Upgrade Minorities for Integrated Development Organization – UMID
UMID (Hope) was the brainchild of five enthusiastic people in 2005. It was envisioned as an institution that would further the rights of minorities. After facing discrimination in the workplace, these citizens came to realize the extent of the suffering endured by underprivileged minorities. In 2007, they officially formed an organization with a mandate to lessen the suffering of oppressed minorities.
UMID assists people from low-income and minority backgrounds. UMID has created income generation resources to alleviate their poverty and created awareness among them about their constitutional rights. The first milestone in UMID’s history was the establishment of the “UMID Community Development Dispensary” in 2008 – a community-based health centre. This was followed by UMID’s second initiative: the “UMID Community Vocational Centre.” Despite lack of funds, UMID was able to mobilize resources using contributions from its board members and staff. With the assistance of community members who contributed their homes to conduct classes, the project became one of the institution’s successes.
As a result of CSRC trainings, UMID has realized the importance of women participation in their activities and has thus inducted eight women on UMID’s Executive Board and more than half of UMID’s volunteers and members are now women.
After developing its management and leadership structure with CSRC’s assistance through one-on-one meetings with their senior board members, UMID has partnered with Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) to conduct research in flood-affected areas among the Ghalat caste (untouchables). Following this initiative, UMID has begun to focus on the betterment of these people. After the 2010 floods, UMID partnered with the Global Fund for Human Rights in a short-term rehabilitation project in the Thatta district. Through this project, UMID has been able to integrate the Ghalats and surrounding communities using various communication and conflict management strategies.
Over the years, UMID has become an influential, dynamic and effective platform for minority groups. Currently, UMID is in discussion with CIDA about implementing projects related to minority marginalization. In its short history, UMID has touched and changed numerous lives.