In this week’s blog, Rameen (who studies the IB in Qatar) shares her inspiring CAS experience of volunteering with orphans in Pakistan. 

Why did you undertake this project?

“I’ve always seen children out on the roads when I’ve travelled abroad. Children that are abandoned, that are forced to fend for themselves and those that don’t have anyone to provide them with basic benefits. They are deprived of fundamental requirements such as education, health and they don’t have the privileges that normal kids do.

It has always been really tragic seeing helpless children and feeling incompetent. I always felt like reaching out to them, so this summer, I travelled back to my homeland, Pakistan. Before I travelled, I spoke to my aunt about visiting orphanages. Since she had previously volunteered at a few, the orphanages were more comfortable. Despite the struggles to choose an orphanage I finally decided to volunteer at Agosh Orphanage in Islamabad. All the orphans were girls and their ages ranged from 4 to 14 years. It was really pleasing to see that these children were taken care of; they were surrounded by women that took care of them and protected them just like mothers would. These girls were also introduced to education in order to widen their knowledge and to become better equipped for a successful life.

The day was, and still is, unforgettable for me because I got the chance to spend time with many young girls. I was given the chance to assemble a group that helped me to organise activities for them, to create a special day for all of us, a day in which we created many memories. It was a learning experience for me as I had never been in charge of something so important before.

As the planning progressed we thought it would be best to have several stalls that would suit the range of the ages and keep them engaged. We had six stalls and I was in charge of makeup, because I love doing makeup. It also gave me the opportunity to get to know all of them individually. Furthermore, it made me feel content that despite their back stories, the girls were still hopeful and their futures seemed very bright to me. It was amazing to see how despite being put through so much these kids are still filled with love and happiness. They taught me to appreciate my family and my life as well.

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However, as my trip came to an end it was very difficult to part from them because I had been extremely lucky to get to know the girls. Despite having only been given a short amount of time to connect with the girls I had achieved my primary goal. It was to remind the girls that people still care about them and that they will never be forgotten. I’ve always had everything that I need in my life, but these kids had been abandoned or did not have anyone that could afford to care for them. This encouraged me to appreciate all that I have and to extend my aid in whichever form necessary.”

Would you recommend this CAS experience to others?

“I would definitely recommend this to everyone. I believe that this is the best form of giving back to the community. These children are the core of the community, just as they are our future. Funding and assisting them with education and other basic necessities which they have been deprived of is a duty that we should all fulfil. I was fortunate enough to experience such intelligence by children that have been neglected and rejected. I hope everyone can experience the company of these wonderful children as well and appreciate the beauty of them.”

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Rameen! If you’re looking for some exciting ideas for CAS definitely check out this old blog post. There are also even more CAS suggestions in our IB Survival Magazine which you can order by signing up for our Free IB Resources here!

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