A social worker’s dream for a better world

We look to focus on various issues that must be overcome, including investing time and resources into education, bringing forward new opportunities to those without academic advantages, and ending the battle for clean water globally. with the aim of producing a happier, healthier and safer life for all.

Shoaib Habib Memon is a Pakistani freelance social worker, global goodwill ambassador, entrepreneur and global citizen.

A resident of District Thatta, Sindh, he obtained his master’s degree in economics and LLB from Sindh University. He has worked with many charity organisations such as the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD), Merlin International, UK, and ITA Pakistan.

A UN volunteer, Mr Memon has attended many training sessions regarding health and nutrition, organised by the Unicef and WFP.

He owns and operates a successful business in his hometown. But he also spares time for voluntary and charity works for poverty-stricken and neglected families. In recognition of his work, FUNVIC Foundation an Italy-based organisation bestowed upon him the “Book for Peace” award on 21st September 2019.

Mr Memon supports deserving families and orphaned children with food and humanitarian projects, such as the installation of hand pumps and digging wells to provide clean drinking water, providing financial support to needy and deserving students, clothing and shelter.

He is also involved in women’s empowerment initiatives, and support for impoverished and disabled patients.

International think tank Institute of Peace and Development (INSPAD) gave Mr Memon World Humanitarian Excellence Award in 2020, and the Western African country Ghana gave him the HAG award, Certificate of Achievement For Social Services on 18 September 2021.

Mr Memon also received a certificate of appreciation for his humanitarian services and the Ambassador Books for Peace Award in January 2022 from FUNVIC Europe, which is part of the Unesco BFUCA club (Brasile).

Sharing his experiences and voluntary work with Mark Fitz of Best StartUp Asia in an interview, he says “When considering poverty in the developing world, many people feel deep sorrow” but he concludes that “there is nothing we can do.”

“The scale of poverty is gigantic and we seem toothless to stop it. Such despair is reasonable, but the facts tell a very different story.”

He goes on to say “While poverty is indeed severe and widespread, it is easy to disregard just how many people there are in the developed world, and how powerful our pocket change can become when united together.”

About the scope and area of his business and voluntary services, the young entrepreneur says through Shoaib Habib Memon & Friends, social workers and village volunteer groups, they focus on various issues including investing time and resources in education, identifying and creating job opportunities for illiterate and disadvantaged people.

“We are also striving for the provision of clean water globally, with an aim of ensuring a happier, healthier and safer life for all.”

The food sector is another area of our focus, adds Mr Memon.

We look to provide food packages to as many people as possible, raising nutritional standards of those in dire need On top of this, we also provide help in the housing sector by assisting people with finding opportunities in the housing industry that may have been impossible for them before, aiding the homeless to find accommodation, and fighting to support those in need. we are well aware of the challenges faced by individuals and communities, globally.

Thus, the focus is also placed on and is not limited to assisting people with mental health challenges and combatting cancer.

On the inspiration behind entrepreneurship and social work, Mr Memon says research has shown that spending money on self does not considerably add to one’s sense of pleasure or wellbeing. A Harvard Business School study suggests that sharing or charity is directly connected with an increased sense of happiness.

The Harvard researchers explain: “Happier people give more and giving makes people happier, such that happiness and giving may work in a positive feedback circle.”

Other studies have revealed that people feel happiness when they see money go to charity — even if this money isn’t their own. People feel the most pleasure, however, when they give to charity or donate something by themselves.

For people born in a developing country, the probability that their hard work will pay off is greatly weakened. They may not be able to work due to a disease for which they can’t afford the treatment, there may not be any work on hand, they may not have the required education pre-requisite for a job that earns them livelihood – the list goes on. Mere daily survival is a daunting task.

This means that people in developing countries very often face uncertainties and difficulties compared to others across the world.

Children have no idea or future where to live? And whether they would be able to receive an education or not. Struggling families may take their children out of school so they may add more to the family income.

So the people how so ever extraordinarily smart and hard-working fall in the trap of a vicious cycle of poverty, yet indebted to circumstances over which they have no control.

Like other developing countries, Pakistan is also facing clean tap water problem. Water-borne diseases are rampant in economically-depressed areas because these areas are not provided the most important commodity and fundamental right by the civic agencies. Currently most of the rural peripheires and urban slums in Pakistan lack clean drinking water.

Sharing his next five-year plans and tagets, Mr Memon said three major problems — poverty, illitarcy and diseases — are a major challenges for government and civil society. Prevalance of poverty rate could be reduced through efficient interventions. Combating diseases can keeping children healthy and in school can be achieved through collaborative efforts.

Poor and lower middle class segments spend substantial part of their meagre resources on healthcare. If we provide basic health facilities to these segments of population, we can save their incomes by providing effective healthcare facilities enabling them to spend their income on the education of their children.

We aim to support those living in extreme poverty to save their resources essential to attain a better standard of living. Donation plays a critical role in combating extreme poverty. According to the UN’s SDGs, noticeably fewer people today are living in intense poverty than just a few decades ago.

About the biggest challenge, Mr Memon, says the post-COVID crisis has served to emphasize something that was already obvious – that the future of donation is digital. Even once everything gets settled and life begins to return to normal (whatsoever that looks like), donors will not discard all of the new habits that they have learned during this pandemic.

We are living in an era in which digital technology has revolutionized everything. People now shop, sell and donate in different ways: ways that didn’t exist even a decade ago. We anticipate all of our transactions to be quick and easy – and this extends to our charitable donation. The pandemic has certainly prompted many organizations to provide more time and money on how they use digital platforms.

Along with shifting the provision of major services online or to apps, many charities have been forced to update their fundraising efforts. Without the option of holding in-person fundraising events, they have turned online, utilizing their websites and social media to create, facilitate and share ‘viral content’ that resonates with potential donors and encourages donations, he concludes.

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