Asif helps in Bosnia flood aid
Published by Kerrie Beck for Longhurst Group in Communities and also in Care and Support, Environment, Health, Housing
Third from left, Asif with students from Mostar
Asif Rasool has returned home from an eleven day charity trip to Bosnia where he has been taking part in the relief effort following the recent floods.
Asif, from Birmingham, spent the majority of his trip helping the destitute families and individuals in Maglaj, a town located in Northern Bosnia. Working with other volunteers from the Red Cross, Asif helped to clear the area to help local people return to their homes safely, and also donated clothing, food and other much needed resources to those in need.
The floods in May were the worst to be recorded in 120 years; the region experienced three months’ worth of rain in just three days.
Following the floods, locals of Maglaj found themselves without access to clean food or water. Thousands of people were forced to flee their homes and towns to avoid the dangers caused by the floods, leaving them reliant on humanitarian aid and, in many cases, homeless.
“I mainly helped in the clean-up operations,” said Asif, Project Surveyor with housing association Friendship Care and Housing. “The region has been completely devastated by the floods. Families and local people want to return to their homes so they can carry on with their lives, and so it was really important to make sure the properties and towns are as safe as possible.”
Asif’s latest trip to Bosnia is just one of many self-funded charity missions. He regularly sends clothing parcels to poor families, and maintains close relationships with school teachers and other local people who help him to plan his trips in advance.
“I always decide what my aims are before organising my trips. In this way, I can contact my friends in Bosnia and they help me to plan for the trip, so that I can make the most of my time while I’m there. In this case, I wanted to help the local people in Bosnia to move on with their lives following such a devastating natural disaster.” In the past, Asif has volunteered in children’s centres and donated computers to schools in need.
The Mayor of Maglaj came to thank Asif and his fellow volunteers for their efforts in the vast clear-up effort. “It was a great honour to not only meet the Mayor, but to help those vulnerable people in need of support,” says Asif. “I hope the work I did whilst I was there provided some relief to those families and people affected by the devastating floods.”