Our Stories of Change

  • Rising through the ranks

    Constable Khan comes from Swabi, a district in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province where strong cultural mores prevent women from working outside the home. Khan broke from this longstanding tradition and joined the KP police force in 2008. It took many hours of argument to persuade her father. However Khan was supported by her eldest uncle who recognized that times were changing, and convinced her father to change his mind. Khan’s father eventually became her strongest supporter.

  • Police Constable Kausar charts a new career path for women

    Kausar is the elder of two daughters born in the small village of Hasomat Serian in Mansehra district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, Pakistan. In this highly conservative region, many girls are denied the opportunity to receive an education, let alone to embark upon a career. Kausar did both. Today, she is the only woman from her village with an education, and is now working as its first police officer, a constable.

  • In DI Khan, policing enters the 21st century

    “It’s the first time in my life I have switched on a computer,” says Inspector Saif-ur-Rahman. A officer in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) police, he has quickly come to see how essential information technology is to modern policing. “This is no longer the era of dusty files, where finding a case record is difficult, now all the data is a click away,” he says. “We were in the dark so long, We should have such trainings ten years ago, it should be included in the basic recruitment courses as well.”

  • A boxer turned fashion designer inspires others to escape violence

    As a child Wasim Soomro watched as famous fashion designers showed their creations on television. He enjoyed seeing their creative designs and envied their rise to fame and fortune doing what they loved. “I used to watch famous celebrities become designers, flaunting their kurtas on TV. I told myself if they can do it, why can’t I? Lyari is famous for gang violence, but we don’t have any famous designers. I thought I should be the first one,” he saysd, clad in a blue kurta that he designed himself.

  • The Government of Punjab acknowledges SDGs in its 2017-2018 Budget in collaboration with UNDP

    Pakistan was among early nations who committed to declare the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a national agenda by adopting a resolution at the National Assembly in February 2016. The main challenge in Pakistan is to transform the ambitious 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into provincial strategies, policies, plans and budgets. The Planning and Development Department of Punjab and UNDP have collaborated to support the Government of Punjab efforts for mainstream and accelerate SDGs.

  • Building civic engagement in marginalized communities

    Uzaira Tasneem is completing her bachelor’s degree from the University of Education, Lahore. True to her name, when she heard about the UN Volunteers programme, she decided to apply. “I always aspired to become a volunteer because it would get me closer to the community and the people,” she says.

  • Expanding horizons through volunteering

    It was always Tahir’s dream to be a social worker and to serve humanity. The son of a manual labourer and the youngest of five children, he had the opportunity to gain an education and is now completing a master’s degree in education management in his hometown of Lahore, Pakistan. When the opportunity to become a UN Volunteer and provide civic and voter education to youth and marginalized communities, especially women, came up, Tahir seized it. As one of 36 UN Volunteers in Pakistan, however, he has found that his horizons and passions have expanded more than he could have realized.

  • Building responsible citizenship

    Forty-two young people file into a classroom at the University of Management and Technology in Lahore, Pakistan. The two young women standing before them are only a few years older but, as the session begins, the group listens respectfully and with increasing interest. As the young women conclude their presentation, the questions comes quick and fast.

  • Young volunteers spark civic engagement

    Before Anita Ilyas, a United Nations Volunteer in Lahore, Pakistan, began conducting a quiz, she expected that few of the participating students would have been motivated to read through the readings on civic engagement that she and her fellow volunteer had provided. She was in for a surprise. As the questions came, every student gave correct answers. By the end of the quiz it was a five-way tie. “We were all so surprised to see that our future generation was so well informed and have enough knowledge about their country and the systems of the country,” says Anita.