Our Stories

  • Breaking the bonds of intergenerational poverty
    Jul 18, 2017

    Manthaar Ali’s family are ethnic Sindhis who have lived in the violent Korangi neighbourhood of Karachi for generations. Over the years, they have seen the transformation of this area from a sleepy mangrove-lined village by the Arabian Sea to one of the world’s largest and fastest growing cities. Yet, even as millions came to Karachi looking for a better life, Manthaar’s family was left behind. His father is a night watchman in a fishing community, while his elder brother is a dockworker who works on daily wages and often goes weeks without work.

  • Forging a path to employment
    Jul 18, 2017

    When Sidra was 15 years of age, her family moved from Mirpurkhas, a small Pakistani agricultural town, to the metropolis of Karachi, hoping for better economic opportunities. Unfortunately, things did not work out as they hoped. In her Urdu-speaking community women were traditionally restricted from working, but her father and brother struggled to support the 11 members of the family. Sidra passed her intermediate examination but, like her seven sisters, was expected to stay at home until she was married, despite the family’s worsening economic situation.

  • Vocational training saves Lyari youth from crime
    Jul 18, 2017

    The son of a rickshaw driver and one of eight children, Burhan began to work as a small child to help support the family. Although only 22 years of age, he has worked in Karachi’s oldest wholesale emporium, Boulton Market, as a daily wage labourer, administered vaccine drops to infants as part of the country’s polio eradication campaigns, and conducted quality assurance at a pharmaceutical company. Lacking education and belonging to a marginalized community, he was unable to turn any of these jobs into a career.

  • Vocational training offers a way out for Karachi youth
    Jul 18, 2017

    Twenty-one-year-old Jehanzeb hails from Malir, an impoverished neighbourhood in Pakistan’s largest and most turbulent city, Karachi. With six brothers and four sisters, Jehanzeb started working as a small child, doing odd jobs to pay for his own education. In this way he completed his matriculation and enrolled in the intermediate programme at a local college.

  • Vocational training offers a lifeline in violence-hit Lyari
    Jul 18, 2017

    A member of Pakistan’s small Kutchi community, 22-year-old Harris Usman’s life has been shaped by the violence that plagues the Karachi neighbourhood of Lyari. As gangsters took over the streets, he and his family were caught in the middle, experiencing threats, extortion and lack of mobility that badly affected the small shop his family owned. As the violence reached its peak, business was so badly affected that the shop could barely remain open more than a day or two in a month. On days the shop was open for business, local people would empty out the stock immediately, often purchasing items on credit and never paying back. Harris’s small earnings were extorted from him. Rival gangs pressurized him to join them and he was warned that a refusal to join would lead to the family losing their shop.

  • Expanding horizons for Karachi women
    Jul 17, 2017

    Any day with food on the table was a good day for Humera and her family of five. The daughter of a rickshaw driver in Korangi, an impoverished neighbourhood in Pakistan’s largest city Karachi, Humera, 20, had a tough childhood. Her father was the only breadwinner and struggled to support his family. “If we paid the rent, we couldn’t buy food. If we bought food, we couldn’t buy clothes. How could we expect to complete our education?” she says.

  • Vocational training offers a way out for Karachi youth
    Jul 17, 2017

    Like many young men in the restless neighbourhood of Lyari in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, 19-year-old Ibrar Hussain has fought poverty and violence since childhood. A member of the impoverished and marginalized Kutchi community, when Ibrar was only in Grade 5, his father informed him that he could no longer afford to continue his education. But instead of dropping out, Ibrar began to take up part-time jobs to be able to keep going to school.

  • A boxer turned fashion designer inspires others to escape violence
    Jul 10, 2017

    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
    Jul 3, 2017

    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.

  • Progressing towards peace and Development
    Jun 29, 2017

    Ms. Maimoona Akhtar, a student of Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Peshawar was apprehensive about choosing print or electronic media as a career because her family considered it an ‘inappropriate’ field for young women. This severely limited her professional choices, especially in fields that were relevant to her degree in Mass Communications. After graduation, Maimoona was selected as an intern with UNDP’s VPPD initiative at IPCS under the Platform’s capacity development component for graduate students.