The idea of BETHAK-Pakistan was conceptualized by a group of concerned activists and community leaders in October 2004. BETHAK-Pakistan, a non-profitable and non-political organization, works for the interest of the disadvantaged and marginalized sections of society by building their capacities through awareness, education and skill based development. BETHAK is an acronym that stands for" Be Empowered Through Awareness And Knowledge. In Punjabi language the word "Bethak" is a distinct stratum of society where people sit on a certain place to discuss their plans and lines of action for the development of a society. Founders keep in view the plight of the marginalized communities in southern Punjab, Pakistan who had lived for a long time under a situation so oppressive that their capacity for critical consciousness had been silenced. These poor people as small farmers, field workers and daily wages workers were intimately forbidden to think for themselves. They had absorbed an attitude of passivity, submission and self deprivation imposed on them by that culture. BETHAK aims at making these people aware of their position as a group, so that they could unite and work for positive change which demands love and acceptance of all without any distinction of caste and creed. They dream of eliminating religious, gender, ethnic, racial and all sorts of discrimination and of implementing a policy of more equitable sharing and distribution of love. This is what BETHAK stands for.
BETHAK envisions a society where there is justice, equality, peace and prosperity for all the members of society to make social change more visible in implementation.
The mission of BETHAK: to cover a broad range of activities to eliminate religious, gender, ethnic, racial and all sorts of discrimination; to support human development activities; and implement a policy of more equitable sharing and distribution of love which can be a common platform for economic, social, and human goals.
GOAL & OBJECTIVES:
Empower marginalized communities with a special emphasis on women, children, youth and minorities.
To sensitize common people about their condition of deprivation of human rights and to raise the voice against exploitation and injustice against any individual, class and community in the society.
To develop and spread the idea of friendship and fraternity among the people through interfaith dialogue and create opportunity for social and cultural activities for mainstreaming the talents of society.
To generate awareness regarding the importance of education/quality education among the children and parents of remote areas and to reduce the rate of school dropouts.
To build capacity and develop expertise, especially at the grass root level, and develop a strong corps of committed activists and implementers to undertake and sustain meaningful intervention.
To mobilize the corporate sector to respond to natural and human made disasters and hazards.
To protect and improve the environment to a quality which permits a life of dignity and well-being.
Publishing people-oriented educational, advocacy and development related publications, which can be used by marginalized communities, and others involved in sustainable human development.
Strategy and Approach:
BETHAK is actively engaged in a “rights-based” approach for proper human development in all areas of its activities. This approach is based on the conviction that each and every human being is a unique individual and has every right to receive respect, protection and help from other members of society for proper development. A rights- based approach is not limited to charity or simple economic growth but its activities involve a process of changing systems, actions and priorities to enable and empower people of BETHAK’s target areas in all spheres of human development.
Their strategy is based on:
Implementation of integrated community development and conducting an action-oriented approach focusing on promoting a sense of peace and reconciliation among the communities of target areas.
Raising awareness and promoting policy changes through policy research, advocacy and lobbying at local and national levels on the root causes of poverty, religious discrimination, social, economic and cultural rights and rights to lead a prosperous life.
Human / Minority Rights
Peace Building and Conflict Management
Democracy and Good Governess
Gender Awareness / Women’s Rights
Education & Social Services
Environment Awareness Education
Disaster Management / Emergency Response
Peace and Harmony Network, CSC- Rawalpindi (Focal Organization for southern Punjab)
Member Pakistan Social Accountability Network (Custer In charge for Southern Punjab)
Global Call to Action Against Poverty Coalition in Pakistan (GCAP)
Khanewal NGO Network, Khanewal.
Network for peace and human rights (NPHR), Islamabad
Coalition against child labour, Islamabad (CACL)
Stop TB partnership (a network of WHO)
Rights Based Network (RBN) (Focal Organization)
Christian Study Centre, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
United Religion Initiative, (URI) Pakistan
National Council for Interfaith Dialogue
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Pakistan
Action against poverty (AAP), Multan
Association for Human Development , Islamabad
White Post Health Care Group, UK
Gate Way TV limited, UK
Women Empowerment Organization, Multan
Organization for Peace and Development (ODP), Multan
Liberal Forum Pakistan, Khanewal Chapter
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Khanewal Core Group
Saiban Development Organization
Plus Development Foundation
Harmony Foundation, Pakistan
Blossom and Kamal Medical Laboratories