By Aslam Chandio, Weekly Pulse Magazine, September 02, 2013
President and Chief Executive Officer Save the Children on Wednesday told Weekly Pulse in an exclusive interview that they feel no security threat while working in Pakistan because the people here are very friendly.
In an exclusive interview with Online, she said Save the Children was carrying out its work without any security threat and they had not shut any of their offices in Pakistan so far.
To a question about the alleged role of Dr. Shakeel Afridi in using the name of Save the Children for chasing the world’s most wanted person Osama Bin Laden, Carolyn responded that they had no connection with the CIA or any other intelligence agency around the globe.
“There is no truth in allegations that have appeared in the media that Afridi worked with Save the Children and that he was introduced to the CIA by our staff. There is no concrete evidence to support them,” Carolyn said.
“These sorts of things are trying to damage the image of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). In fact, the NGOs are playing a vital role in assisting governments all over the world, that’s why people are still working with us,” she added.
To a query about the staff working in Pakistan, she said all the staff working in Pakistan was indigenous because local people could communicate and do well for development of neglected areas. “We are working here in Pakistan without any security threat, because people are mature enough and know well about our working,” Carolyn stated.
She said poverty was on the rise due to militancy, natural calamities and in the absence of efficient governance and viable public policies.
“Save the Children has initiated many projects for prevention of bonded child labour, improvement of health facilities, door-to-door campaign for awareness of maternal health, mother-child care that has brought productive and visible results and death rate of children has lowered”, she said.
Carolyn urged that even if a child is working, he/she must be admitted to school for acquiring basic education. She said education for all policy is very fruitful, but there is a need to create awareness among parents regarding education.
On eradication of polio from Pakistan, she lauded the efforts of lady health workers despite being targeted several times.
To a query about the rehabilitation of camel jockey children, Carolyn said immense progress had been made on this issue and Save the Children was supporting the rehabilitation of those ill-fated children.
Save the Children has been working in Pakistan for over 30 years, assisting children and families in the aftermath of emergencies, such as the conflict that forced more than 2 million people from their homes in 2009 and the devastating floods in 2010 that destroyed more than 1 million homes.