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AKRSP’s intervention helped reduce poverty
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20049

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Survey: Poverty assessment to support more households
The origin­al survey report along with a briefi­ng is availa­ble with the govern­ment.
By Our Correspondent
Published: May 25, 2012

GILGIT:
A survey conducted last year to assess the level of poverty in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) has been re-launched to include those who were missed.

Ajmal Baig, an official in the Benazir Income Support Programme, told The Express Tribune on Thursday that the responsibility of the survey has been given to Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, a nongovernmental organisation (NGO) that had assisted in the earlier survey.

The decision to re-launch the survey was taken in the light of complaints that the government left out many households earlier. The survey has been formally launched in Skardu and will be conducted in all those areas of G-B where there were complaints, he official said. He reasoned that given the difficult terrain of the mountainous region, the possibility of missing out on some households cannot be ruled out.

The original survey report along with a briefing is available with the government.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2012.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/383915/survey-poverty-assessment-to-support-more-households/
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKRSP provides analysed data on fuoride content in ground water

Fluoride level too high in 18 Gujarat districts’ ground water
DNA / Smitha R / Monday, May 14, 2012 19:26 IST

Nearly 70% of the districts in the state have fluoride contents beyond the permissible limit in ground water. Data available from the ministry of water resources, concerning ground water quality scenario, reveals that 18 of Gujarat's 26 districts have fluoride content above the permissible limit. Gujarat ranks 5th among the 19 states in high fluoride content in ground water. If that isn't enough, the nitrate content in ground water is also quite high in various districts of the state.

The districts that have such excessive fluoride content include Ahmedabad, Amreli, Anand, Banaskantha, Bharuch, Bhavnagar, Dahod, Junagadh, Kutch, Mehsana, Narmada, Panchmahals, Patan, Rajkot, Sabarkantha, Surat, Surendranagar and Vadodara.

Those with excess nitrate include Ahmedabad, Anand, Banaskantha, Gandhinagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Mehsanan, Narmada, Rajkot, Sabarkantha, Surendranagar and Vadodara.

Data about high nitrate content was derived from samples collected and analysed by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme.

It should be noted that the permissible limit of fluoride and nitrate in ground water is 1.5 mg per litre.

Anything in excess of the permissible limit poses several health problems. The fluoride content in ground water in these districts was analysed on basis of water samples collected from groundwater observation wells of the ministry.

Pankaj Dave, who works with the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in Saurashtra region, said that high fluoride content is a natural phenomenon. "Industrial pollution and other such things have rarely anything to do with it. The regions where the support programme functions, hardly has a concentration of industries," said Dave.

He stated that high fluoride content often results in weak bones and joint pain. "In certain areas of Amreli district the problem is more severe," said Dave. According to him the best solution is to make use of surface water and also recharge the ground water level.

"Rain water conservation for drinking purpose can also help," said Dave.He said through the programme, they have helped build lakes in Surendranagar district to address this issue.

As for nitrate content, data collected as part of the Centre for Development Alternatives showed that several districts of the state had high nitrate content in ground water. Of the samples tested in Ahmedabad, 43% had nitrate content above the permissible limit.

More than 70% of samples collected from ground water in Gandhinagar, Anand, Junagadh, Jamnagar, Rajkot and Sabarkantha also had nitrate contents above the permissible limit.

Those working in the field attributed the high nitrate content to industrial pollution. "Industrial waste, particularly from fertiliser and urea manufacturers, finds its way to water sources and even ground water leading to contamination of the water. Excessive use of fertiliser in farms also leads to such a situation," said an analyst on condition of anonymity.

http://www.dnaindia.com/print710.php?cid=1688565
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rural poor welcomed me with open arms

Shoaib Sultan Khan
Wednesday, June 06, 2012 From Print Edition

The poverty reduction model launched by Shoaib Sultan Khan, a pioneer of rural development in Pakistan, has been replicated on a huge scale over the decades in India. Khan’s expertise has always been available to India, no matter how adversarial relations between the two states were. Khan is the honorary chairperson of the board of directors of Rural Support Programmes Network (RSPN) comprising 11 RSPs, including Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) and Thardeep Rural Development Programme (TRDP). His “magical power” to mobilise communities for their development has led to numerous awards, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award 1992 and Pakistan’s Sitara-e-Eisaar and Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 2006. He was elected as Senior Ashoka Fellow and nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. He recently visited India at the invitation of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, which has adopted and implemented the rural support programme model. Back in Pakistan, he spoke to Aman Ki Asha on the need for the two countries to cooperate in reducing poverty and benefit from each other’s experiences. Excerpts:

By Shahzada Irfan Ahmed

Aman Ki Asha: When did India replicate the RSP model for the first time? How did you feel when you went there to execute the plan during PM Narasimha Rao’s tenure? What was it like being a Pakistani in India, delivering to the Indian poor?

Shoaib Sultan Khan: It was in late 1994 that United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched their regional programme, South Asia Poverty Alleviation Programme (SAPAP) and asked me to be the Senior Adviser to SAPAP. The origin of SAPAP was in the recommendations of the independent South Asian Commission on Poverty Alleviation (ISACPA), set up by SAARC heads of state in 1991. The Pakistan Prime Minister nominated me on the commission, which deliberated for over a year, visiting all the South Asian countries except Bhutan. Venugopal, the Secretary to the Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, was also a member of the Commission.

More.....

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-14-112770-The-rural-poor-welcomed-me-with-open-arms
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ramazan diaries: Artistic depictions of thoughts and rituals

By Our Correspondent

Published: August 29, 2012

ISLAMABAD:
This year’s “Ramazan Diaries”, set to open at Nomad Gallery on September 1, will focus on the difference the advent of technology has made in the lives of fourteen women from Chitral. Much like last year’s exhibition, the textile collection will feature artistic recordings of events, thoughts and rituals during Ramazan.

“Around six of the hand-embroidered textiles in this collection will focus on text messages these women sent each other around Ramazan. The narratives offered in the works are novel and insightful,” Ange Braid of Polly & Me told The Express Tribune.

In March 2008, Polly & Me — a social enterprise working with the Agha Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) — invited women from Chitral’s embroidery collectives to participate in a series of creative workshops. Using inspiration from their daily lives, the women produced a collection of 23 hand-embroidered textiles for the exhibition.

Mogh was set up in 2006 as a public company to create income and employment opportunities for the women of Chitral. Over the years, Mogh has trained more than 3,000 female artisans in a variety of skills, including hand-woven woolen fabrics, embroidery, knitting and crocheting. “This is a continuing, great aesthetic initiative to empower women through their own experiences and thought processes. The artisans are given artistic freedom, which shows in all the works,” commented Nageen Hyat, the curator of Nomad Gallery.

Braid says that those planning to attend the exhibition can look forward to hand embroidered cushions, bed covers, wall hangings, and crockery. Though the exhibition at Nomad Gallery will be more intimate than the one held at the Serena in May, Braid states that the artwork will definitely be worth seeing as they will be aesthetically pleasing and thought-provoking at the same time.

One of the most pivotal and unique element of the collection is quirkiness, which shows how these women have thoroughly enjoyed their time producing the work and being a part of the programme. A sneak-peek at pictures of a wall hanging shows a collection of phones and clocks, illustrating how “technology has changed the way these women perceive time, keep time and manage their lives”, according to Braid.

The concept of time is especially important during Ramazan, when ‘Sehri’ and ‘Iftari’ have to be kept in check as well as how time seems to run at a slower pace than usual. Therefore the title ‘Ramazan Diaries’ is further qualified as these women artistically represent sentiments so universally Pakistani, but in their unique style.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2012.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/427530/ramazan-diaries-artistic-depictions-of-thoughts-and-rituals/
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKRSP launches project to enhance the livelihoods of fisherman in partnership with Tata Power

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/article3907346.ece

Tata Power’s Mundra UMPP launches project for fishermen

Ahmedabad, Sept. 17: Tata Power, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Coastal Gujarat Project Ltd (CGPL), has launched the ‘Sagarbandhu’ project in partnership with the Aga Khan Rural Support Program - India, to increase the livelihood opportunities of the coastal community, especially fishermen.

The company said here on Monday the project would benefit the fishermen in village Modva of Mandvi taluka through institution building, value chain analysis and scaling up of existing livelihood practices.

The project also emphasises on convergence with the State Government-sponsored programme for the fishermen, for implementation of these schemes with the support of the Village Development Society.

Under this programme, the Gujarat Government has started training on seaweed, a first of its kind programme in the area, exclusively for the fisherwomen. This will create awareness about seaweed and help them gain knowledge on various techniques of collection, processing and trading of seaweed.

For the project implementation, the company has chalked out a community development plan involving the feedback of the Modava community and formed the ‘Modhva Machhimar Gram Vikas Samiti’, registered under the Societies Registration Act.

The 10-day training programme will be conducted by experts giving hands-on experience to fisherwomen. The State Fisheries Department is also extending Rs 125 per day to each of the 30 women beneficiaries as a motivational amount, said K. K. Sharma, Chief, Mundra.

CGPL is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) formed for setting up and operating the 4,000 MW Mundra project, India’s first UMPP, whose first unit is about to be commissioned. CGPL had signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with seven procurers (distribution licensees) from five States, namely, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab for the sale of contracted capacity.

Keywords: Tata Power, Tata Power's UMPP, Mundra, Tata Power training programme for Gujarat fishermen, Coastal Gujarat Project Ltd, CGPL, Aga Khan Rural Support Program - India,
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKRSP supports training for mountaineering instructors during the summer of 2013

World body to train instructors

Our Correspondent
Friday, October 19, 2012
From Print Edition

LAHORE
Mountain Wilderness International (MWI) would organize first training course for the mountaineering instructors during the summer of 2013.

In this regard, the local leaders of the AKRSP (Agha Khan organization) and Qamar Zaman, Federal Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Training, assured their full support to the initiative, acknowledging its educational, professional and sustainable significance, said Prof. Carlo Alberto Pinelli, Chief of the Asian Desk (MWI).

He said that, after many years of absence, the MWI had come back to Pakistan to offer, once more, to their Pakistani friends their technical expertise and their philosophical vision of the relationship between civilized man and the mountains. “We were here to take up again a common and shared path based on a positive exchange of ideas and experiences. In truth it is not quite correct to say that we have been absent: Pakistan is the only Asian Nation where a Chapter of Mountain Wilderness has been operating efficiently for years.”

He said the project also aimed at connecting these well-trained Pakistani instructors’ groups to the people living in the Afghan corridor.

These Pakistani instructors who speak Wakhi can be sent to Afghanistan by the Aga Khan organizations to help the local youth willing to acquire the basic skills needed to offer their services to foreign visitors as mountain guides, altitude porters and trekking organizes. In fact, at present, many tourists interested in outdoor activities reach the Wakhan mountains, coming directly from Tajikistan.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-5-138235-World-body-to-train-instructors
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKRSP promotes Microsoft’s project ‘Jyoti’ that train people with computer skills on nominal fee

Microsoft Project helps Indian Youth help generate income through computer training reports Online Training Direct
Microsoft’s Project “Jyoti” helping young people
(EMAILWIRE.COM, October 20, 2012 ) San Francisco, CA- Microsoft’s Project “Jyoti is bring help and needed income to youth across India. For Hina Rahi, eldest child of her seven-member family, it has made all the difference for her family.

“My father has a small shop in Delhi. He used to send us Rs 3,000 every month which was not enough for us. I always wanted to economically support my family but I was not educated enough. Last year, during a door-to-door advertising of Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP), India-’computerji jode duniya se’, I got to know about Microsoft’s project ‘Jyoti’ that train people with computer skills on nominal fee,” according to Hina.

‘Jyoti’ is a skills training program created by the Microsoft Corporation Private Limited (Microsoft India) that provides training to people that are 18-35 years old. The program trains participants in computer skills, which can then help them get a job. Microsoft introduced the program in 2009 in collaboration with various NGO’s and opened community technology centers in remote areas to provide residents with access and support.

“ I enrolled myself at the center after paying Rs 850 for a six month course and learnt various computer programs. It changed my life. I now work as an assistant at a school and also teach students and earn Rs 2,500 a month,” said Hina. This has also inspired her to open her own training center for girls who were just like her. Hina is just one of many stories of success that the program has seen over the years.

According to Manju Dhasmana, community affairs managers for Microsoft India, over 8,000 youth have been trained through the program to date. The program has also placed “over 5,200 people” after the completion of the program. The program is truly helping an area of India that has been hit hard by tough economic times and a scarce number of jobs in the region.


About OnlineTrainingDirect.com:
OnlineTrainingDirect.com (http://www.onlinetrainingdirect.com) provides self-study online training programs to help people get the training they need to be successful. Online Training Direct offers 24 hour access to learning opportunities to help you reach your goals quickly.

Contact Information:
Online Training Direct
Jack Tanks
Tel: 971234586
Email us

http://www.emailwire.com/release/101034-Microsoft-Project-helps-Indian-Youth-help-generate-income-through-computer-training-reports-Online-Training-Direct.html
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Islamabad: A three-day workshop on ‘Training of Trainers’, organised by the YES Network Pakistan and Agha Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) concluded here, says a press release.

The training was attended by the representatives of Hashoo Foundation and Abdul Wali Khan University. The major goals of the training were to provide participants with the opportunity to acquire and practice skills in facilitating social entrepreneurship training programmes and to enhance their abilities to design training session plans. The purpose of the workshop was to establish a core team of trainers in Chitral, who have relevant skills in planning, designing, supporting and organising social entrepreneurship courses and trainings for the positive development and engagement of young people.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-6-139788-Workshop
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Aga Khan Rural Support Program and the Role of Civil Society in Pakistan
November 08, 2012 // 9:00am — 10:15am
Event Co-sponsors:
Environmental Change and Security Program

For nearly 30 years, the Aga Khan Rural Support Program of Pakistan (AKRSP) has helped improve the lives of more than 1.3 million Pakistanis living in the remote northern regions of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral through its community-based approach to development. This participatory method has enabled AKRSP and its beneficiaries to achieve major successes in raising rural incomes; mobilizing savings; developing natural resources in sustainable, adaptive ways; and building the capacity of civil society and government institutions. Abdul Malik, general manager of AKRSP, will discuss his organization and the role of Pakistani civil society in Pakistan’s future social and economic growth.

http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/the-aga-khan-rural-support-program-and-the-role-civil-society-pakistan
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKRSP recipient of Microsoft grant

Microsoft to award $350,000 grant to NGOs
November 28, 2012 16:37 IST

Microsoft said on Wednesday it will award cash grants worth $350,000 in 2012-13 to non-government organisations in the country which work for the empowerment of youth.

Launching the first centre in Delhi [ Images ] as part of its global YouthSpark initiative, the company allocated $250,000 to two local NGOs Aide ét Action and Aga Khan Rural Support Program, in support of their work with youth.

Microsoft [ Images ] is aiming to create opportunities for 300 million youth in more than 100 countries over the next three years.

http://www.rediff.com/business/report/tech-microsoft-to-award-usd-350000-grant-to-ngos/20121128.htm
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RSPs mark 30th anniversary with renewed pledges

ISLAMABAD - The Rural Support Programme (RSPs), the largest development network in Pakistan, mark their 30th anniversary on Thursday across Pakistan.

On 7th December 1982, the Nobel Peace Prize nominated development guru Shoaib Sultan Khan initiated the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) in northern Pakistan as a project of the Aga Khan Foundation. Since then, the RSP movement has grown across Pakistan, touching the lives of 32 million people.

This model has been replicated in development programmes of India, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

The RSPs will kick off their 30th anniversary celebration in January 2013 with renewed commitments and organizing series of events of which the most significant will be a large community convention and Book launch event of Shoaib Sultan Khan.

In Pakistan, there are now 12 RSPs nationwide, which have fostered almost 300,000 community organisations. These have demonstrated that poor Pakistanis are willing and able to improve their own lives. These 12 RSPs come together at the RSP Network (RSPN), a national level network of which they are all members.

The approach of the AKRSP has led successive governments to replicate this approach across Pakistan. The commitment of government and donors has enabled the RSPs to reach so many people who are engaged in the largest self help movement in Pakistan.

This news was published in print paper. Access complete paper of this day.

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/islamabad/07-Dec-2012/rsps-mark-30th-anniversary-with-renewed-pledges
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKRSP a channel for US aid

US to help 45000 small farmers of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: US government announced on Wednesday that it will help 45,000 farmers in the fruit, vegetable, dairy, and livestock sectors increase their profits.

Farmers will work with US-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to form over 3,000 small farmers’ groups and will receive specialized training to improve their products and sales.

Twelve Pakistani NGOs signed cooperative agreements with the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Agribusiness Project today in Islamabad to provide training to farmers.

Pakistan’s fruit, vegetable, dairy, and meat farmers have great potential, but many small agriculture-based businesses lack the tools to deliver the quality, variety, and quantity of goods that local and international markets demand.

Training and modernization supported by USAID will enable small farmers to deliver higher quality products and increase their profits.

“These programs will increase incomes and create jobs for farmers, agricultural sector processors, and exporters,” said Alex Thier, Assistant to the USAID Administrator, at a meeting of NGOs working with USAID on this initiative.

The twelve Pakistani NGOs helping rural farm communities include the Aga Khan Rural Support Program, the National Rural Support Program, the Sarhad Rural Support Program, the Society for Human and Natural Resources Development (Lasoona), the Hashoo Foundation, the Punjab Rural Support Program, the Rural Community Development Society, the Jinnah Welfare Society, the Roshni Development Organization, the Sindh Agricultural Forestry Workers Coordinating Organization, the Taraqee Foundation, and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

The Agribusiness Project is one of the many initiatives that the United States and Pakistan are carrying out together to create jobs and increase incomes.

The United States and Pakistan are expanding irrigation by 200,000 acres to spur agricultural activity near the Gomal Zam and Satpara dams; constructing more than 1,000 km of roads to connect communities and facilitate trade; modernizing dairy farms in Punjab; and launching investment funds that will provide capital to help small and medium businesses grow.

Copyright PPI (Pakistan Press International), 2012

http://www.brecorder.com/top-news/108-pakistan-top-news/95337-us-to-help-45000-small-farmers-of-pakistan.html
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Radically Different Way of Bringing U.S. Aid to Pakistan
Joshua Foust
Apr 30 2012, 1:05 PM ET MoreEmail
Print Traditional aid programs are struggling in the country. But a less conventional program with less conventional goals seems to show a better model.

Excerpt:

So while USAID is very good at quickly mobilizing assistance to disaster-afflicted communities, it carries a lot of political baggage -- so much so in places like Pakistan that the U.S might be better off in the long run by downsizing USAID's direct activities there and working through alternative programs.

One good model might be the Rural Support Programmes Network. A sprawling collection of local NGOs, the RSPN was founded by the Agha Khan Network in 1982, and has since become its own, separate program. While the stats about its reach are impressive -- reaching millions of the poorest homes across a vast swath of Pakistan -- what's especially fascinating about RSPN are its methods.

Put simply, RSPN has a different focus than normal aid programs. They emphasize the development of institutions first, and only after that institution is established do they worry about its output or performance. The NGO also heavily invests in the smallest scale of the community, from conceptualization to execution, hiring mostly locals to administer projects. Lastly, they have extraordinarily long project timelines -- sometimes as long as 15 years from start to finish.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/a-radically-different-way-of-bringing-us-aid-to-pakistan/256459/
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Small-scale tech can transform women’s lives in a big way

Western development agencies’ lukewarm attitude to the role technology can play in poverty reduction does not serve women well.

NGOs like Practical Action specialise in community-owned technology that is small-scale, labour-saving and cost-effective and often most benefits poor women. More support for such technology projects could transform women’s lives.

Practical Action is not alone.

The electrification of remote villages in the north of Pakistan, introduced by another NGO, the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), shows how three simple ingredients — running water, community organisation and some technical know-how — can help women.

The district of Chitral and the northern areas of Pakistan lie where the Karakoram, the Himalaya and the Hindu Kush mountain ranges meet.
When AKRSP first arrived in this isolated area in the 1980s, it found villages scattered up mountainsides with erratic or no connection to the national grid, and local people demanding electricity. Until then, light came from pinewood torches and expensive kerosene lights.

Villagers build, maintain the systems

AKRSP introduced micro-hydroelectric technology using water from the region’s fast-flowing rivers to generate energy. In Chitral alone, 209 “micro-hydel” systems had been established by 2012, bringing electricity to more than half of the population. Villagers themselves build and maintain the systems.

Community ownership is central to making this technology work. Village organisations, in which women are active, contribute towards installation costs and decide on connection fees, energy charges and subsidies for the poorest households.

Some committees charge more for electricity-hungry appliances such as washing machines, and restrict their use in the evenings when lights and televisions are on to prevent system overload.

For women, gone is the drudgery of time-consuming household chores such as washing clothes and churning butter by hand. Eye and respiratory diseases from smoke produced by kerosene and pinewood torches have declined, especially among women who spend much of their time at home.

Electric light enables women to spend more time turning the local wool, shu, into products that form their largest source of income.

Television – for example through the Allama Iqbal Open University, in Pakistan – has opened up education for women where a strict culture of purdah (the practice of concealing women from men) confines them to their village boundary.

NGOs such as Practical Action and AKRSP show that small-scale technology can benefit women in a number of ways.

Henrietta Miers has worked across Africa and Asia as a gender and social development consultant for 15 years, specialising in gender policy

http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/Rwanda/Opinion/Small-scale-tech-can-transform-women-lives-in-a-big-way-/-/1433246/1715430/-/1jdvea/-/index.html
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:28 pm    Post subject: Hunza Valley: Pakistan's 'real Shangri-La' Reply with quote

independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/hunza-valley-pakistans-real-shangrila-is-a-world-free-from-militant-islamists-poverty-pollution-and-a-lacklustre-education-system-10411618.html

Friday 24 July 2015

Hunza Valley: Pakistan's 'real Shangri-La' is a world free from militant Islamists, poverty, pollution and a lacklustre education system

The region is beautiful, prosperous, and - thanks to charity funding - a bulwark against extremism

Tim Craig

Karimbad

Visitors to the stunningly beautiful valley, towered over by five snowcapped mountains, sometimes feel as if they are standing at the edge of the Earth — or, maybe, at the centre of it.

Either way, they often don’t feel as if they are in Pakistan, a country that struggles with poverty, pollution, Islamist militancy and a lacklustre education system, especially for women.

Once a hardscrabble Himalayan town where residents barely had enough to eat, Karimabad, in the Hunza Valley, is now one of Pakistan’s most idyllic spots – an oasis of tolerance, security and good schools. That standard of living can be traced to residents’ moderate interpretation of Islam as well as considerable support from one of the world’s largest charities.

Boys play soccer on the grounds at F.G. Boys Model High School in Karimabad, Pakistan. Boys play soccer on the grounds at F.G. Boys Model High School in Karimabad, Pakistan.

Many parents in the valley say that if they had to choose, they would send their daughters to school over their sons. Nearly all families own at least a small plot of land. Residents say they cannot remember the last murder in the valley. And unlike in other parts of Pakistan, streams are not polluted with plastic bags, human waste and decaying appliances.

Such views – and protection of the surroundings – have allowed the Hunza Valley’s population to become a bulwark against Islamist extremism, despite its relative proximity to militant strongholds in Pakistan’s tribal belt and Kashmir, a disputed region that Pakistan and India have fought wars over. “Here, we have facilities, we study and there is no terrorism,” said Haider Ali, 18, watching classmates play soccer as the sun set behind Mount Rakaposhi, elevation 25,551ft.
Read more: Welcome to Chitral: Where Pakistan’s elite goes to play

Not everything is perfect, of course. Electricity deficits can keep the lights out for days at a time. A once-vibrant tourism industry collapsed after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Deforestation has led to a shortage of firewood, so families must huddle in one room to stay warm when winter temperatures plunge toward zero.

A view of Pakistanís Hunza Valley from a mountain in Hunza A view of Pakistanís Hunza Valley from a mountain in Hunza

And some local leaders worry the community has become too dependent on charitable groups, leaving it vulnerable to a sudden reduction in aid. Such concerns are growing more pronounced as the Pakistani government, which temporarily expelled Save the Children last month, implements strict new licensing requirements for international aid groups.

But for now, Karimabad is an example of what’s possible in rural Pakistan when residents accept support from international charities and stand firm against the threats posed by militancy.

“This is the real Shangri-La,” Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, the former EU ambassador to Pakistan, said after seeing the Hunza Valley for the first time last year.

More than 90 per cent of the residents of Karimabad are Shia Ismaili Muslims, among the most moderate sects of Islam. They are followers of the Aga Khan family, viewing it as directly descended from the prophet Mohamed’s son-in-law. Prince Karim Al Husseini, a billionaire philanthropist who lives in France and goes by the title of Aga Khan IV, is the Ismailis’ spiritual leader – and a major benefactor of the Hunza Valley.

Prince Husseini’s Aga Khan Development Network has an annual budget of $600m and operates in more than 30 countries. Over the past four decades, it has worked with other charities to invest hundreds of millions in the valley, paving roads, opening schools and establishing health clinics and water treatment centres for the 65,000 residents. During the 1980s, in a bid to expand the local economy, the Aga Khan network helped persuade farmers to grow cherries and peaches along with the traditional cash crops of wheat and potatoes. Now, much of Karimabad is an orchard.

Prince Husseini is also a proponent of education. According to Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper, the Hunza Valley’s literacy rate is 77 per cent, although Karimabad residents say nearly everyone younger than 30 can read and write. The national literacy rate is about 58 per cent, with a sharp disparity between men and women.

A World Bank study published last year concluded that female literacy in parts of the Hunza Valley had reached 90 per cent, compared with 5 per cent in another mountainous district, Diamer, about five hours away by road.

Students attend the morning assembly at Hasegawa Memorial Public School and College in Karimabad, Pakistan. Students attend the morning assembly at Hasegawa Memorial Public School and College in Karimabad, Pakistan.

“When I was in school, few could even speak English,” said Javed Ali, 41, manager of Karimabad’s Hill Top Hotel. “Now, everyone speaks it fluently.” From settlements at an elevation as high as 9,000ft, children walk up to three miles into the valley to get to school each morning.

After middle school, some female students enroll in the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School for Girls, which teaches only maths and science. Nearly all graduates go on to college, according to Zahra Alidad, the principal and a graduate of the school.

Iqbal Walji, president of the Aga Khan Council for Pakistan, said the Hunza Valley had been sheltered from the extremist ideology that has taken root in other parts of the country.

“When you have communities improving their own lives and obtaining education, it prevents easy manipulation of communities and allows them to be resilient against external forces,” Mr Walji said.

Some local leaders complain that residents have become too passive and reliant on the Aga Khan charities. “Ismailis have become absentee stakeholders,” said Izhar Ali Hunzia, a local political leader. “All decisions are centralised and made in France, and people are just waiting for others to solve their problems.”

But Ali Murad, 66, said he is grateful for financial support that helped free his and other families from the isolating grip of mountain life. When Mr Murad was a child, his family struggled to make money and ate mostly food made from wheat. Now he owns eight cherry trees, 35 apple trees and 40 apricot trees. Two of his three sons have graduated from college. One works as a chef in Dubai and the other as a Chinese interpreter.

© The Washington Post
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poverty rising in rural South Asia at an alarming rate

KARACHI: Poverty is rising in rural South Asia at an all-time high rate, with the rural areas of Pakistan making up approximately 80 percent of the country’s poor despite of efforts to control these rates through demographic shifts to urban areas, and accessibility to base commodities made easier.

Throughout the 70s and 80s, several rural development programs were initiated to balance out these numbers, but as the urban population increases, the contemporary issues faced by the rural communities of Pakistan take a back seat. Habib University’s Yohsin Centre for Social Development arranged a lecture about these social movements, community organizations, and development programs, as part of their Public Lecture Series held recently.

Having had more than 40 years of working experience in the fields of rural development and poverty mitigation, he said that there are two pillars, the administration, and political, that can cause shifts in a nation’s development. However, the administration, from the president to the patwari, and the political, spanning from the national assembly to the union council, are not mandated to resolve conflicts arising in the rural community. “Both these pillars have their own targets to meet, thus a third pillar must be fostered; that is, the socio economic pillar, where the people making up the community are the grassroots of a nation”, he passionately revealed.

“Rural development is talked about because contemporary society believes we’re moving towards a fully urban society,” said Shoaib Sultan, “but the demographic shift has taken away from the emphasis on rural development”. The portfolio of work generated by the speaker offered the participants a reminder that preoccupation with urban landscape and development shouldn’t shift the emphasis completely from rural economy and its effect on national and global developments. “The number of farmers committing suicide (due to sheer helplessness) has doubled since the last decade because of this”, he lamented.

Shoaib Sultan Khan has been with the Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP) since 1982, and with the organization, has redefined rural development in the region of South Asia. Through poverty alleviation and rural development models drawn up by him, regions as far off as Andhra Pradesh have now had 45 million people successfully settled. According to the speaker, a “process approach” was utilized in order to gain positive results in rural development, as opposed to U.N backed developmental programs that had a blueprint to their processes. His own model garnered such an outcome due to the relationships and understanding the needs of the people from a culturally significant perspective.

Major developmental concerns spanning urbanization, poverty, inequality, and human rights violations due to the “three giants” working against the poor, i.e, the landlord, the money lender, and the shopkeeper, must be given guidelines so that they’re properly organized and regulated, in order to build upon the historical forces that shaped civil society in the past. Connecting the lecture with the Social Development and Policy program as part of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences school at Habib University, the speaker recounted the theories utilized in forming dialogues wherein the development policy currently being worked upon was detailed.

The state of the region of South Asia was examined briefly, wherein it was revealed that 20% of the world’s population consumes 80% of global resources. He said, “Mobilization of the poor is absolutely critical, to enable them to participate directly in the decisions that affect their lives, we must plan ahead and give them the voice they deserve”.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/sindh/20-Oct-2015/poverty-rising-in-rural-south-asia-at-an-alarming-rate
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Commemorating UN designated 11 December “International Mountain Day” in Gilgit-Baltistan

GILGIT: The United Nations General Assembly has declared 11 December as International Mountain Day to raise awareness on the importance of mountains to life.

This year WWF-Pakistan, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), GB Tourism Department, Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance, Gilgit-Baltistan Association of Tour Operators (GBATO) and Serena Hotel Gilgit joined hands to celebrate the day by organising a seminar on Mountains: Promoting Mountain Products for better livelihoods.

Yasmeen Qalander, Manager Institutional Development, AKRSP emphasised on sustainable promotion of mountain products for the improvement of livelihoods and also highlighted the role of AKRSP in initiating various programmes in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral for the betterment of mountain communities.

Source:
■Daily Pakistan – Commemorating
■Daily Pakistan – Mountain Day Today
■United Nations Mountain Day Background

un-designated-11-december-international-mountain-day-in-gilgit-baltistan/
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Must watch this unmatched presentation of Gilgit-Baltistan

Gilgit-Baltistan, our homeland, is the land of scenic valleys, lofty peaks, singing waterfalls, raging rivers, dangerous glaciers and beautiful, kind, people, who are custodians of rich cultural traditions. A befitting tribute to our region. Strong lyrics. Beautiful editing and amazing sites and sounds. Enjoy the documentary produced by the GB Tourism Department in collaboration with the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP).

https://www.facebook.com/thepamirpage/videos/10152655703347617/
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 8:15 pm    Post subject: AKRSP and The “smart villages” of northern Pakistan Reply with quote

http://www.thethirdpole.net/2016/03/10/the-smart-villages-of-northern-pakistan/


The “smart villages” of northern Pakistan

Expansion of small hydropower and microgrids could tackle poverty in remote mountainous villages in the Hindu Kush Himalayas
Electricity from micro hydropower projects powers computers in Chitral [image by Sarhad Rural Support Programme]

Electricity from micro hydropower projects powers computers in Chitral [image by Sarhad Rural Support Programme]

Abdur Rehman Cheema , March 10, 2016


Life is tough in the remote villages of the Hindu Kush Himalayas of northern Pakistan, far from the reach of power grids and at the mercy of floods and extreme weather. But by harnessing the glacier fed rivers that tumble down the steep mountains, communities are transforming their lives and future prospects.

“Before the [energy from] hydropower [plants] when clothes needed washing we had to go to the river all day. Now it just takes two hours”, says Gulasim, a women from Bumboret in Chitral, one of the most picturesque Kalasha valleys of northern Pakistan.

Micro hydropower plants have made the use of washing machines possible [image by Sarhad Rural Support Programme]

Micro hydropower plants have made the use of washing machines possible [image by Sarhad Rural Support Programme]

Nawab Ali, from Chaketal village in the nearby Swat valley, says electricity has improved the life of children, who now have enough time to play and to help in the fields during the day because they can do school homework with electric lights at night.

Pakistan has four decades of experience building micro hydropower plants with the cooperation of local communities to bring electricity to these isolated regions. Since 2014, Pakistan’s Rural Support Programmes Network has worked with the “Smart Village Initiative” started by a team based at Cambridge and Oxford universities in the United Kingdom, to further expand energy.

Read also: Chitral pioneers community hydropower schemes

About 70 million people in Pakistan have no access to electricity – the majority of them in rural areas. There are about 3 million households where grid connectivity is not feasible, according to Alternative Energy Development Board of Pakistan. Small hydropower projects and microgrids that generate their own electricity can plug this gap. Yet Pakistan is only producing 128 out of a potential of 3,100 MW of electricity from small hydropower projects.

Read also: How clean energy could transform Pakistan

Farmer unloading dried persimmons from an electric dryer in Peochar, Swat [image by Sarhad Rural Support Programme]

Farmer unloading dried persimmons from an electric dryer in Peochar, Swat [image by Sarhad Rural Support Programme]
“Smart Villages”

The “Smart Village Initiative” covers six regions in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Central and South America and aims to provide energy access for remote off-grid villages, where local solutions are both more realistic and cheaper than national grid extension. It brings together scientists and engineers, entrepreneurs, villagers and civil society organisations, policy makers and regulators through country level workshops.

Just like a “smart city”, a “smart village” means providing access to affordable, reliable and clean energy for households and businesses. This energy access particularly benefits women who suffer from the drudgery of collecting fuel wood and the health consequences of breathing in cooking smoke from traditional biofuels, such as animal waste.

In Pakistan the growth of micro hydropower projects has been led by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme and the Sarhad Rural Support Programme, who have both received the prestigious Ashden international award for their work. They worked with rural support programmes and local village organisations to help communities build micro-hydropower projects across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit–Baltistan, Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir districts. Communities contribute time and labour (known as “sweat equity”) which creates a sense of ownership and helps sustain the projects. The projects typically generate between 5-100 KW of power.

Locals contribute the effort to build and maintain the power projects [image by Sarhad Rural Support Programme]

Locals contribute the effort to build and maintain the power projects [image by Sarhad Rural Support Programme]
By 2015, the Sarhad Rural Support Programme had constructed 166 micro-hydropower projects and brought power to around 275,000 people. Similarly, the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme has supported 191 micro-hydro schemes producing 14.35 MW of power. The government and NGOs provide initial financial and technical support but the hydropower plants are maintained by the communities in the long run for the benefit of future generations. Over 90% of these micro-hydro systems are well maintained at affordable cost, according to follow up surveys, and these projects have transformed the education, health and lifestyle of communities.

Obstacles remain

There are a number of obstacles to expanding access to energy. First, the lack of government policy support hinders expansion in remote rural areas. Pakistan’s state regulator, the Alternative Energy Development Board, needs to establish a framework to support off-grid energy solutions. The 2013 National Power Policy does not provide details of how the government will do this. The second big obstacle is the lack of access to finance and capital – and failure to engage the private sector.

While hydropower has taken off, other technologies, particularly solar, have struggled. In this case the lack of cheap energy storage remains one of the main hurdles. In Balochistan, where solar power has brought electricity to remote rural communities, consistent supply can only be ensured by better storage. Further research and development is needed for manufacturing a low cost long life battery for energy storage. The federal government and research institutions must develop partnerships with international research groups engaged in such projects. For example, researchers at Cambridge University are designing more efficient lithium-oxygen batteries to replace the typical lithium-ion batteries. It is such breakthroughs that will transform the villages of the region, and allow their residents to fully access to the opportunities of modernity.

Dr. Abdur Rehman Cheema is a development studies academic and practitioner based in Islamabad. He is Team Leader Research at Rural Support Programmes Network, Islamabad.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pakistan Innovation Summit for Education - PISE

From April 12-15, 2016 Pakistan Innovation summit for education-PISE joining hands with Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) to organize the first ever, technology Summit.

Karakorum Innovation Summit-KIS, is a 4 days immersive workshop, jointly organized by PISE and IDIN.

Karakoram Innovation Summit-KIS aims at conducting a hands-on experience workshop to engage youth in creating low-cost and practical innovations to improve the quality of life of local population. It will harness the power of Information and Communication Technology for social development. KIS being the first ever Techie Innovation Summit, will be a unique opportunity for the youth of this region, to demonstrate their skills and play a key role in finding ICT based solutions for the social issues being faced in Gilgit-Baltistan.

https://www.facebook.com/PISEorg/photos/gm.218001655223209/1017115775021701/?type=3&ref=3&ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular&action_history=null#!/PISEorg/photos/gm.218001655223209/1017115775021701/?type=3&theater
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hydropower helps households in off-the-grid areas of Pakistan | CSMonitor.com

Small-scale hydropower plants are proving a key way to provide power in remote regions of Pakistan, while at the same time helping protect the environment.

Hydropower helps households in off-the-grid areas of Pakistan - CSMonitor.com

By Saleem Shaikh, Thomson Reuters Foundation: AHMEDABAD, PAKISTAN — In her home in the remote Hunza valley, Gul Mehreen smiles as she places a tea kettle on the electric stove in her immaculate kitchen.

As she makes tea for guests, the farmer jokes about “how amazingly enjoyable” cooking has become since a small-scale hydropower generator was installed nearby. Her visitors nod and burst into happy laughter.

In this picturesque village, perched above the gushing turquoise waters of the Hunza river, and with a view of the 8,000-meter (26,000-foot) Rakaposhi mountain, in Pakistan’s Karakoram range, women once had to walk for miles to collect firewood each day.

[…] The village’s community-run micro hydropower station – built in 2008 by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme with backing from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund – produces about 190 kilowatts of electricity an hour.

Source: CSMonitor.com
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 7:04 pm    Post subject: Hunza hydropower plant makes lives easier, reduces deforesta Reply with quote

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1065388/mountain-pakistan-cuts-forest-loss-disaster-risk-with-river-power/


The Express Tribune > Pakistan
Hunza hydropower plant makes lives easier, reduces deforestation
By Reuters

Published: March 14, 2016


AHMEDABAD, PAKISTAN:
In her home in the remote Hunza valley, Gul Mehreen smiles as she places a tea kettle on the electric stove in her immaculate kitchen.

As she makes tea for guests, the farmer jokes about “how amazingly enjoyable” cooking has become since a small-scale hydropower generator was installed nearby. Her visitors nod and burst into happy laughter.

In this picturesque village, perched above the gushing turquoise waters of the Hunza river, and with a view of the 8,000-metre Rakaposhi mountain, in Pakistan’s Karakoram range, women once had to walk for miles to collect firewood each day.

For the last eight years, however, hydropower has supplied the village’s energy needs, and life has gotten much easier, said Mehreen, who has an electric stove, electric oven and electric lights, fitted with energy-saving bulbs.

“With the availability of electricity we have been relieved of such burdensome work,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “The initiative holds great meaning in our lives.”

The village’s community-run micro hydropower station – built in 2008 by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme with backing from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund – produces about 190 kilowatts of electricity an hour.

That’s enough to supply power to 144 homes in Ahmedabad and nearly 110 in the nearby villages of Sultanabad and Faizabad.

Such small-scale hydropower plants are proving a key way to provide power in remote, off-grid areas of power-short Pakistan, while at the same time helping protect the environment.

More trees, less risk

Besides making life easier for people in the villages, in Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan province, hydropower has slowed deforestation – rampant in many mountain areas of Pakistan – and cut landslide risks as more trees are left standing to hold the soil, local people say.

The forgotten land

“Now no one chops down trees to harvest fuelwood,” said Ghulam Raza, an environmentalist who works in the area with a range of non-governmental organisations. As a result, natural forests in the mountains nearby “are coming back to life,” he said.

Social development activist Ghulam Sarwar, who works for the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, said hydropower has changed Ahmedabad from a village that “lived in darkness” to one where children can now study by electric light at night, and no longer miss school to help their families collect firewood.

“Now our children don’t skip school. They find enough time at home to study and finish their schoolwork even after sunset,” said Ali Gohar, a member of the community committee that maintains the hydropower plant.

Community leaders say if they can find the funding, they intend to expand the project and provide electricity to an additional 1,400 households in nearby Karimabad and Altit villages.

Shahana Khan, a development projects manager for the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, said small-scale hydropower is a natural for mountain villages with access to rivers, and is a good way of ensuring access to clean energy.

A key, she said, is that such facilities “are owned, run and maintained by the communities.”

Potential for more?

Pakistan could generate around 100,000 megawatts of hydroelectricity, through both large and small hydropower projects, according to a 2006 report by the Pakistan Alternative Energy Development Board.

Sixty per cent of that could come at spots identified in the river-rich, mountainous northwest of the country, it said.

A journey into the heart of the mountains

Jamil Uddin, who manages development projects in the Gilgit-Baltistan region for the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, said his organisation, in collaboration with Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board and the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, plans to install more than 100 small-scale hydropower plants in the upper Indus Basin areas of Chitral district and Gilgit-Baltistan province in next few years.

Much of the funding, from international and national non-governmental organisations, is already in place, he said.

Uddin said the plants will cut deforestation, reduce Pakistan’s carbon footprint and provide off-grid mountain communities with affordable, clean and reliable electricity.

Ahmedabad’s women, including Nasreen Gul, a 27-year-old vegetable farmer, say the benefits are clear.

“When we burned wood for fuel, the smoke from the stove would spread throughout our home and we would cough and feel pain in our eyes,” she said.

“Now cooking food and doing other chores in the kitchen has become considerably easier and stress-free. We use an electric stove as electricity is much cheaper and readily available,” said Gul – who now has an electric iron and an electric washing machine as well.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In conversation with Apoorva Oza, CEO, Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, India


“The ground reality is largely getting professionals to work in rural areas. Therefore, a mixed staffing process has been implemented of a few professionals and training the locals in groups”

…says Apoorva Oza, CEO, Aga Khan Rural Support Programme. Rural economies grow if the agriculture grows along with job creation. But it needs investment and not subsidies. He believes that corporate houses need to a find tools to measure the process part of development.

VIDEO at:

https://ismailimail.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/in-conversation-with-apoorva-oza-ceo-aga-khan-rural-support-programme-india/

*****
Dawn | BISP can never alleviate poverty: expert

Shoaib Sultan Khan says poor people have potential to bring a change in their lives by working in groups


Poor people cannot do anything individually because of so many hurdles in their lives but they have the potential to change their lives.

They should make organisations or groups to address their issues and such an organisation should be run by one of them.

Mr Khan is one of the pioneers of rural development programmes in Pakistan. He worked as a civil servant for 25 years and then served in the Geneva-based Aga Khan Foundation for 12 years and Unicef and UNDP for 14 years.

Since his retirement, he has been involved in the RSPs on a voluntary basis.

Mr Khan said in 1992 Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Gilgit-Baltistan and was impressed by the social activities being carried out by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP). The prime minister told Mr Khan that the programme should be started at the national level.

“Later, I was called for a briefing during which Mr Sharif said he would provide Rs10 billion to start the programme in 102 districts. I said once the director of the programme is nominated, he cannot be dismissed and the government can ask me about the programme but cannot tell me how I should work,” he said.

“The prime minister laughed and said it was strange that the government would provide funds but cannot interfere in its utilisation. However, he approved the project and the then finance minister, Sartaj Aziz, released the first installment of Rs500 within seven days. “I was informed that Rs500 million would be released after every six months,” he said.

Mr Khan said an endowment fund was established with the first installment but after four months the then president, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, dismissed the government of Mr Sharif and his successor, Benazir Bhutto, announced that the amount had been allocated illegally.

In reply to a question, Mr Khan said in 2005 PTI chairman Imran Khan engaged him to work for the betterment of the people of Mianwali and a number of steps were taken.

Chairman of the forum, Fazlur Rehman, said the aim of the forum was to invite legends who served the country and made a difference, and give an opportunity to the youth to interact with them.

Interestingly, Mr Khan reached the venue of the event a few minutes before the organisers for which the organisers had to apologise to him.

Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2016

http://www.dawn.com/news/1261784
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW WEBSITE

Aga Khan Rural Support Programme Pakistan

http://66.116.172.35/akrsp/
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Documentary - Rural Community Empowerment in Indo-Pak by AKRSP

VIDEO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LESawHwescY

Published on Feb 24, 2017


The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) has extended its community development services to India. It has successfully implemented the Rural Development Models in Pakistan (Gilgit-Baltistan) and now started in India. By working in rural areas of India it has reshaped the lives of deprived and marginalized rural communities through their socio-economic development.


Category
Film & Animation


License
Standard YouTube License
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://pamirtimes.net/2017/03/22/akfed-to-invest-in-gilgit-baltistan-power-sector/

The Aga Khan community company IPS, to invest in power project in Hunza and has allocated $30 million ....

Islamabad: Industrial Promotion Service’s (IPS) Regional Chief for Asia, Matthew Scanlon called on Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan, Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman, today.

Chief Minister Hafeez has said that the chief of IPS, which is a subsidiary of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, has expressed interest in the energy and power distribution sector in Gilgit-Baltistan. Laying transmission lines and improving the distribution mechanism will lead to reduction of power loss, said Hafeez in a press release.

Secretary for Water and Power, Zafar Waqar Taj was also present during the meeting. He informed the IPS chief about the power sector related issues in the region, identifying areas for potential investment.


IPS has reportedly agreed to create a power grid in Hunza District, and also allocated thirty million dollars for the project.


It is pertinent to note that IPS has invested in power sector in Central Asian countries, and also in Africa, with successful results.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Women Empowerment: G-B govt, AKRSP sign agreement

GILGIT:

The Gilgit-Baltistan government and Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) have signed an agreement for the economic empowerment of women. Rs36 million from the G-B government and Rs30 million from AKRSP will be collected to provide technical skills like embroidery, handcrafting, to women to take full advantage of their potential. G-B Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman told that a third party audit system, introduced for transparency and success of the project will submit a report to the government in this regard. Public-private partnerships and entrepreneurship are being encouraged to curb unemployment and generate jobs for the youth, he said. The government is focused on the development of agriculture and dairy sector to get self-sufficiency in food.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1358428/women-empowerment-g-b-govt-akrsp-sign-agreement/
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speakers emphasize scaling up mountain-specific innovative and climate smart solutions

ISLAMABAD: ‘Drastic climate impacts and other demographic changes in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region call for building resilience of mountain communities and equipping them with smart technology and innovative solutions’.

This was stated by speakers during a two-day international conference titled ‘Mountain Specific Innovative solutions for potential scaling-up in Pakistan’ jointly organized by WWF-Pakistan, Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and Pakistan Agriculture and Research Council (PARC) in Islamabad.

Speakers informed that over the past few decades, climate change has had drastic impacts on the HKH region, which is transforming as a result and risks related to natural hazards are becoming aggravated. The conference intended to highlight the growing impacts of climate change, threatening the safety, survival and resilience of mountain communities that call for an immediate and broader spectrum of climate change adaptation strategies and actions to be included in regional disaster risk reduction policies.

More...
http://outpost.pk/national/1002-speakers-emphasize-scaling-up-mountain-specific-innovative-and-climate-smart-solutions.html
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKRSP commemorates 35 years of community service

ISLAMABAD: The Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP) commemorated 35 years of empowering communities since 35 years through the Odyssey of Synergies, a development expo and panel discussion at the Serena Hotel.

The expo included a photography exhibition highlighting the achievements AKRSP within each of the major components of work, including social organisations, natural resource management, community infrastructure development, credit and savings, enterprise promotion and women’s development.

More than twenty-five stalls showcased the produce and products of the northern valleys, where AKRSP has been harnessing community potential for 35 years. Community members brought herbal products, organic honey and unusual herbs, mushrooms and dried fruits to sell to an enthusiastic audience in Islamabad.

Purveyors of gemstones and jewellery, woodcraft, rugs and carpets, sweaters, handicrafts and accessories travelled to Islamabad with the support of AKRSP.

AKRSP Chairman Aziz Boolani welcomed the guests to the panel discussion and said, “AKRSP supports the institutional and economic development of local communities as well as strengthening the collaboration and linkages between local communities and government departments, elected bodies and other development and environmental agencies.” He added that AKRSP has been supporting micro-level development in the mountainous rural areas of Pakistan, using participatory approaches.

“AKRSP currently focuses on fostering inclusive and competent local institutions that contribute effectively and sustainably to local development and increasing income and employment opportunities for local communities, particularly poor and vulnerable, including youth and women,” he said.

The keynote speaker for the evening, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Sartaj Aziz, said, “I congratulate the AKRSP on having created a model of community and rural development that has been replicated in various other places. I have been familiar with AKRSP since 1983 when I visited the program with Shoaib Sultan while visiting Pakistan.” He added, “I subsequently returned to help create NRSP. The journey to the next 5, 10 years will be much faster than the past 35 years. I wish you much greater success in the future.”

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/02/01/akrsp-commemorates-35-years-of-community-service/
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKRSP Odyssey of Synergies

Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIu_VYGVw9w

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Akrsp Gilgit-Baltistan Chitral featured his album: Treasures of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral: Development Expo.

https://www.facebook.com/akrsp.gilgitbaltistanchitral/posts/571175989893956

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Aga Khan Rural support program: An unending tale of service

‘Odyssey of Synergies’ showcases AKRSP’ 35-year long achievements

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad

The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) commemorated 35 years of empowering communities through the Odyssey of Synergies, a development expo and panel discussion at Serena Hotel here on Thursday.
The expo included a photography exhibition highlighting the achievements AKRSP within each of the major components of work, including social organizations, natural resource management, community infrastructure development, credit and savings, enterprise promotion and women’s development.

More than 25 stalls showcased the produce and products of the northern valleys, where AKRSP has been harnessing community potential for 35 years. Community members brought herbal products, organic honey and unusual herbs, mushrooms and dried fruits to sell to an enthusiastic audience in Islamabad. Purveyors of gemstones and jewelry, woodcraft, rugs and carpets, sweaters, handicrafts and accessories travelled to Islamabad with the support of AKRSP.

Aziz Boolani, Chairman AKRSP, welcomed the guests to the panel discussion, sharing the ethos and successes of AKRSP, “AKRSP supports the institutional and economic development of local communities as well as strengthening the collaboration and linkages between local communities and government departments, elected bodies and other development and environmental agencies. AKRSP has been supporting micro-level development in the mountainous rural areas of Pakistan, using participatory approaches.
AKRSP currently focuses on fostering inclusive and competent local institutions that contribute effectively and sustainably to local development and increasing income and employment opportunities for local communities, particularly poor and vulnerable (including youth and women)”.

He said, “The development model adopted by AKRSP has been widely replicated both within AKDN and outside it. A network of Rural Support Programmes now exists all over the country with the mandate to design and implement strategies for alleviation of rural poverty. In South Asia and other parts of the world, programmes based on this model have been set up to promote grassroots development through involvement of local communities. We are very grateful to the organizations that have supported AKRSP over the past 35 years”.

The keynote speaker of the event, Sartaj Aziz, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, said, “I congratulate the AKRSP on having created a model of community and rural development that has been replicated in various other places.”

https://pakobserver.net/aga-khan-rural-support-program-unending-tale-service/

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https://pakobserver.net/aga-khan-rural-support-program-unending-tale-service/

ISLAMABAD: The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) celebrated 35 years of interventions to enhance the capacity of local communities in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral with a panel discussion and an expo at Serena Hotel on Thursday. The day-long expo included crafts and produce from the northern areas.

AKRSP was established in 1982 by the Aga Khan Foundation with a mandate to improve the quality of life for local communities through social and economic development efforts, AKRSP Chairman Aziz Boolani told participants of the event.

“We have three principles which are organizing communities, generating capital and enhancing human resource. The aim is to improve the quality of life of the underserved,” he said, adding that though a lot of improvements have come about in the target regions, a lot more needs to be done.

“Change cannot be brought about by a single organization and we are grateful to our donors. The AKRSP model of working with communities has been replicated across the region. As of today, we work in 10 districts of GB and Chitral. When are looking into how to mitigate unemployment, achieve gender empowerment and address the changes posed by opportunities like the China Pakistan Economic Corridor,” he said.

More...
https://www.dawn.com/news/1386755

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