Pakistani charity Children First visits Dewsbury to build links

A PAKISTANI children’s charity has visited Dewsbury to build links with the town’s voluntary groups as part of a special visit to the UK.

A delegation from Children First toured the Al Hikmah centre in Batley Carr before an event in their honour.

The charity works to improve the rights and lives of children and was founded in the aftermath of the Pakistan earthquake in 2005. It began with just 28 staff but now has 320 employees.

Charity representatives visited several cities, including London, Birmingham and Manchester, before arriving in Dewsbury last Friday.

Chief executive officer Mubashar Nabi said it was keen to build links with voluntary organisations in the UK with the aim of sharing skills and ideas.

He said: “We are working on providing education, child protection and youth development. There are a number of opportunities in Pakistan where groups here could share their knowledge.

“Beyond that we want to understand the cultural diversity in the UK and how we can learn from that.”

Last week, the group visited Huddersfield University to build links with its research teams.

And during the event at the Al Hikmah last Friday, the delegation met with around 100 representatives from organisations working with young people in Dewsbury.

Rashid Qayoom, of Healds Road, helped organise the event.

He said: “As a town, we feel really privileged that they have chosen us as somewhere they would like to come and learn from. It’s not often that happens in Dewsbury.

“We had all kinds of people at the event from our MP, Simon Reevell, to councillors, members of the Town Team and officers from Kirklees.”

Mr Nabi said he hoped the visit would be the first step towards building stronger ties with local charities.

“We do intent to involve the people of Dewsbury in our work. On this first visit the response has been very good and we would very much like to work with organisations in the town,” he said.