Announcement read out in Jamat Khana on Thursday, April 24, 1997

The Council for Canada is pleased to share with the Jamat the following message received from Princess Zahra in regard to the mandate and activities of the International Social Development and Sports Foundation to be chaired by Princess Zahra.

March 25, 1997

Dear President,

The Board of Directors of the International Social Development and Sports Foundation (the Foundation) would like to take this opportunity to appraise youth and the Jamat of some of the Foundation's current activities.

As you may be aware, the Foundation recently underwent a name change - from the International Sports Foundation to the International Social Development and Sports Foundation. This name change signifies not only a broadening of the scope of the Foundation's activities, but also a change in emphasis.

As the change in name indicates, the mandate of the Foundation will focus primarily on social development issues with a particular emphasis on issues facing the youth, women and the elderly. Despite its emphasis, the Foundation will be receptive to other high impact, short-term programs which promote social development. It is important to note, however, that the Foundation does not compete with or replace the efforts of existing Jamati institutions, the Aga Khan Development Network or the Jamat. Rather the Foundation intends to be a catalyst and channel its resources towards solving important social development problems where there are insufficient national and international efforts.

The Foundation is interested in projects that are small, feasible, replicable, grass-roots based and stem from the enthusiasm and involvement of the beneficiaries. The Foundation can also help focus national and international attention and resources on specific areas of need and encourage the replication of successful experiments in other parts of the world. The Foundation, while essentially providing seed funding for specified projects, is not intended to be a funding agency.

The Foundation is currently involved in two projects The first is a promotion of physical well- being among the youth, women and elderly. To this end, two pilot fitness centres are being established in Bombay and Karachi. The second initiative will be the convening of an international Ismaili women's forum. The forum, which will be held in May of this year, will focus on women's economic development as an accessible and effective step towards women's overall social development. Further details on the fitness centres and the forum as well as the composition of the Board of Directors of the Foundation are set forth on the attached appendix. The Jamat will be appraised of the outcome of these projects.

Affectionately, ZAHRA AGA KHAN- Chairman International Social Development and Sports Foundation


Summary of Projects

1) Fitness Centres:

In order to enhance the health status of the Jamat, the Foundation is assisting in the establishment of fitness centres at the Aga Khan Baug in Bombay and Karimabad Colony in Karachi. The fitness centres are intended to promote physical well-being among the youth, women and the elderly. The goal is to grant the target group with access to appropriate fitness facilities which are similar to those which have become increasingly common throughout the world and which are seen as important in promotion of good health. The outcome will hopefully be an easily replicable program throughout the Jamat.

The two pilot fitness centres are scheduled to open later this year.

2) International Ismaili Women's Forum:

The International Ismaili Women's Forum will take place in Canada in May of 1997. The three- day forum will focus on women's economic development as an accessible and effective step towards women's overall social development. The forum will bring together women and men from each Ismaili National Council as well as representatives from a selection of apex institutions. Participation will be between 50 and 100 people. The forum will be a low-key informal gathering which aims to encourage communication between the diverse..communities in the world-wide Jamat. These communities share many of the same challenges and problems both on a gender and societal basis and could therefore benefit from sharing ideas and solutions to these problems.

The forum will also seek to give validation, self-confidence and encouragement to the participants without coercing them to adopt a prescribed corpus of ideas and activities. In addition the forum should allow the Foundation to identify a small number of potential projects which could be funded as pilots in the field of Ismaili women's economic development.

The Foundation does not intend to replace any existing bodies which are presently involved in the enhancement of Ismaili women's well-being. In the long-term, the Foundation is not seeking direct responsibility for women's economic development or an on-going reporting relationship between the women's portfolio on the National Councils. Rather, the Foundation wishes only to encourage women's development by complementing the existing system through grass-roots projects and gradual attitudinal change.

3) Board of Directors:

Member Country of Residence
Princess Zahra Aga Khan France
Tazmeen Alibhai Kenya
Hamida Allana India
Aftab Ismail U.S.A.
Amjad Khedwani U.S.A.
Mumtam Maker Pakistan
Mirza Pradhan France