PESHAWAR: The Maureen Lines Foundation (MLF) has been launched to carry forward the legacy of legendary social worker, cultural activist, author and environmentalist who had devoted her life to serve others.
Maureen Lines (1937-2017)
A noted cultural activist, Dr Ali Jan, has been named the chairman of the foundation. Close friends of Maureen P. Lines such as Raza Kuli Khan Khattak (chief patron), Sirajul Mulk and others are also in the body.
Late Maureen P. Lines (Tamgha-i-Imtiaz) was born in England in 1937. After travelling around the world, she eventually made Pakistan her home in 1980 where she passed away in on March 18, this year. She was laid to rest at Peshawar’s Gora Qabristan. The Kalash Environmental Protection Society (KEPS) in Pakistan and Hindu Kush Conservation Association (HKCA) in United Kingdom were both founded by her.
The MLF has been launched to continue Maureen P. Lines charity work uninterrupted and to ensure her adopted Kalasha family of orphans spend purposeful lives according to Maureen Lines’s last wishes becoming future leaders and ambassadors of their community. In a Board of Trustees meeting organised by Keith Howman OBE at Shepperton, United Kingdom, Dr Ali Jan was appointed as the honourary Vice-President of HKCA.
The board also decided to extend full support to MLF’s mission, which in the view of one of the members Dr Laurence Watson gave “fresh life and purpose to HKCA.” Addressing the ceremony, John Brown, Commander of the British Empire, stated, “The new foundation will ensure that the care and love meted out to her beloved Kalash will continue after Maureen’s demise.” Referring to the upcoming projects of HKCA-MLF he hoped that “this will serve as permanent memorial to the lifetime’s work of a remarkable lady.” Brown also acts as Chairman of HKCA.
The HKCA was formed in 1995 by trustees who serve this charity in UK with dedication. About 25 years ago, John Brown met Maureen through a local photographic society at Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire, UK.
According to him, “Maureen was a talented photographer and at that time she would be resident in Princes Risborough during the winter months where she would undertake painting and decorating for local people; this enabled her to earn a modest amount of money.”
“During the summer she would return to NWFP [Khyber Pakhtunkhwa] Pakistan to use that money in charitable work amongst the Kalasha,” he said.
Besides John Brown, the trustees of HKCA comprise many notables including former UK High Commissioner to Pakistan Sir Nicholas Barrington KCMG CVO, Rupert Wright, Keith Howman and his wife Jean, and others.
Recently, an MLF delegation visited Chitral to review Maureen’s ongoing projects in the Kalash Valleys. They include construction of a Bashali (female seclusion home), a school building, a future BHU and Kalash Anthropological Museum. The delegation met Kalash community members and also held deliberations with Carey Schofield who heads Sayuj School in Chitral and Prince Siraj ul Mulk of Chitral’s royal family.
The MLF is mandated to work in the fields of education, primary health care, conservation of environment and cultural heritage, eco-tourism, youth and women empowerment, livelihoods and disaster management. The organisation plans to invite friends and supporters of Maureen Lines to enlist as MLF members in the coming days.–The News