UMEED PARTNERSHIP PAKISTAN (UPP)
Umeed Partnership Pakistan (UPP) has a non-political, non- profit ethos, registered under Societies Act 1860 with registration # 764 on 18 April 2001 at Quetta and it is entitled to work nationwide. UPP is multi faith and is a humanitarian organization committed to work for the development and promotion of human rights. It has a partner organization in the UK – the Umeed Partnership (UK) which is also registered in the UK as a charity under the UK Charity Commission. In the year 2000 UPP initially started working in Baluchistan tribal areas and then its activities spread rapidly among the desert communities of the District of Bahawalpur/Yazman, Southern Punjab, rural areas of district Kasur and Mian Channu/Khanewal and slum areas of Lahore.
The Umeed Partnership exists to provide opportunities through education and vocational and human rights trainings to vulnerable and disadvantaged girls/women, transgender and street children across Pakistan. The organization has expanded and evolved into a women’s support body to provide help to those who are victims of abduction, rape, forced conversion, forced marriages, widowhood, disease, domestic violence and transgender community.
Mostly, Umeed’s work is focused on building up and empowering women, street children and transgender through education, skills training and programs of awareness about their own rights. UPP wants to see economic freedom where girls/women, children and transgender are able to take decisions to have control over their own lives. UPP’s activities in all districts are mostly comprises of running adult literacy training centers for illiterate girls/women, educating street children especially girls in Umeed schools, training girls/women, children and transgender in their human rights, providing legal aid to girls/women survivors of abduction, rape, forced conversion and forced marriage, formation of peace committees among women of all faiths, promoting unbiased curriculum in the schools and conducting physical, psychological and digital security trainings especially for women human rights defenders for their organizations and institutions. Umeed also promotes the right of religious minorities and gender equality at all levels.
UPP is committed to the socio-economic rights and promotion of human rights amongst the masses of the country. It applies its resources to breaking the unjust structures prevailing in Pakistani society. It works at grass-roots level as well as lobby with policy makers and cooperate with all those who believe in human liberation and who have committed themselves to this worthy cause.
The vision of Umeed Partnership is to see educated, skilled and talented youth, improved gender equality, poor people liberated from all forms of slavery and oppression and human rights promoted among the oppressed masses.
- To reach out to those who lack basic human needs with the aim of restoring dignity and respect irrespective of caste, creed or gender.
- To promote basic Human Rights and democratic processes within oppressed communities.
- To provide opportunities to young people to improve their talents, abilities and leadership qualities.
To facilitate formal and non-formal education and human rights at all levels irrespective of caste, creed or gender.
Umeed’s Focal Sectors include:
- Human Rights and democratic education
- Empowerment of women and elimination of gender disparities
- Capacity enhancement of women’s’ groups and civil society organizations
- Research and documentation
- Promotion of entrepreneurship and development of small business skills
- Formal and non-formal education
- Socio-economic empowerment of the poor
- Assisting women in distress through free legal aid
Programs of Umeed
Forced Faith Conversion
Umeed provides legal assistance in cases where women are abducted, raped or forced to change their religion and get into unlawful wedlock. Umeed also provides training on women’s human rights and women are prepared to visit police, doctors and politicians to register their cases and to proceed to judiciary for justice.
Umeed works among women and children in the most suppressed communities in the tribal areas of Balochistan and rural/slum areas of Punjab. Through awareness programs, skills training, adult education and by running schools, Umeed prepares parents and their daughters to avoid child marriage since the long term effects of an early marriage can be devastating for the girl.
Umeed provides help to transgender community in Lahore in their psychological and health related issues. Due to lack of resources Umeed has not yet started any project among the transgender community but holds and organizes motivational sessions to lift up their moral, respect and dignity and provide counseling in their physical and psychological problems. They are really vulnerable folks in the whole society. Shamin Gulzar the chairperson of Umeed was in Netherland and there too she had contacts with transgender community to learn and compare their problems with the transgender in Pakistan.
Security Training Umeed got a qualified team of security trainers providing physical, psychological and digital security training to Human rights defenders and their organizations in Pakistan. Due to a growing concern of security of every person, institution and organization in the country there is a big demand for such trainings.
Umeed works among women through skills trainings, adult education, running schools, women human rights trainings, interactive public debates through stage performance, forming women human rights committees and women peace committees. Through these activities Umeed initiates peace building process and dialogue of life among these women of all faiths. Umeed believes that women are the best carriers of peace and dialogue of life. If minority and majority women have good understanding among them then they could change the whole atmosphere of their homes.
Biased material in Schools curriculum
The rate of education among communities Umeed serves is the lowest in the world. One of the main reasons for this is that their children do not survive in the schools since the students from majority community ill-treat them and consider them as their enemies and unclean people. The students from the majority community study in the curriculum that Hindus are their enemies and the Christian are allied with Western powers. The students from religious minorities become more vulnerable to intolerance and violence, while marginalization of minority groups is socio-political fallout of religiously biased education. Umeed through its schools has already created an atmosphere of respect for diversity, peaceful pluralism, coexistence and human rights.
Education (formal and non-formal)
UPP runs two middle schools for the children of poor desert communities of Cholistan desert district Bahawalpur. These schools are registered with the department of Education district Bahawalpur. Both schools provide quality education to more than 300 students, both boys and girls.
Umeed runs 50 adult literacy Centres (each centre 25–30 women) for about 1,400 illiterate women in all its operational regions. The project is ongoing and one session is of 6 months.
Skills Training for women and street children
UPP empowers women/girls and street children by providing them skills training (embroidery, sewing/tailoring and carpentry) for their economic independence
Youth talent development
Umeed runs sports club and street theatre for youth talent development.