Abdul Sattar Edhi established his first medical clinic in Karachi 56 years ago—and he has never stopped helping the people of Pakistan. His nonprofit Edhi Foundation (see edhifoundation.com) now runs 320 centers across that country to provide health care, schools, and more for needy Pakistanis of any religion or caste. Voluntary donations from individuals make up all the foundation's funding; in order to maintain its independence, the organization accepts no support from any governments, religious groups, or relief agencies. Those helped by the Edhi Foundation include:
The foundation offers care for orphans and abandoned babies and also arranges adoptions in Pakistan and abroad. Other services include education, housing, counseling, and vocational training.
Edhi's shelters provide sanctuary to victims of domestic abuse. Family planning information and maternity care are also made available.
Medical centers and a fleet of 1,380 ambulances in use throughout Pakistan serve people in need. Transportation and treatment are generally offered at nominal cost, but care after accidents and disasters is given free of charge. Even those who don't survive are cared for: Edhi provides collection, cleansing, and burial for the unclaimed bodies of the poor.