ISLAMABAD, AUG 27 (DNA) – Serena Hotels collaborated with the Karim Khan Afridi Welfare Foundation to sponsor ‘Save Tomorrow II – Time to Remember, Time to Act’ – a football match to raise awareness against drug abuse. The Foundation is a non-profit organization working primarily to raise drug awareness among teenagers. The event was sponsored under Serena Hotel’s Sports Diplomacy Initiative. Commemorating the ‘International Overdose Awareness Day’, the matches between two professional teams of 18+ boys, Islamabad Football Association vs. Rawalpindi Football Association, and two professional teams of 18+ girls, Young Rising Stars vs. Islamabad Girls, were held at the Jinnah National Stadium, Pakistan Sports Board.
Cristina von Sperling Afridi, Founder/Chairperson of KKAWF, said, “International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31steach year to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a legal and illegal drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends by remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. Save Tomorrow II provided an opportunity for people to publicly mourn for loved ones through lighting candles in remembrance.”
Serena Hotels engages in various activities to support the children and youth of Pakistan. With 25 million children (aged 5-16 years) out of school in Pakistan, lack of infrastructure and teaching staff along with poor teaching standards in public schools, the cause of education is pivotally important for every household and every community in Pakistan. There is also a rising concern as substance abuse is becoming common across the country.
Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels, said, “This is a country of young people, many of whom live without opportunities and we must provide our youth with the knowledge, skills and opportunities for them to excel in life. Organizations, like Serena Hotels, are strategically placed and have the capacity to support and promote causes which encourage healthy lifestyles.”
He added, “Last year, Serena Hotels hosted the first high altitude marathon in Hunza as a part of Serena Hotels’ campaign against substance abuse. The 10 km and 5 km half-marathon for amateurs encouraged young people to engage in healthy exercise and raised awareness about the negative impact of substance abuse. Subsequently, Serena supported, “Save Tomorrow I” cycling marathon organized by Karim Khan Afridi Welfare Foundation on the International Overdose Awareness Day 2016. The Hunza Marathon 2017 also attracted numerous students.”
Serena Hotels has incorporated sports diplomacy into its annual calendar by hosting, sponsoring and facilitating diverse tournaments and matches which transcend cultural differences and bring people together. There is a universal passion for sports across different ages and types of people which paves the way to transcend sociocultural differences betweenpeople. Participation in sports and athletic activities teaches leadership, teamwork, and communication skills. This helps young people succeed in all areas of their lives and is an effective way to convey positive, life-affirming messages.