In January this year, I accompanied Global One on a delegation to Pakistan to see the work being done to eradicate polio and assess how Pakistani diaspora in the UK like myself could engage with efforts there.

Despite the fact millions of British babies receive polio vaccinations every year at birth, Pakistan, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, is one of three countries in the world where it is still an epidemic. Overshadowed by the ghost of Osama Bin Laden, there is a sense of distrust towards both western NGOs and government workers delivering vaccination programmes in Pakistani communities, after a false immunisation campaign led by a Pakistani doctor was used by the CIA in 2011 to track him down.

Beyond the headlines about polio eradication in Pakistan, I knew very little about it. It’s a common tale of woe – when the diaspora are amputated from the goings on of the motherland. The opportunity to go on this delegation was as good an opportunity as any to learn something about the country that was home to my grandparents.

Our first stop was a primary school for young Afghan refugee girls in Nowshera, the northern province of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (KPK).

I was immediately struck by the rubble surrounding the white painted walls of the school, remnants of houses which belonged to Afghan refugee families. The wood which used to form the roofs of these homes had been taken by Afghan families repatriated back to Afghanistan by the Pakistani government. With no other form of transportation, the wood was used as their only form of shelter from the sun, as they lumbered the heavy load from one country to the other.