Transforming Asia 21’s Passion into Action
Upholding the Asia 21 mantra of public service, Asia 21 Young Leader Rick Pal (US), founder of Ek Disha, has been turning his passion to action by collaborating with his fellow Asia 21 young leaders in the Philippines, India, and Pakistan. With help from his fellow Asia 21ers on the ground, Rick was able to connect with Gawad Kalinga, a Philippine NGO–to assist them with relief efforts after Typhoon Haiyan. Ek Disha sponsored 1000+ relief packs in November 2013 that provided 6 meals per family of 5. Currently they are working on ongoing restructuring efforts in places hit by the typhoon.
Ek Disha also started working with Embrace (2012 winner of the Public Service Award) and connected them with another partner (Karuna Trust) to distribute Embrace infant warmers in India. Till date, Rick’s Ek Disha has sponsored hundreds of warmers in India and Aghanistan.
Special thanks to a documentary (Humaira: The Dream Catcher) made by Academy Award Winner and Asia 21 Young Leader Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy–Ek Disha became familiar with another Asia 21er, Humaira Bachal and her school, Dream Foundation Trust. Humaira is building her school in Muwach Goth, a slum area of Karachi, for children from underprivileged communities. Thanks to Rick Pal’s organization, Ek Disha has committed to providing furniture for the classrooms on the first floor. The school is expected to open in Summer 2014.
In India, Ek Disha started working with GOONJ in 2012 and hosted Anshu Gupta of GOONJ (Asia 21 alum and recipient of the 2012 India Social Entrepreneur of the Year award by the Schwab Foundation) as the guest speaker at their annual luncheon event in April 2013. Their partnership has grown since and last year, Ek Disha helped raise almost $200,000 for GOONJ to support their flood and earthquake relief efforts.
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