Welcome to the Pakistan Welfare Association, Slough.
I first joined the PWA as Vice President in 2000 for two years, and am pleased to have been re-elected, this time as President, in February 2016.
The association has been in operation for over five decades, in which time the Pakistani community has grown in Slough substantially. My parents’ generation were the first to move to Slough in the 1960s. Today, there are well over 35,000 members of the Pakistani community living in this multicultural, diverse town, which is close to Windsor and London.
Thus, the association has an important role to play in the local community. It’s a non-political organisation which has the support of local authorities including Slough Borough Council.
There are three main driving forces for the association. Firstly, education. Children and adults alike take classes in Arabic language, in training for the 11+ school exams and in teachings of the Quran.
Secondly, recreation. The association is also committed to the physical well-being of its members and offers exercise classes and light sports such as badminton, tennis and kudo. Yoga classes will also be starting from Spring 2016.
Thirdly, there is a permanent need for the association to provide administrative services like the NICOP (National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis). From Spring 2016, we will be running an online service for the community so that members can get help in processing their NICOP applications.
Last but not least, we have an important goal at a community level, which is to purchase the building which has housed the association for the past decade. We will be asking local members to help us in this undertaking, for the future of the Pakistani community, in perpetuity.
Thank you all for having faith in me to be President of the PWA for the next three years. I will do my utmost with my team to help and bring out the best in the Pakistani community which we are so proud to be a part of.
Mohammed Shabbir Raja
President, PWA Slough