Pakistan women’s national football captain Hajra Khan is now the newest Ambassador for the British Asian Trust, one of Prince of Wales’s charities in the UK.
She has joined a host of high-profile figures, including Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Sanam Saeed, and Noreen Khan, to be a champion of the organisation’s mental health work in Pakistan.
Hajra will be promoting the British Asian Trust’s mental health work to create mass awareness about mental health issues and enable the British Asian Trust to scale up its Mental Health Programme in Pakistan.
According to the World Health Organisation, there are more than 50 million people in Pakistan affected by mental health issues but there are fewer than 400 practicing psychiatrists and almost no community mental health services. The trust aims to reach 150,000 people and touch the lives of 500,000 more over the next five years through provision of community-based mental healthcare, training and awareness to improve knowledge, referrals and access to support.
Hajra became captain of Pakistan’s National Women’s Football team at the age of 20. She is the only Pakistani footballer to have been invited by and trained with German Bundesliga Clubs. Signed by SHR Football Club in Maldives, she is also the only Pakistani to score more than 100 goals in her club career. She has been an active advocate for raising awareness about mental health issues in the country and gave a Ted Talk ‘Athletes and Mental Health- The Unrevealed Contender’.
“It takes each of us to make a difference for all of us so it is an absolute honour for me to come on board as an ambassador for British Asian Trust; to support and contribute to a South Asia that is better for all,” said Hajra.
The British Asian Trust has been supporting mental health programmes in Pakistan since 2011 and scaled up this work substantially in 2018.