Our Stories

  • Creating access to justice in Swat
    Sep 11, 2017

    Accessing justice can often be a slow and expensive process in Pakistan, with cases often tied up in courts for years. Many people are unaware of their legal rights. In areas of the country where women traditionally do not participate in public life, they face additional difficulties in exercising their legal rights. Such challenges not only make it difficult for many in Pakistan to resolve disputes fairly, they reduce trust between communities and the government.

  • Vocational training saves Lyari youth from crime
    Aug 2, 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.

  • Rising through the ranks
    Jul 31, 2017

    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
    Jul 31, 2017

    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
    Jul 31, 2017

    “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.”

  • Breaking the bonds of intergenerational poverty
    Jul 29, 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 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.

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