KARACHI: Facebook widely helping the Non Government Organisation (NGOs) to spread their services among the needy and underprivileged people.
According to a study, 43 percent of Pakistan’s citizens remain food insecure and 18 percent face an acute food shortage. This implies that, on any given day, almost 39 million Pakistanis are unaware of where their next meal will come from, or if it will come at all. There are reports that over 35 million tonnes of food is wasted annually in the country, as many go to bed hungry.
There was need to setup organisation to collect food from various restaurants, hotels, some event managers and donate food to the underprivileged people. One such project called Rizq was launched by three friends in Lahore in 2015. Rizq is Pakistan’s first food recovery and distribution service. Currently, Rizq have two food banks in Lahore and two in Islamabad, with a host of on-ground partners across Pakistan.
With no resources, funds, or a plan, the three young men did the first thing they could think of: they created a Facebook Page, posted their phone numbers, and urged people to call them if they wanted to share food. The initiative was an unexpected success, going viral overnight; the next day, Huzaifa, Musa and Qasim were driving around Lahore to collect food from all the people who had gotten in touch.
Soon after, they also built a comprehensive website to aid people in donating and getting information about the foundation. The Facebook Page and the website are also intrinsically linked with the chatbot being Facebook Messenger, so that all queries are directed to their Facebook inbox for ease of management and response.
Initially, they started with distributing free food to the needy, but soon realised they needed a more sustainable solution. After receiving guidance on how to move forward, they collaborated with Pakistan Development Exchange (PDX) and now operate under its umbrella, offering 3 main services: excess food channelization (Rizq Bachao), feeding programmes (Rizq School Lunch and Rizq Daig), and family support programmes (Rizq Ration).