Aid workers continue to be on alert in Pakistan amid reports of deadly Taliban attacks against foreigners helping with flood relief efforts in the country. Kumar Periasamy serves as the director for International Operations and Programs at Operation Blessing International. The following is the Singapore native's firsthand account of the situation in the Taliban-oppressed region.
This morning as I was leaving the camp, the leader said, "These are our children, and they will be ours. Thank you for helping them."
I was asking myself, why did he say that? There could be a couple of reasons. First, because we were Christians helping their Muslim children. Secondly, he probably wanted to make sure that we kept a distance, just do the project and leave.
Hmm, I was telling my couple volunteers who were with me, "Well, I hope through what we will be doing for these kids, he would change his statement."
As promised, I returned that evening to the camp with the Life Saver Jerrycan. The leader had all the kids assembled, and I had him bring a bucket of drinking water from the river. Many men and children were all around us curious to see what was taking place.
I had the leader fill the Jerrycan. I pumped it and served him the first glass of water. He drank and drank, looked at me with a big smile and said, "It is sweet."
He compared the water they had been drinking and he just shook his head. He told the kids to line up and enjoy the clean drinking water.
After all the kids had a glass of water and we were about to leave, the leader came to me and said, "These are your children. Please help them, and help us to help them, too."
Those words touched my heart. Once again Operation Blessing and Life Saver made an impact in this village.
Tomorrow morning, a team of doctors will be seeing to the needs of children. We also purchased towels, soap and shampoo for the kids to have a bath.