Our Stories

  • Water channel reduces village tensions in Swat
    Feb 15, 2018

    For generations, the people of Manglawar village in Swat district, north-western Pakistan, had relied on agriculture for their income. The land was fertile and it was located only three kilometres from the river, guaranteeing an ample supply of water for the crops using a system of mud channels that brought water to each field. With hard work and dedication, the 7,000 people of Manglawar flourished.

  • A new road brings uncountable benefits for Swat women
    Feb 14, 2018

    In the highly male dominated society of Swat district in Pakistan’s northwest, women’s need for mobility is often underestimated. Nor are their voices heard when they demand their right to access health, education, markets and workplaces. Shakaray village, Swat, was one such village. For many years, the only path connecting it to the nearest road consisted of a muddy 1.8 kilometre stretch of ruts and potholes. It was virtually impassable for vehicles, and difficult even for pedestrians to navigate. This had severe impacts on Shakaray’s women, who found themselves cut off from the outside world.

  • Overcoming disability to build new livelihoods
    Jan 16, 2018

    When Masta Jan was a child, he contracted polio. After recovering from the severe illness, he discovered that he could not walk unaided. Living in Khyber Agency in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), on the border with Afghanistan, there were few facilities for children living with disabilities. As insecurity swept over FATA causing thousands to flee their homes, his opportunities diminished further. Masta Jan dropped out of formal education and was unable to perform the physical labour that was the only remaining avenue to employment. Instead, it seemed that he would be dependent on his family for the rest of his life.

  • App brings election information at the swipe of a finger
    Dec 8, 2017

    On National Voter’s Day, 7 December 2017, Mr. Mamnoon Hussain, the President of Pakistan and Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), launched a new tool bringing voters the information they need, when they need, at their fingertips.

  • Access to water lightens women’s burdens
    Oct 20, 2017

    Amina Bibi lives in Siksa, a village in Ghanche, located at the eastern-most tip of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. The village appears paradisiacal, surrounded by the snowy peaks of the world’s highest mountains. Yet for the women of Siksa, the rugged terrain was long a challenge they had to face every day as they walked for hours to collect water for the family’s needs.

  • Water treatment plant provides clean irrigation water to Lahore farmers
    Oct 20, 2017

    Whenever Haji Khalil, 48, used to survey his fields, he felt guilty. A farmer from Bhama village, near Pakistan’s second-largest city Lahore, his land was rich and fertile, but his crops were irrigated by water he knew was tainted.

  • Safe drinking water at the doorstep helps keep girls in school
    Oct 18, 2017

    Siksa village is located in Gilgit-Baltistan in northern Pakistan. Set amongst towering Himalayan peaks, the remote village is snowbound in the winter. As such, the summer months are critical for education. Yet, lack of access to a safe and reliable source of drinking water led to repeated illness amongst schoolchildren, causing many to miss school. Girls were particularly prone to drop out of education, helping their mothers on their hours-long daily journey to collect water and irrigate the fields.

  • Reliable irrigation improves livelihoods in a remote mountain village
    Oct 18, 2017

    Summer is brief but fierce in Siksa village. Located amidst the Himalayan mountains in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, the village suffers from harsh winters when no agriculture is possible. Only when the summer comes is it possible to grow the crops that Siksa’s people depend on for their livelihoods.

  • Legal aid desks provide pro bono advice in conflict-affected Swat
    Oct 12, 2017

    Zakirullah, 15, will never forget the day that a verbal exchange with a neighbour turned physical and he was stabbed between the ribs. “I was asking him about the keys to my workplace. He began poking fun at my stutter. When I would not stop asking about the keys, he stabbed me,” Zakir remembers.

  • 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.

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