KARACHI - Over 50 Karachi-based civil society organisations (CSOs) have launched an online platform to combine their efforts, skills and resources to resolve major civic and social issues of the city.

The launching ceremony of the online portal www.humaawaz.com was held here at a local hotel on Saturday.

The event was attended by over 200 civil society members, bloggers and representatives of different philanthropic and non-governmental organisations. Representatives of Karachi-based NGOs shared their success stories with the audience regarding their projects to tackle different social and civic problems of the city.

This is the first time such an online platform has been launched in the country to bring together CSOs and their members working in different social sectors for developing strong networking among them, said Imran Azhar one of the steering committee members managing affairs of the web portal.

He said that there was no membership fee for the CSOs willing to get registered with the web portal.

“All members of the steering committee overseeing working of the web portal and related initiatives have been working purely on a voluntary basis without any financial benefit,” he said, and added that initially the web portal would focus on issues related to education, sanitation, and water supply to Karachi as the most glaring civic problems of the city. While more areas would also be explored to find feasible and effective solutions to other civic and social problems of Karachi.

“In the next stage, workshops and seminars would be organised for the capacity building of members of CSOs to motivate them to render their services for general good of the society,” said Azhar.

A key feature of the web portal would be the prospect of arranging funds for the projects conceived by CSOs for overcoming social and civic menaces in the city. The portal would be used to launch appeals to philanthropists, influential persons, and organisations for donations for such projects.

He further informed that web portal would also act as a bridge between the government and CSOs to launch social sector initiatives under the public-private partnership regime of federal and Sindh governments.

Hum Aawaz is a network of CSOs that has been launched to unite civil society, and enable it to raise a collective voice for the eradication of Karachi’s problems.

Hum Aawaz will connect CSOs through an online portal where organizations can register and begin collective work to solve Karachi’s problems. With the mission of making Civil Society sufficiently organized, Hum Aawaz is rooting for the rights to the ‘narrative’ of Karachi, said other members of the steering committee.