In its mission to give back to the society, Empower Foundation recently launched Zaytun. Zaytun is a custom-built facility providing daily fresh meals to the needy in the outskirts of Karachi. The purpose of this initiative is to help ease financial worries of the poor and provide wholesome meals to meet their dietary needs.
Since its ground-breaking in mid-August, Zaytun has up till now served more than 20,000 people, and on average, serves 500+ people a day. People served include children from nearby schools, women, laborers and the elderly. Special care is taken to ensure a nutritious meal plan, which includes lentils, rice, vegetables, poultry and meat, prepared daily with complete hygiene measures in place.
Zaytun serves as a beacon of hope for the locals, not only for providing food, but also employment opportunities. The cook and the workers who run the daily operations of the facility are all from the neighbourhood. As the facility grows, it is planned to give the jobs to the locals there, to help break their cycle of poverty.
The raison d’être of Zaytun is intrinsically connected with the symbolism attached to the meaning of its name. “Zaytun” which is the Arabic/Urdu translation of “olive”, is a plant which in many cultures and religions, represent stability, life/medicine and blessings. This resonates strongly with the sentiments of the people for whom Zaytun is built for.
According to a person from the neighborhood, “Zaytun is a blessing for us. It gives a meal to our children that we aren’t able to afford ourselves. It has really made a difference in our neighbourhood.”
Through Zaytun, we hope to further strengthen our vision to give back and help alleviate poverty – one of the biggest issues in the world. We believe that with Zaytun, we can contribute to make this world a better place. The team works tirelessly to grow the facility, and in time, expand it to other poverty-stricken areas as well. Moving forward, the future plan is to also utilize this facility as a center for free and quality education. Getting an education will help people get better jobs, greater independence and a chance to improve their and their families’ living standards.