Success Stories

Mitigating Rising Waters

“A large part of Sujawal district lies in the delta of one of the largest rivers in the world—the mighty Indus. It also serves as a water source for agricultural lands in Sindh and Punjab, where most of the crop cultivation is done in Pakistan…”

 

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Goats Empower Women in a Remote Sindh Village

“For long, Sakeenah Mallah herded cattle and goats of landlords in a small sleepy village south of Badin district in the coastal region of Sindh. In her 40’s, she looks much older and frail because of abject poverty as she minds two goats, as many cows, and a hen..”

 

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Visionary Champions Show Blind Students the Way

“At a school for the visually impaired in Peshawar, the students had no aim in life, so it seemed. With little or no exposure to the outside world because of their visual disability and constant neglect of society at large, they had no idea what to do when they grew up, and what challenges awaited them. As soon as they are born, they are deemed “unproductive” in the society. Thus, they are also raised and treated in a way that does not encourage them to excel in personal or professional lives..”

 

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Up North, Women Benefit from Sea Buckthorn

“Like many women high up in Pakistan’s mountainous north, Shakila Ijaz, 35, was economically deprived, had limited skills, and little knowledge of income-generating activities…”

 

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Mori Learns the Finer Points of Rilli-making and Boosts Income

“In a distant Sindh village, a poor Hindu woman named Mori Thakoomal practiced the art of making rilli—traditional bedspreads and quilts—but her income was low, not enough to make ends meet..”

 

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Warming Up Winters

“Diana, a 25-year-old resident of Birir Village in the northernmost Chitral, was skeptical about the suggestion that dead leaves and soft soil can be molded into an alternative, environmentally friendly fuel source — bio briquettes. Dwelling right-next to the towering Hindu Kush mountain range, Diana and her Kalash community had used forest wood for heating and cooking purposes throughout their lives..”

 

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Farming to a Brighter Future

“The picturesque village Cheruty lies in the peripheries of district Rawalakot, Azad Jammu and Kashmir. It sits near a hilltop surrounded by towering ferns trees. Local economy is nearly non-existent as a large portion of locals’ income come in the form of foreign remittances from family members abroad, while some seek greener pastures in other cities. A few locals work as electricians or plumbers in and around the village. The women are mostly vulnerable and rely on their families for every façade of their lives. They are mainly confined to doing household chores and rearing children.”

 

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One Smart Stove

“Pallandri, a small-town in Suadhoti district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) has an abundance of forest cover. Local residents chop wood and use it as the primary fuel for cooking purposes and heating their homes during winters. Regular cutting of trees does not bode well for the region. Resultantly, the price of firewood has seen a significant hike due to depletion of forests.”

 

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Lighting Up Lives

“Safar Khan, a 35-years-old, resident of a remote village Tirak Bolkha in district Kalat, Balochistan was afflicted with polio. Despite having a graduate degree, he found it difficult to make ends meet. After struggling long and hard to find work in a region where jobs are scarce, he found work as a night watchman at a construction site of a private house. However, his meager monthly income of PKR 6,000 meant he had to look for other earning opportunities in order to make ends meet. “During the day, I went around the streets in Kalat to find daily wage odd jobs to supplement my income,” he says.”

 

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Harvesting a Better Tomorrow

“Gulshat cannot have it better. In a matter of few months, she is expecting to earn more money, have greater control over her natural and financial resources, a relatively less laborious summer and abundance of preserved fruit and vegetables for her family to survive the harshest of winters in Chinar, a rugged village cradled by towering peaks of the majestic Hindu Kush in Pakistan’s northwestern Chitral district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bordering Afghanistan.”

 

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Ready to Cope with Disaster

“Mohammad Khalid, a 39-years-old social worker, belongs to village Talagram, a region surrounded by mountains, which receives heavy rainfall in both the summer and winter season. The village is only accessible through a jeepable 90-minute drive up a steep and narrow winding road from Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). AJK is highly prone to natural disasters and has experienced the worst disaster situations due to earthquakes, torrential rains and floods, landslides and avalanches in the recent past. The village also had massively suffered in the October 8, 2005 earthquake that wreaked havoc in AJK and elsewhere, killing and injuring thousands of people. Since, there is no stateowned or private medical facilities in Talagram, the residents have to travel to Muzaffarabad for even basic first aid. Due to a lack of timely medical care and treatment, there have been multiple fatalities. The Mountain and Glacier Protection Organization (MGPO) supported by USAID Ambassador’s Fund Grant Program (AFGP) implemented the first disaster preparedness project in the area. An intervention that was needed for a long time now.”

 

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A Grid of Hope

“Muhammad Ibrahim Pahnwar, a small village in the dusty plains of coastal Thatta, Sindh, is a remarkable story of a community’s will and action to develop and prosper. Through a participatory approach, the village managed to achieve in the shortest span of time what the government could not – the electrification of the village!”

 

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Sharmeen’s Digital World is Safe Now

“Sharmeen, a university student doing her Bachelor of Science (BS) in Education, lives with her parents and siblings in Okara, a remote district of Punjab. Being a student, she frequently browses the internet for academic pursuits and to connect with her friends and mentors through social media platforms. Although, she was cognizant of the risks associated with internet usage, she did not know, before the training, how to minimize it.”

 

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From Apprentice to Entrepreneur

“There is nothing more satisfying than to have your own business at such a young age. I have become aninspiration for others,” says Sherry Mubeel, a 20-yearold transgender person, who owns a hair and beauty salon in Multan.”

 

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Old Clothes, New Lives!

“Phulana, a 37-year-old mother of five children, is a scheduled caste Hindu who lives in ghettoized Ghera Basti in Hyderabad, Sindh. Her community is discriminated against by Muslims and upper-caste Hindus alike. Abject poverty and a lack of economic opportunities have made their lives considerably hard. Given the hardships, the family resorted to collecting used clothes, upgrading and selling them. Even this was not sufficient enough for them to make ends meet; they needed help, and luckily for them it came from a USAID-supported project.”

 

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Stitching for the Future

“Every month people came knocking my door, asking for money I owed them. I had the tailoring skills, but I was not an efficient worker due to ongoing house chores and regular load shedding of electricity. Though I had developed a customer base, I had to turn away a majority of them as I could not manage their orders”, Maryam recalls her ordeal adding, “due to hijab (veil), my husband did not allow me to work outside.”

 

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Emergency Response Team Saves Lives

“There was no loss of life and property and we were able to put out the fire. We prevented a catastrophe before it was too late,” Ghulam Ishaq recalls proudly. “Fire brigade was late in coming to the incident site, but our ERT was in place and each member knew what to do and how to do it” said a 25-year old Ishaq who is also chairman of Emergency Response Team (ERT) of village Abdul Hameed Hanji, Jacobabad, Sindh.

 

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Solar Energy Unplugs Darkness in Smallest District of Pakistan

It is past sunset in Barra Banda village, District Torghar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Each house is glowing with a luminous bulb which makes this small settlement of 55 households look like a constellation of stars with dark mountains in the background. Aslam Khan, 12 and a student of seventh grade, lives in one of these star-like houses. He is doing his homework sitting under the bulb in his house and is optimistic for good grades in coming exams.

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Solar Light Becomes a Beacon of Hope for Bheel

“After installation of the solar power units in our community, our income has increased. We are saving money, a concept that was unknown to us just a few months ago. This has also provided us an opportunity to save our traditional skill; ralli making”, Chatoon said excitedly.

 

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No More Mourning on Flood Losses

“Not this time!”, said Ashraf Ghani resolutely responding to a fellow villager who had reached his home amidst heavy rain in the middle of the night to see if he could do something to avoid the usual damage such rains brought upon their village Hafizabad – prone to heavy rains, flash floods, and landslides. Their village falls in Union Council Garlat, Tehsil Balakot, District Mansehra of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan.

 

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A Ray of Hope for the Children of Kasur

“As a doctor, I felt helpless dealing with the child abuse cases. I did not know how to interact with the victims or which forums to approach for support.” says Dr. Mona Habib, a young and passionate medical practitioner at the District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) in Kasur -the historic town known for the eternal abode of Sufi poet Bulleh Shah.

 

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Disaster Resilience Becomes Lifeline for the Community

“It was a horrible night. My husband complained of pain in his chest, and before we could do something about it, he fainted”, said Bilquees – a mother of five and resident of Basti Ludhani Chandia, a small far-flung riverine community without proper health care facilities in Tehsil Kot Adddu, district Muzaffargarh,

 

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Beyond the Grid

It was a dream-come-true situation for the students and teachers at Government Primary School Sringwari in District Tharparkar. The only classroom of the school had new benches and a running fan – something the children in the remote village of Sringwari had yearned for years. The fan not only provided a degree of relief from the scorching heat of 48 C but also helped in keeping flies and mosquitoes away.

 

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Illuminating lives, Improving Livelihoods

“Hey kids! See what I have brought for you today”, shouts Sadique as he enters his house. His young daughters – Fatima and Heer – run towards him with curiosity in their eyes. He gives them a small bag full of their favorite fruit grapes saying, “This is fruit of your hard work”. The girls are overjoyed on getting tasty grapes which they have been yearning for a long time but could not afford due to limited earnings. There were many other things the girls longed for, but could not afford to buy them.

 

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