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Newbury woman embarks on Pakistan odyssey



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Waheeda Soomro intends to write a book on her experiences abroad

A Newbury woman is to set off on a road trip across Pakistan with the aim of raising funds for a regional women’s charity.

Waheeda Soomro (pictured) – who presents shows on Kennet Radio – is planning the excursion for February 2020.

Ms Soomro, who is of Pakistani heritage, says she was inspired to the action following the death of her husband.

She said: “Unfortunately I was not able to identify an NGO [non-governmental organisation] that works specifically with widows, so my aim is to fundraise for one that works in women’s empowerment and development and I am working with contacts in Pakistan to identify a suitable organisation.”

She intends to start out in Karachi – home to the family of her late husband – and head north, finishing at the border.

Along the way, she hopes to engage with a variety of NGOs and local initiatives working in women’s welfare.

All the while, she will be writing a book on life and culture in Pakistan, a country she admits to feeling “quite disconnected” from.

Ms Soomro has lived in Newbury for more than 20 years and has extensive experience in both the charity and public sectors.

She currently works for the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

She said: “I hear that Pakistan is undergoing a new wave of transformation, and the new emerging Pakistan is progressive with great ambition and integrity.

“I want to reconnect with my heritage, see for myself and share the new Pakistan as seen through the eyes of real people.”



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