One of the initiatives which WF-AID has explored in uplifting humanity at large is the collective marriage programme, most notably that which is undertaken by our ground partners in Pakistan.
The selection procedure is initiated by needy Shia families who want to get married but don’t have the financial resources themselves. They notify the organisation in confidence and submit their joint applications, which are scrutinised and verified for eligibility by the organisation and by Ulama-e-Karam. Deserving families are selected for assistance and thereafter the place and date of the marriage ceremonies are determined.
The organisation arranges for a large community function in which a maximum of 50 couples are present with their families. In this ceremony, the Nikah is recited along with words of wisdom by respected speakers and a wedding feast is prepared. The dowry is arranged by the organisation with all the necessary items.
Guests who are invited to attend the marriage ceremonies include brothers and sisters from other denominations as well as non-Muslims, in order to develop a mutual understanding and relationship between people from all walks of life.
The location of the collective ceremonies are held in particularly needy areas such as Parachinar, District Mianwali, Dera Ismail Khan and Bhakkar. At present, there is a requirement of a large ceremony to take place in Parachinar for 50 couples who have been approved to receive the support. These individuals have been particularly affected by the turbulent situation in the region, either directly by the loss of family members or indirectly with the economic loss of income. The budget is provided in the document below.
The total for the initiative for 50 marriages, including operational and project delivery costs is USD $35,658. This works out at under $715 per couple!