Sonia Shah Organization, “Changing the world, one girl at a time”

By Asian Media USA ©

Chicago IL: August 27th, 2017, there was a musical evening featuring globally acclaimed artist and vocalist Humera Channa, organized to benefit Sonia Shah Organization. Key friends and supporters of Sonia Shah Organization (SSO) gathered at Deerfield Illinois for a memorable evening to support the mission. Iram Shah gave the progress on school in Pakistan and Sonia Shah scholarship program here in U.S. The board members Dr. Saira Alvi, Zahir Lavji and friends provided their perspective followed by a speech of Pakistan Councel General Faisal Trimizi.

Late Sonia Shah who at the tender age of 17 started the organization to educate and empower underprivileged girls in rural Pakistan and USA. Although Sonia died suddenly in a car accident in 2012, her dream lives on through dedication of her mom, Iram Shah, extended family, and a dedicated team of volunteers and friends who continue to run the Chicago-based nonprofit organization.

“Sonia was a gift who kept giving and tonight I want to share what we have achieved with your generosity and support,”. We have come a long way. Giving progress report of the school”, Imran said. We have now capacity children in the SSO School. Our filtration plant continues to provide clean drinking water to the village. “While other Schools in area repeatedly are being bombed and destroyed across Pakistan by Islamic militants, SSO school in Kangra village has thrived in the remote due to dedicated volunteer work”. All the money raised helps SSO to continue its life-changing work on behalf of “young girls in Pakistan who otherwise would never have gone to school, young adult women who had given up on higher education, and mature women learning skills to be economically independent,” Iram said.

Additionally, all three major projects started in 2015 are accomplished or well under way to be completed to include: Installed on the roof of Sonia Shah Memorial School, Solar panels, which provides uninterrupted electricity and security at night.” A vocational center for women, “where we are teaching women skills that can give them economic independence,” opened in June and “to our surprise 40 women registered the first day in 1st. year. Today we have a wait list of 100 women.” Since 2015, SSO’s distributes two scholarships to the recipient female students, who start college in Chicago area each fall. “This scholarship is going to help them have a new life,” Iram said.

This scholarship has made what I thought were impossible dreams a reality. “It is just a whole new experience for me. It gives me hope that I can ensure financial status for my family”, said one of the recipients.

But the journey is not done; we have many mountains to climb together. “Many [students] come to school without a proper breakfast and appear chronically malnourished. Some of these kids don’t even have shoes. We want to provide school nutritious meals, uniforms and medical check-ups and expand the Sonia Shah Scholarship program. It is a journey of hope and promise. “Please join us.”

At the conclusions of the successful fund raiser, cultural program started by one and only Versatile Diva – Humera Channa, icon of Pakistan is blessed with a soulful voice, elegant personality and immaculate vocal delivery with precision. With nearly three decades long music career, Humera Channa is one of the most refined female vocalists Pakistan has produced to date. In addition to being a great musician, Channa is a polished and down-to-earth personality. If one analysis the languages in which she has sung in, one is astonished to realize that she has sung in almost every language spoken in Pakistan. However some of the languages in which her songs became significantly popular include Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi, Pashto, Saraiki, Marwari, Thai and Bengali. This is a rare feat for any Pakistani vocalist. According to an estimate, to date, she has lent voice to over 5000 songs.

She has made her country proud in India, UAE, Bangladesh (SAARC Leaders Conference), Canada, UK, rest of Europe and many other countries around the globe as a true ambassador of peace and serenity.

Humera Channa gave an amazing entertainment with her team of musicians and kept the guests engaged and entertained till late at night. Humera Channa is a unique artist who has won most awards after madam Noor Jehan from Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, to 4 times winner of Nigaar Award. Now Sonia Shah Organization preparing for their annual gala on September 16th at Logan Square Auditorium.

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