Zohra Foundation: Remembering the Forgotten
Zohra Foundation is a UK-registered charity that aims to improve the lives of millions of orphans, widows and the elderly throughout Pakistan and respond to emergencies in other parts of the world.
Through our Adopt a Grandparent scheme, Orphan Sponsorship scheme, medical camps, social support and food aid we focus on ensuring that the poor and vulnerable population get the vital services they need to survive.
In the last five years, we have built long-term partnerships with networks of paid specialists, volunteer doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals. These relationships mean that we understand and meet the needs of the local population to deliver emergency relief across Pakistan.
By supporting Zohra Foundation with your Zakat and Sadaqah you can restore hope to the orphans and elderly in Pakistan. You will give the elderly the final days they deserve; one with respect and dignity and the orphans a better start to life.
It is our responsibility to care for our elders and we must not neglect those in need.
The Beloved Prophet (ﷺ) said
“If a young man honours an elderly on account of his age, Allah appoints someone to honour him in his old age.”
Remembering the Elderly in Pakistan
Today there are 13 million people living in Pakistan who are over the age of 60, it is estimated by 2050 this will have increased to 43.3 million. Across the world there is a growing elderly population, but today Pakistan is one of the worst places to live as an older person. It’s low life expectancy, poor health services and lack of a support system means it is ranked as 92nd out of 94 countries for standard of living for the elderly. In a country where 74% of people live on less than $2 a day and 25.5% live on or below the poverty line this aging population are struggling to survive.
What about families and pensions?
The very low pension in Pakistan and lack of opportunities for the elderly to earn income leaves them reliant on family support for their food, medical care and shelter. However, this traditional expectation that relatives will take care of the older generation is being challenged. In Pakistan today the decreasing birth-rates, increasing urbanisation and widening gap between rich and poor means many families can no longer support the elderly in their family. Those elderly people who are able to live with their families often have to manage in small, cramped living conditions.
Rising abuse and suicide rates among the elderly
The elderly in Pakistan are reliant on others to survive. Even those who live alone need financial support for food and medical treatment. This feeling of being dependent on others can leave them feeling like a burden and fearful of being abandoned. Their fears mean they are unlikely to discuss any medical problems or psychological and emotional changes. Instead many elderly people are forced to live in silence and manage conditions that could be improved or treated with medicine. Without support and treatment these challenges can seem difficult to live with. Many of the elderly give up hope and today the suicide rate and depression amongst the elderly is rapidly increasing in Pakistan.
The elderly in Pakistan are also vulnerable to some of the most extreme forms of abuse. Their inability to work and provide for themselves means that they are left to rely on others to survive for everything. Meaning that their caregivers are able to deny their basic needs.
Our projects focus on providing elderly people and their families with the medical, emotional and physical support they need. By empowering vulnerable, elderly men and women they can live their final days with dignity and respect.