Ahmad Umer Chaudhry, Information and Communications officer
Ahmad has worked for Brooke Pakistan since 2006, and was part of the 2010 Brooke Pakistan flood disaster response team.
What time does your alarm go off and how do you start your day?
My alarm is set for 6:15 am, and my day starts with helping my three young kids get to school. Then I pack up to get to the office, which is a 20-minute drive from my home in Lahore.
What are you responsible for in your role at Brooke?
I joined Brooke Pakistan in 2006 as a Data Management Specialist for the Research (Risk Assessment) Team. In 2007, after completing rigorous training, I joined the Animal Welfare Assessment Team. Then in 2010 I took over the role of Information and Communications officer and now work across all of these roles. I am also the main person looking after the restricted funding and CONNECT projects in Pakistan.
How did you get your job?
This is very interesting! When I was studying I never thought of working for an animal charity. I have a double Masters: computer science (2003) and sociology (2005). During my sociology masters, I worked for the research wing of Punjab University, and at that time Brooke had contacted the university to conduct a socio-economic survey of equine owners in the field. Our professor selected the thesis students and made a team of data collectors and analysists to do the study, and I was lucky enough to be one of them.
The study went very well; we submitted a report to Brooke Pakistan and said goodbye. Then I saw a newspaper advert for a research position which needed a person with a sociology background and also skilled computer knowledge. The organisation was Brooke Pakistan! I was already inspired by its great charitable work and so I immediately applied. I got a call from Brooke Pakistan HQ telling me that Amanda (then head of research) wanted to meet me. I went for the interview the next day and was offered the job, which I very happily accepted. Since that day - 15 June 2006 - I have never looked back.
What’s your typical day?
It’s a mixture of both field and office work, and depends on the assignments I am doing for the fundraising team in the UK. Sometimes I have to stay in the field to get the perfect photo, sometimes I have to stay late in the office to complete a detailed donor report.
But typically my day starts at 9am with a review of the work tasks and priorities for the day. Then I leave for the field to collect content, or assess animals for a welfare assessment or research. In the afternoon I try to be at my desk because that’s when the UK office opens and I start receiving emails from my colleagues.
I usually leave the office at around 5.30pm and get home around 6pm. I will relax a bit and then help my kids with their homework and play some video games (I love my Xbox 360!).
The moment I saw the mixed emotions of happiness and excitement on the face of the owner is one I will never forget.
What’s your most memorable work moment?
When I was with the Brooke Pakistan flood disaster response team in 2010 and we treated a donkey belonging to an old blind man. When we first approached the owner and told him we wanted to help his animal (who had deep wounds all over his body) he thought we were making fun of him because he had never heard of anyone or any organisations who wanted to help equines!
When our vet had finished cleaning and bandaging the wounds, we took the owner’s hand so that he would be able to feel the bandage on his donkey. The moment I saw the mixed emotions of happiness and excitement on the face of the owner is one I will never forget. I felt so proud of Brooke’s work and I managed to capture that moment on camera and collect a case study.
What’s the worst part of your job?
What’s the best part of your job?
That I am a part of a system which directly helps needy animals and their owners.
What would be your Plan B? What would you be doing if you didn't work at Brooke?
I would have been a computer software programmer, developing games.
What do you do after work?
Relax at home with my kids.
What makes you proud to be Brooke?
The unprecedented work this charity does for the hardest working animals and human beings around the world.
Starting from a single mobile clinic in Peshawar in 1991, Brooke has expanded to cover areas of extreme need in KPK, Punjab and Sindh province, reaching nearly 600,000 horses, donkeys and mules.