eradicating hunger, one meal at a time!
It is not uncommon to hear that Pakistan is a third world country with a great chunk of a poverty-stricken population. However, it is also important to look at the simple yet sustainable social initiatives that are being taken towards solving this problem. Rizq is one those organizations that has progressed towards eradicating hunger by reallocating existing resources across the board.
In the last 6 years Rizq has served more than 9 million meals to deserving individuals and saved more than 800,000 kilos of food. Rizq has won prestigious awards for its exceptional social work in Pakistan. Last year the team was congratulated by Her Majesty the Queen for receiving the “Commonwealth Points of Lights Awards” for their covid-19 relief efforts in Pakistan.
The narrative behind how the company came into being, was back in 2015 when Huzaifa Ahmed, CEO of Rizq spoke about a ‘langar’ (free food set up for people from all walks of life and mostly for the underprivileged) running out of his own home but most importantly as Musa said “in your youth, you want to do good things” — this is something many of us can learn from. However, the only thing that has propelled Rizq forward in their endeavors has been their “value alignment” which is most often, the most underrated factor in many areas of life. With a small team of three individuals starting out in their sophomore year, an honest value turned into a purpose for millions. A snowball effect and more so a people powered movement kept Rizq alive and heading in the right direction.
Huzaifa stressed on how in these 5 years, “the lows have been the most consistent part of the journey” which ultimately translates as always being prepared for it and most often expecting it.
This was further confirmed by Musa when he said that all the numbers, figures and meals do not hold a candle to the ideology of the institution. The ideology has been the biggest movement throughout this journey. During this journey it was very easy to identify that Pakistan already has a very significant amount of money and food, making it one of the biggest food philanthropy nations in the world documents and statistics show that nearly 2 billion dollars is spent on philanthropy in Pakistan with a grueling statistic marking food wastage at 36 million tons annually. It is here that the alarming thought comes along that it is not normal to have these kinds of figures in a nation where nearly half the population is consistently starving. Why is there so much hunger when there is an abundance in resources?
The major factors that Rizq identified on their journey are channelization, logistical and transparency problems that enabled them to develop their product and services. Donors, NGOs and beneficiaries are the most common stakeholders when one is seeking out this kind of work and the above-mentioned problems are frequent occurrences. Resolving problems for stakeholders and containing information symmetry was the main goal which would eventually iron out any creases for the bigger picture. An online platform/ E commerce model resolved all of these issues almost paralleling it to the same way many of us purchase products online.
Rizq currently has three products which can easily be purchased online: A Raashan, Daigh or school lunch which will be further passed to the receiver’s end with a tracking number all the way to the point of distribution.
Solving a hunger problem is a collaborative effort and only when effective collaborations happen with places like NGOs and other organizations, does the process become smoother with the help of manuals and effective logistics.
Rizq is what it Is today because of a collaborative ecosystem. Each person doing their part for the bigger picture is what makes it pretty to look at. More than anything Rizq is a movement and it has to keep moving to achieve more growth. It is the number of people who have been activated towards the ideology of compassion that keeps the ball rolling in this purpose.
Rizq is about connecting infrastructures in a society where we often experience roadblocks and detours. Organizing chaos into a system is one of the most basic things to eradicate hunger one meal at a time.
To check out our complete fireside chat with Rizq, click here!