Another Feather in Its Cap: Rizq Honoured with Commonwealth Points of Light Award
Our alumni never seem to disappoint. In fact, they keep bringing laurels home. LUMS alum Huzaifa Ahmad, BSc Economics ’17, who is also Co-Founder and CEO Rizq, and Hassaan Irfan, Executive Director, Rizq, have been recently honoured by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth with a ‘Commonwealth Points of Light Award’ during a phone call hosted by British High Commissioner Christian Turner.
Coming as a huge surprise, Ahmad received a special call from the High Commissioner himself only a day prior to the announcement of the award.
Recognising their work in providing rations to local communities especially during the COVID-19 crisis, the Queen also spoke to them over the call. The official tweet marking the National Volunteering Week in the UK quoted the Queen as saying “I send my best wishes to all those who give themselves so freely and selflessly in the service of others.”
“It is a huge achievement for the team and Rizq. I think Allah has been super kind with us and keeps on blessing us with rewards with the little effort we put in. It was an honour for me and the organisation to receive this Award from the Queen directly. For the first time in the history, the Queen personally spoke to the recipients and gave the award. This has highly motivated the team and has shown that humanity has no boundaries and good work takes you a long way,” says Ahmad on receiving the award.
Social enterprise Rizq, started as a university project at LUMS in 2015. Set up by Huzaifa Ahmed, Musa Aamir and Qasim Javaid, the organisation initiated a national movement called Ehsas Karo, aiming to mitigate the effects of Corona. Through this campaign, Rizq has distributed more than 10,000 rations across 23 cities of Pakistan. They have also saved more than 23000 kg of food. They have successfully disbursed more than 2.5M in cash to people in the north with the help of Find My Adventure and the LUMS Adventure Society. The total meal count of the entire activity was more than 2.2 million.
Focusing on vulnerable communities around the country such as families whose bread earners have either lost their jobs and have no one to depend on, Rizq follows an organised plan to get the rations to those who are in desperate need of them.
Talking about role LUMS has played in the achievement; Ahmad says, “LUMS as an institution and its community has always shown great support towards our cause. Since Rizq’s inception, we have always looked up at this community for help and guidance. The institution came forward very generously to donate to our campaign as well.
LUMS has equipped us with adequate knowledge and confidence to fight in such crises situations. And I personally think that LUMS provides its students with a strong network of peers that later helps them in the practical world.”
Ahmad has a very simple message for the younger generation. He says, “Youngsters have to emerge as leaders. Times of crises are also times of opportunities. The youth is the best time of your life to take any initiative. In these crises we have a greater responsibility towards our elders and society at large.”
LUMS wishes Rizq the best of luck for its future endeavours.