Thursday June 28, Buttmang village in AJK - French Ambassador to Pakistan Régis de Belenet participated as the Chief guest to the opening ceremony of a school reconstruction project carried out by the French NGO Première Urgence (PU) in AJK, with the financial support of the French Government. The Acting President of AJK, Shah Ghulam Qadir, accompanied him as the guest of honour.
On the way to the village of Buttmang, the French Ambassador made a courtesy call on AJK’s Prime Minister, Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan, who thanked Première Urgence for its support after the earthquake. He stated the current needs in AJK were mostly infrastructures and education facilities.
The remarkable project of PU, as the Ambassador termed it, provides 80 classrooms for 61 schools, in 40 isolated villages of the Union Councils of Machiara, Serli Sacha and Heer Kotli in AJK.
The community of Buttmang graced the unusual visitors with a warm welcome in spite of the pre-monsoon rain pouring down that day. The community leaders, along with the teachers and children thanked the French NGO Première Urgence and the French Government for their assistance in those times of dire needs.
The French Ambassador praised the work done by PU and added that he realized being there, what a challenging and amazing project it was. He paid tribute to the dedication of PU staff and to the courage of Buttmang’s community, stating that they managed to join their hands to build those schools, therefore creating a trustful relationship amongst them.
The school of this village, like in almost all the other ones PU assists, was destroyed by the earthquake in October 2005. Before the intervention of PU, whose moto is “to be where no other NGO is”, the children had to attend classes in the open or at the best under a worn out tent. The different programmes (shelter, water and sanitation, education) PU is implementing are benefiting to 35 000 people across AJK.