The University of Lahore (UOL) was established in 1999 and awarded a University charter by the Government. Since then, this not-for-profit organization has grown in size and strength in various disciplines. Presently UOL is one of the largest private universities in Pakistan with over 20,000 students in 26 different departments of 11 Faculties. UOL offers all levels of courses in fields ranging from Medicine to Engineering, from Social Sciences to Arts and from Nursing to Physics.
Community service is not new to The University of Lahore (UOL). UOL has been at the forefront of providing emergency relief and rehabilitation during times of natural disasters since 2005. It was felt that the time was ripe to launch the relief program under a separate department to do all the philanthropic work and to execute the required relief plan. Thus UOL Relief came into being as a project of the University of Lahore. Headed by the Pro-Rector (Academics) Prof. Nasir Mahmood, UOL Relief has been able to reach millions of people in far-flung areas ever since. We feel proud to say that the effort of UOL Relief is purely voluntary. The University of Lahore staff and students assist UOL Relief by volunteering their time, presence, and logistics for the aid work. The University of Lahore (UOL) has the services of hundreds of student-volunteers for the execution of its aid plan. This enables us to focus the efforts and 100 % of the funds for the relief & community work. This collective effort has made it possible for us to help the community in times of disaster.
1. 2005 Earthquake
In 2005, Pakistan already engulfed by various issues faced the most devastating Earthquake in her history. Over 75,000 people lost their lives in this Earthquake in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. These areas blessed with the immense natural beauty (and also home to the world’s highest concentration of peaks) is also remote and not well connected. This is where UOL stepped in for the first time and initiated an unprecedented Rescue and Relief efforts. Utilizing services of some of the people in Management with knowledge of adventure sports in the area, and highly motivated student body this was an activity which though started in October 2005 but has since continued.
Today working under a proper initiative titled “UOL Relief”, it has established emergency Health Care Units, Schools, Houses, Medical Camps, helped with evacuations, setting up of shelters and so on.
• Rescue, tents, food, first aid to the affected families.
• Construction of houses, follow-up medical camps
• Regular food program for the widows
• Education support program for the orphans
2. 2009 IDP (Internally Displaced Person) Crises
During the IDP crisis in 2009, the UOL team with the help of hundreds of student- volunteers started a much-needed aid plan. We played a constructive relief and rehabilitation role for the IDP’s of Swat. UOL’s rehabilitation role is still being carried out in swat and UOL is providing Food packages, clothes, and tents for the displaced families over there.
3. 2010 Floods
Since 2005, UOL Relief has worked on providing support to the multiple massive flooding victims in North of Pakistan and then in South of Punjab, During the floods of 2010 which were declared the ‘flood of millennia’ the University of Lahore kept up with its past tradition and started a flood relief campaign within a few days after the disaster. The University itself allocated 5 million rupees for the purpose of relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims. The rehabilitation and rebuilding role carried out by UOL during the floods of 2010 are as follows:
• Provide Rescue, food packages, tents for the affected families
• Construction of houses in Rajanpur, Charsada, Skardu, GasBala, Tatto, Fari Meadows (Gilgit-Baltistan area Construction of Water Channel for irrigation and for household use
• School & basic health unit in Tatto
4. Bait-ul-Nishat (Shelter Home 2012)
The UOL Relief is dedicated and committed to salvaging the plight of physically disabled orphans, abandoned and street children with the view of rescuing and caring for these afflicted, hopeless and disadvantaged children in the society. For that purpose, UOL Relief set up a Shelter Home in Lahore for orphaned special children who cannot be traditionally catered in a conventional orphanage because of their serious but non-life threatening disabilities. The main aim of the orphanage is to create a comfortable, conducive environment and dependable alternative family life and peaceful home for these socially and physically disadvantaged children in the society.
5. GunarFaram (Gilgit Baltistan2013)
The UOL Relief provides shelter, Food, and Education Support programs to the families of Widows in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Apart from the UOL Relief initiative which heavily relies on support and voluntarism of our University students and alumni – UOL’s students are also engaged in various social initiatives via inside University campuses and activities. In the last one year, UOL has become part of the International Universities Search and Rescue Council, Cyprus. Conducted Environmental and Social issue seminars/workshops to raise student awareness on these vital topics. UOL’s services to the society in times of crisis have been recognized by the UN, various International NGOs, and Pakistan Government/Army.
UOL is also a part of “International Universities Search-Rescue Council” based in Turkish Cyprus and engage in regular visit of students and Faculty between the countries of Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia, Moldavia and Iraq.