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Venue:Milestone Society for the Special Persons
Date:January 14, 2014

Mainstream Association Visit to Pakistan

Organized by MILESTONE, (Provincial Coordinator Punjab) CBID Network Pakistan

Mainstream Association in Japan

Mainstream Association is an inspiring organization of persons with disabilities in Japan and with the supporting history of developing leaderships amongst persons with disabilities in Asian and European countries as well. Mainstream Association is inspiring organization among other organizations working on cross disabilities concerning its professional approach towards disabilities and the attendant system for severe persons with disabilities that is an exception and source of learning.

Mainstream has history of having close ties with Milestone Society for the special persons in Pakistan and yearly visit proves to be source of sharing the scenario and activities of Milestone in disability movement concerning independent living for persons with disabilities. The delegation of 7 leaders in the leadership of Mr. Satoshi Sato visits Milestone from 14th to 19th January, 2014. The delegate members include Mr.Satoshi Sato San, Mr. Dai San, Mr.Kirima San, Mr. Yanasai San, Ms. Zakki San, Ms. Harauchi San and Ms.Yamaguchi San.

Milestone, Society for the Special Persons in Pakistan

The Milestone Society for the Special Persons is the largest and active organization of persons with disabilities in Pakistan, It has history of serving persons with disabilities for the last 21 years and it enjoys the status of introducing Independent Living philosophy to persons having disabilities in general and persons with severe disabilities, in particular. It is a fact that with the efforts of Milestone there is ray of positive change in the society, as it is continuously producing leaders who are agents of change Pakistan. For achieving this mission and noble goals, the great contribution and generous support of Mainstream Association can never be denied.

Warm Welcome to Pakistan
14th January, 2014 The Milestone Society for the Special persons paid warm welcome to Mainstream Association at Allama Iqbal International Airport Lahore on 14th Jan, 2014 and slogans were enchanted for the long association of Mainstream Association and Milestone Society for the Special Persons for the creation of right based, barrier free and inclusive society for all.

Milestone Office Visit
15th January, 2014

The respected delegation visited scheduled visit to Milestone current office where discussion on disability scenario in Pakistan was observed and it was resolved to keep efforts on for the creation of inclusive and right based society. Milestone activities presentation was made to unfold the situation of persons with disabilities in Pakistan.
The delegation made visit to Long Cherished Milestone Newly establishing office that is under construction these days and it is pleasure to narrate that it is near to be completed and we are winning near our goal.
The Mainstream Association appreciated the efforts of Milestone for their commitment of having their own facility where they are able to serve persons with disability in the best possible manner and it is worth mentioning that in the coming month Milestone will be shifted to its new own office and it will be operational with more zeal and zest.

Meeting with Dr. Amjad Saqib , Executive Director AKHUMAT
15th January, 2014

Khuwat was established in 2001 with the objective of providing interest free microfinance to the poor so as to enhance their standard of living. Drawing on the principles of social justice and brotherhood, Akhuwat strives to alleviate poverty by creating a system based on mutual support in society. To this end, Akhuwat has adopted microfinance as its operational strategy with the loans being offered in accordance with the doctrines of Qarz-e-Hassan. Akhuwat levies no interest on its loans, operates through religious places and seeks to inspire and harness the spirit of volunteerism in society. The mandate of Akhuwat extends beyond financial transactions as it makes every effort to guide, support and empower the poor.

Mainstream Association and Milestone visited scheduled meeting with Dr. Amjad Saqib Executive Director Akhuwat where mutual partnership and supporting areas were discussed in a formal meeting. It was decided that a project will be launched very soon for the provision of Independent Living services to 100 Persons with disabilities in Lahore that will be further extended throughout the country, Milestone and Mainstream association will be sharing their expertise of Independent Living in for the well deliverance of the said project with Akhuwat.

Visit to Sialkot Chamber of Commerce, One Day Seminar by Saffiya IL Center
16th January, 2014 Ms. Shamsa Kanwal ,(Ex-Duskin Trainee) President Saffiya Independent Living Center has established an Independent Living center in her native city Sialkot, being blind woman with disability she has vision and commitment to serve persons with disability. Milestone society for the special persons has history supporting DPOs (Disabled Persons Organizations).

The Mainstream Association along with Milestone visited and attended the one day seminar at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce to encourage the dignities at chamber to support and facilitate persons with disabilities with Saffiya Independent Living Center and make it as example for other cities to follow.

A One Day International Training Program
17th January, 2014

The Milestone Society for the Special Persons conducted a one day International Training Program at Milestone Office where Expert attendants from Mainstream Association Japan shared their professional techniques of attending persons with different types of disabilities. In the first session lectures were delivered by the respected delegate members empowering persons with disabilities and moreover the importance of attendance services for severe persons with disabilities. Japan government has system of paying the attendants and Pakistan government must be encouraged and advocated to adopt this system for persons with disabilities. This is the fundamental right of persons with disabilities to be treated and accepted as equal, respectable and contributing part of society like their counterparts.
r. Shahnawaz Munami, National Coordinator Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) Network Pakistan graced the occasion as Chief Guest and speaking on the occasion he said that like Japan the government of Pakistan will be encouraged and sensitized to establish system of the provision of attendant services to persons with disabilities, he appreciated the efforts of Milestone for advocating this system for persons with disabilities in Pakistan.
Mr.Asim Zafar, Secretariat Coordinator Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) Network Pakistan and President Saaya Association also graced the occasion with his presence and speech. He said that Milestone is his mother organization and Mainstream Association is his teacher as he learned how to serve persons with disabilities in Mainstream Association training program in Japan few years back. He said that Saaya Association has developed the system of Attendant service and currently 12 severe persons with disabilities are being provided with this service in Islamabad.

The Mainstream Association provided training to 20 both male and female attendants that day.
Oishi Dinner and Musical Gala Night
17th January, 2014 Following the tradition of Milestone entertaining the guests after hectic days routines a cooking evening was celebrated where Milestone staff cooked delicious Continental Dishes and music was played to entertain the guests.

The sikh kababs with raita, plain rice with tikka boti won hearts of all. The food was delicious like the participants and well cooked recipe of Mr. Akmal and Mr. Sohaib forced the guests to lick fingers. The music colored the night and everyone enjoyed a lot and shun the hectic tiredness of daylong activity.


International Seminar
On Independent Living of Intellectually Challenged Persons with Disabilities
18th January, 2014

A Seminar to highlight the problems and needs of persons with intellectual disabilities was held at Fountain House here on Saturday.

The seminar, organized by the Milestone Society for the Special Persons, Fountain House and Community Based Inclusive Based Development (CBID) Network Pakistan, Saaya Association, Fountain House was addressed by Dr Muhammad Amjad Saqib, Executive Director Akhuwat, Dr Maryam Mallick, disability adviser, WHO and Dr Shahnawaz Munami, national coordinator, CBID Network Pakistan.

The focus of the seminar was to sensitise parents, teachers and society regarding independent living of persons with intellectual disabilities. A Japanese delegation from Mainstream Association (Disabled Persons Organization) also attended the seminar and shared their experiences.
The speakers said problems and challenges faced by persons with disabilities were common in the world and there were similar measures and system that had to be followed like the countries of Japan and the US where persons with disabilities were enjoying independent life with full dignity and equal status. They are treated and accepted as the equal respectable part of society, the speakers said, adding, “We must stop this discrimination for the creation of inclusive development for all.”
Dr. Maryam Mallick, Disability Advisor World Health Organization appreciated the efforts of Milestone and CBID Network for this seminar and said that role of Mainstream Association is commendable and the leaders from Mainstream present are great source of learning. She committed that World Health Organization is there to support disability movement in Pakistan and we are heading towards inclusive, barrier free and right based society for all.

A Visit to WAGHA BODRER Between Pakistan and India
18th January, 2014 The Respected delegation made visit to WAGHA BORDER between Pakistan and India in the afternoon as the flag ceremony held daily in the afternoon. They observed the flag changing ceremony and enchanted slogans “Pakistan Zindabad”.
Traditional Dinner At Food Street, Lahore
18th January, 2014 A savor traditional dinner was arranged at famous traditional Food Street, Lahore where discussion on different disability issues was also made during dinner. The greetings were made and remarks were passed for the honored visit of Mainstream Association in Pakistan. Milestone Society for the special persons owns its relation with Mainstream Association.


Departure of Honorable Dinner to Japan
19th January, 2014.
After the 5 days long visit to Pakistan, Mainstream Association respected delegate departed back to Japan. Milestone society for the Special Persons bade farewell to Mainstream friends with the commitment to continue working for the creation of barrier free, right based and inclusive society for all.

Reported By: Ashar Virk
Director Projects Milestone Society for the Special Persons, Lahore