Founder Ucare Foundation / Pakistan Foundation
Mohammad Sarwar is the Founder of Ucare Foundation, formally known as Pakistan Foundation in 2000. He was the first Muslim and Pakistani MP in history of British Parliament to swear the oath of allegiance on the Holy Quran. He was elected from his old constituency in Glasgow. In 1992 Mohammad Sarwar won the award for Labour and was successfully elected as a Councillor. Mohammad Sarwar and his team had turned a 700 Tory majority into a Labour victory by 400 votes in what can only be described as an astonishing result. These were the initial steps to him becoming the first British Muslim, in history, to be elected to the House of Commons.
Once he had left the House of Commons he devoted his newly found spare time to achieve greater heights with regards to charity / social work and other various causes. That included building two magnificent hospitals for the poor of the Punjab – a £ 2 million venture at Rajana and another £ 1 million re-development at Chichawatni. He also established the state of the art Foundation Public School – Al Noor Complex in Pir Mahal. All of them are Pakistan Foundation projects.
In 2010/11, along with the Glasgow Central Mosque Relief Committee, hundreds of thousands of pounds were raised for the flood victims and 700 brick houses were built all over the flood hit areas of Pakistan.
He has returned to give something back to the country. Indeed a new chapter begins in the life of Mohammad Sarwar as the Governor of Punjab in 2013 and after one and half year serving as Governor he resigned his position. Now he is working for the betterment of people of Pakistan.
I was born and brought up in some of the most deprived areas of Pakistan. During my childhood, I once lived with my grandparents in a village 330 Saleem pur, Toba Tek Singh South Punjab Pakistan My village did not have a school, so each morning I set off on my journey to a neighbouring village so I could go to school.
I walked many kilometres every day so I could receive an education. There were no roads at all, just a dirt track. The landscape was barren and not the green backdrop which is there today.
Not only was the journey hot and dusty, it was filled with fear. At such a young age, I had no idea who – or what – I would encounter on the way to school, something I believe no child should experience.
And also there is no healthcare facilities in my village or near to my village so it’s another big initiative for me in my life so then myself and some of my close firmed who belong to Toba Tek Singh and like-minded decided to make an institution of healthcare first then schools.
When I started my own business in 1987 and felt settled, I knew I wanted to give something back to my community. I knew I didn’t want others to face the same hardships I had, not to face the same fears I did on my long journey to school and on the way home. So I started to set up a charity to help provide children with quality healthcare, free of fear and on their doorstep. It was here that the seeds of Ucare Foundation were sown, a charity that has gone from strength to strength, helping tens of thousands of peoples in Pakistan access quality education and health care and giving their parents the skills and means to earn a decent living.
I recognised very early on that the best answer to poverty is to help people to help themselves by giving them the training, tools, livestock and whatever else they need to stand on their own feet. And this remains the guiding principle of Islamic Aid today. In establishing Ucare Foundation in 2000, I was able to use my business & political expertise and experience of the charity sector to give something back to the community I had once belonged to.
Mohammed Sarwar, Founder & Ex-chairman Ucare Foundation.