aus Aid, ASF training stakeholders on criminal law amendment act 2011.

September 23rd, 2013

Training lawyers in Lahore

Training lawyers in Peshawar

Baroness Northover visiting ASF-Pakistan Nursing Care and Rehabilitation Unit.

March 18th, 2013

With ASF team

Looking at photos and checking"before" and "after"

Essential Reminders: Interview With Bahvesh,A Young Blogger And Journalist.

November 4th, 2012

Giving a healing touch to scarred lives..!!

This year’s Academy Awards function held at Los Angeles threw up many little surprises. Among them was a previously little known documentary film which was rewarded for its bravado and the way it tries and instills hope in a rabidly conservative society. Saving Face, directed by Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the movie won the Oscar in the Best Documentary Short category, and with this win, got Pakistan its first Academy recognition. Saving Face tells the stories of two acid-attack survivors: Zakia and Rukhsana, their arduous attempts to bring their assailants to justice, and the charitable work of London-based, Pakistani-born plastic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawad, who strives to help these women put this horrific act behind them and move on with their lives.

However, even more precious little is known about the film’s main NGO partners Acid Survivors Foundation- Pakistan. They are the real heroes who have been earnestly and tirelessly trying to support survivors of acid attacks in Pakistan. In their words ASF-Pak provides medical, psychosocial and legal support to the victims of acid attacks to ensure physical reconstruction and reintegration into the mainstream of the society. A dangerous and horrific crime, acid attack is very much on the rise in our country too and it is thus necessary to laud efforts like these which try and bring about a change in society.

In an exclusive interview to yours truly Valerie Khan Yusufzai, (chairperson of the Acid Survivors Foundation- Pakistan), talks about the way ASF functions, challenges facing them currently and the probable solutions to this vicious crime.. Read on…

Q.1. How and why did you get into working with acid survivors in Pakistan? What bought you into it?
Ironically enough, I visited a beauty parlour and met some survivors, the chock was violent and once I got to know better about acid violence I decided to do something against it.
Q.2 . Being a victim of an acid attack must be torturous. How do you deal with the victims? What is the main motive of your organization?
Indeed, acid violence is one of the worst forms of violence you can inflict to a human being. ASF is following a holistic approach and provide comprehensive rehabilitation services to survivors of acid attack: we identify them, offer free medical, psycho social, economic support, and legal aid. ASF also works on developing local capacities to organize a better response to acid violence, but mostly the organization aims at empowering the survivors so that they can rebuild their life and get back to their community as autonomous dignified, proactive democratic CITIZENS.
Q.3. The movie Saving Face is grabbing headlines everywhere after bagging the Oscar. As the movie focuses on acid violence do you feel it would help in the decline of such cases after this? What was ASF contribution in the movie?
Well Saving Face was a partnership project between ASF and Daniel Junge /Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, which was useful to highlight the issue of acid violence at a global level, and additionally mobilize local policy makers, but frankly speaking, the real tool that will facilitate the decline of acid attacks is establishing a legal framework that addresses all issues pertaining to the problem of acid violence and that is the Acid Crime Bill 2012 along with Acid Control Act. Without a proper law, a proper implementation mechanism and then a proper or rather culture sensitive awareness and educative program, acid violence cannot be eradicated from the country.
Q.4. More than the medical aid, how much does psychological help do you feel is required for the victims?
Psychological help is essential for the victim’s healing, it needs to be there from day one; the survivor needs it to bear the pain and the treatment, to deal with the disfigurement and their “new” self, they also need this support to envisage a new life project and face all the challenges that will be their lot: the depression, the stigma, the difficulties during the trial, the fear, the threats, the tension of joining back the community and face perpetrators or other community, family members, face/deal with the violence that is still there after the attack. Without this, survivors cannot make it.
Q.5. Yours being such a conservative society how would it be possible for such victims to be inculcated back into the society? Have you had any success in this regard?
We have had many successes but it is challenging and time taking process, it cannot be done without a proper holistic and delicate cultural sensitive approach and also depends a lot upon the safety net that surrounds the survivors and the psychological state of the survivor. Usually once the survivor becomes solid and confident enough to decide to go back and design his/her life project then a further articulation with the community needs to take place; community sensitization, family counseling, socio eco rehabilitation, ongoing liaison, play role with the survivors; a lot of work is required.
Q.6. Pakistan being a relatively smaller country how far do you feel would you be able to promote your organization’s prime objectives worldwide?
ASF is national NGO, so we focus on eradicating acid violence in Pakistan, we are interested in sharing our good practices and our experience so that other countries facing acid violence may learn/get inspired from our work: I have received several demands from Indian organizations that were curious to know about our methods especially for advocacy and lobbying… Maybe also a regional or worldwide network would be useful to engage with various countries facing acid violence and give room for quicker solutions; many international organizations have already recognized Pakistan experience/courage in addressing the issue of acid violence, I suppose more seminars and exchanges in other forums will also contribute to the cause.
Q.7. The acid violence form is extremely common in Asian countries, especially India Bangladesh and the likes. Do you feel there is a particular reason for this?
I do not know yet, more scientific research needs to be conducted, acid violence is actually a global phenomenon, so is it more prevalent in Asia because people have been willing to act against it and therefore report and expose it more, or is it because there are more cases in Asia? To date, I cannot answer this question.
Q.8. How much has the Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Bill that was passed in the Senate in Pakistan last year, helped in controlling the situation?
It has helped in the sense that acid violence has now been recognized as a crime against the state and those perpetrators, if accused, cannot be bailed out or cannot negotiate their freedom at the expense of the victim as it is no more a compoundable offence. But ASF has always said that this amendment was only step one: if a acid and Burn crime bill 2012 and acid control act are not passed and implemented, acid violence will remain in the country, other issues must be addressed in a comprehensive specific legislation: investigation process, trial, state responsibility to provide free medical and rehabilitation services, funding and monitoring mechanism, regulation and monitoring of acid sale and distribution. All these last aspects cannot be touched through an amendment in the PPC, so there is still a lot of work!
Q.9. How do you plan to aware the common people in this regard and take their help in controlling the violence?
Surprise  :) 
Q.10. What are your immediate and future plans?
Get the acid and Burn Crime Bill 2012 passed at provincial level, help survivors, contribute to establishing the first government led acid and burn rehab and centre in Multan, work on implementation of amendment of HURT in the PPC.

Posted 30th May by

ASF Pakistan Joins Civil Society Rally To Protest Against Violence Against Children.

October 11th, 2012
Weather: Karachi | Lahore | Islamabad
Editor-in-Chief: Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman

Myra Imran
Thursday, October 11, 2012
From Print Edition
New  0  0  0
Islamabad

The civil society activists have demanded the government to declare October 9, the day when child peace activist Mala Yousafzai was attacked in Swat, as National Day for Girls Education.

A large number of civil society representatives and human rights workers gathered in front of National Press Club to condemn the assassination attempt on the 14-year-old Malala when she was on her way back home from her school. Malala Yousafzai, a social activist from Swat, stood up and spoke for children’s rights and peace in the time of militancy in the area. She was hardly 11, when she spoke to media for the right to education in Swat, which was banned by Taliban.

Even during the worst terror and peak of extremism in Swat valley, she was actively involved in action by writing a daily diary on BBC website with a pen name of Gul Makai. She is also the first Pakistani girl to be nominated for International Children’s peace prize by Kids Rights Foundation The protesters were holding placards inscribed with statements of praises for Malala’s courage and pledges to take forward her mission of educating girls. They raised slogans against Taliban. Jamaat-e-Islami workers also joined the protest. The protesters made speeches and marched towards Super Market.

The protesters urged the government to take full responsibility of the safety of its citizens and take substantive action against the perpetrators. They said that it was not only an attack on a Malala but it was an attack on the right of girl’s education.

“This is the right time that we all should stand against these forces leaving aside our political differences,” said human rights activist Nasreen Azhar, read statement of Women Action Forum (WAF).

The statement demanded all political parties, judiciary, media and civil society to collectively speak out against those who are terrorizing the country.

Talking to ‘The News’, Tahira Abdullah said that the attack has left her horrified and shocked. “It makes a mockery out of false and tall claims by the government and armed forces made in summer 2009 that they have cleared Malakand from militants. We have known this since that time, but the attack on Malala has provided us with the proof,” she added.

Farzana Bari said that the civil society has declared October 9 as National Day for Girl Education and demands the government to declare the same officially. She said that the civil society has also made a call for a nationwide march in the favour of girl education, which they plan in the middle of November.

Rehana Hashmi from Sister’s Trust Foundation said that the new trend of targeting women is completely against Islam and also the Pakhtun culture. “They have tried to create an environment of fear for girls,” she said terming it a conspiracy against the country.

Naeem Mirza from Aurat Foundation said that murder attack on Malala is a desperate act of extremist forces to frustrate youth of Pakistan particularly girls who have spoken courageously for their rights including right to education. “But they have failed as the incident has united the nation behind Malala’s vision,” he said.

Samina Nazir from Potohar Organisation for Development Advocacy (PODA) said that she strongly condemn the shameful act and demand strict action against the perpetrators. “This is one of the many times when the human and women’s rights activists were threatened and attacked. The government must provide protection to those raising their voices for the rights,” she added.

Valerie Khan from Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) said that the incident was the extreme violence against children and urged the government to pass pending legislation for the protection of children.

2nd media training on effective reporting of acid and burn violence and promotion of comprehensive acid and burn crime bill.

August 28th, 2012

Press Training in Peshawar in collaboration with UN Women and UK Aid

Interactive methodology

survivors sharing their stories

Zaigham Khan, WS facilitator, talking to TV channels

Distribution of certificates to participants.

Article In Dawn.Com

July 3rd, 2012

Need to implement pro-women laws’

From the Newspaper | | 28th June, 2012
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LAHORE, June 27: Participants in a seminar have urged the government and the civil society to make joint efforts to ensure implementation of pro-women laws in letter and spirit.

The seminar on ‘Law enforcement for pro-women legislation and the Domestic Violence Bill’ was arranged by Mumkin, an alliance of 18 civil society organisations, at a local hotel on Wednesday.

Chief Minister’s Adviser Begum Zakia Shahnawaz said the attitude of the society towards domestic violence was deplorable as it was considered a family matter in which the law and state should not intervene.

Some 610 incidents of domestic violence were reported and around 10,000 women were identified as victims of violence or forced marriage in the country, she said and added that it was the responsibility of the state to protect its population, especially the most vulnerable segments like women, elderly people and children, and to punish perpetrators.

Ms Shahnawaz said the Punjab government was encouraging the pro-women legislation and would effectively implement the Domestic Violence Bill after its passage from the provincial assembly after which such issues would be addressed amicably in Punjab and no-one would dare to torture the vulnerable people.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan General Secretary I.A Rehman said the government should be persuaded to implement in letter and spirit all laws in general and those pertaining to vulnerable segment of society in particular.

He said that it was the duty of the civil society to see how many cases were reported and how many were in courts.

Hina Hafeezullah Ishaq of Nasreen Trust explained various clauses of the draft domestic violence bill and its provisions, punishments and central demand for survivors of violence.

She urged the government to take proper action to protect vulnerable persons irrespective of gender.

Acid Survivor Foundation President Valerie Khan stressed the need to adopt law enforcement mechanisms for the pro-women legislation.

Vulnerable persons, especially women, had been facing a lot of problems to get cases registered in the police station concerned, she said.

Punjab Bar Council president Rana Muhammad Asif Saeed highlighted various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code regarding family disputes and domestic violence issues.

Social Welfare and Baitul Maal Secretary Sardar Akram Javeed spoke about the measures taken by the government for the betterment of women victims of violence.

He specifically mentioned the 35 shelter homes in Punjab where some 10,000 or so victims were accommodated free of cost annually.

Mumkin advocacy manager Summiya Yousaf said that 6,188 cases of violence against women had been reported in Punjab in 2011.

The passage of the Domestic Violence Bill and its implementation should remain key challenges and the Punjab government should be the model province for women rights.

ASF Talking To Japan

June 3rd, 2012

Copy/paste THE LINK!

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/movie/feature201206012012.html