Buksh Foundation & Imran Khan Foundation MoU signing Ceremony!!
Currently, 70% of the population living in 50,000 villages are detached from the national grid and have no access to electricity. Providing them with electricity through the national grid is near to impossible as the current energy needs are not being met. Lighting a Million Lives directly under Imran Khan Foundation’s mandate of, mobilizing local communities in building sustainable means of livelihood, social infrastructure and improve access to health care and education; improving the quality of life of the underserved communities through providing access to basic services. They strive to provide a credible platform for translating the emerging corporate social responsibility into deliverables for the rural poor and to get them access to the basic services they require.
This initiative will not only provide clean energy to the villages but also holds multifold socio-economic benefits along with health and environmental advantages for them, whereby not only creating a social enterprise for the female entrepreneur but also increasing the standard of living for the rest of the village, enticing hope for a brighter future.
At the signing ceremony between Imran Khan Foundation and Buksh Foundation for the project, Mr Imran Khan stated
“The project promotes a unique model, which its multifold benefits will create immense impact in the lives of those living at the bottom of the pyramid. We are truly in high spirits to have collaborated with Buksh Foundation and hope that this small step contributes towards the bigger change that both the organizations are aiming at.”
Buksh Foundation & Zong MoU Signing Ceremony!!
About 43% (80 million people) of the total population of Pakistan lives without access to electricity. Interestingly, while some of the villages do not have electricity, their residents still have cellular connections and carry cell phones. The common practice in these areas is that one of the villagers' collects all cell phones and goes to a nearby town with electricity to recharge these phones. By investing in the solar charging stations, Zong is also making the process of recharging hassle free for the 2 fortunate villages in the district of Chiniot.
This initiative under 'Lighting a Million Lives' has important socio-economic benefits. The solar-charging stations will be operated by women from the same villages; while the project directly promotes women empowerment. Further, project will contribute to improvement of education and health standards, as has been observed in other countries where the project has been implemented. The use of solar lanterns, over its life span of about 10 years will also result in 500 to 600 liters of kerosene not being used for kerosene lamps, eliminating about 1.5 tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
At the MoU signing ceremony between Zong and Buksh Foundation for the project Mr Fan Yunjun, the CEO of Zong Pakistan stated
"We are pleased to support Buksh Foundation on this solar energy initiative especially since this aims to address a critical energy gap in the country. We are optimistic that this collaboration, whilst addressing the energy crisis, will also enhance female employment through generating increased entrepreneurship opportunities and will hence positively impact overall socio-economic development in the country.'
Engro Corp. & Buksh Foundation Light Up The Forgotten Nights!!
On January 16th 2013, Buksh Foundation joined hands with Engro Corp. and took the project 'Lighting a Million Lives' (LaML) a step forward in its journey by providing solar energy access to village Chak 110/9L, in the Sahiwal District. This village was selected on the basis of its need for solar lanterns assessed through a scoping study. The LaML team not only helped create a female entreprenuer, Shahnaz Bibi, by setting up a solar charging station of 50 lanterns, 5 solar panels and 5 junction boxes for her but also engaged in community mobilization so that all the residents of the village can understand the financial, economic and environmental benefits of solar technology and learn how to effectively use it in their daily lives. Shahnaz Bibi was provided with apt technical training for how to operate and repair the solar lanterns along with required business and financial training so that she can manage her inventory in a more effective way and is able to utilize the skills obtained in her daily money dealings.
Through this initiative of Buksh Foundation, hundreds of villagers suffering on an everyday basis due to the unavailability of light will be able to enjoy the basic facility of clean healthy light at a very low cost. In addition, it would generate permanent sources of income for the entrepreneur
Sparking a “Clean Energy Movement” in Pakistan!!
Pakistan is currently in the midst of an escalating energy crisis resulting from inadequate power generation and distribution capacity relative to its rapidly growing demand. Even areas that are connected to the national electricity grid face daily black outs and system failures and are left without power for up to 20 hours per day. Staying in line with its vision of introducing meaningful impact investments for the lower income masses of Pakistan, Buksh Foundation launched pioneering Clean Energy Loans (CEL) in July 2011. Today, CEL is one of the fastest growing areas of our portfolio where by Arc Finance has published a case study on Buksh Foundation's solar loan initiative. Buksh Foundation realizes that micro financing is the only affordable and reliable solution to the power shutdown ranging from 18-20 hours in peri-urban areas. Through this initiative clients now have the opportunity to acquire renewable energy solutions through economical packages on both retail and installments.
Ms. Fiza Farhan, CEO Buksh Foundation states that:
"It took a lot of time to set up the right business model because it's not only about financing, it's about the product, the quality assurance of the product, having the right product for a particular client. It's about awareness and education, and after-sales service, as well. For us, it is about being part of a clean energy movement, not just doing clean energy lending."
Creation of a “Light Lady” (A Clean Energy Entrepreneur)
Sakina Bibi's life completely changed after she was chosen as the first LaML Entrepreneur by Buksh Foundation. Earlier she along with 800 other individuals dwelling in a village in the sahiwal district had to strive with life on an everyday basis due to the dearth of light. The darkness around them was very upsetting. After being provided with clean energy the entire village now considers the solar lanterns to be a miracle.
Everyone in the village has named Sakina Bibi 'the light lady'. Through this initiative, Buksh foundation hopes to provide individuals with the most basic facility of adequate lighting in their homes, without any pollution emission, at a nominal cost. In addition, it will generate permanent sources of income for the entrepreneurs as well as increasing the economic capacity of the areas being electrified. This Clean Energy initiative in Pakistan will reap positive impact on communities and cause social mobilization which will lead to a better lifestyle.
2 Villages, with 100 Households Converted to Solar !!
On September 29, 2012, Buksh Foundation formally launched its project 'Lighting a Million Lives' through providing solar energy to 2 villages of Chak 113 and 117, Jinnah Abadi in the district of Sahiwal. The total population of 800 individuals had earlier been surviving through critical lifestyle, with minimal facilities and ever increasing hardships. For this population, like similar 40,000 villages in Pakistan, life started and ended with the daylight, with a very low literacy rate, poor school attendance, skimpy female presence at the community level and low skilled productive, these solar lanterns have come as blessings for them. The impact created immense emotional attachment towards the residents of the village for Buksh Foundation team, as the warmth and love received from the villagers was pure and strong. Sakina Bibi, mother of 5 and the first LaML Entrepreneur proudly tells her tale of independence and journey through darkness to that of light and hope in the following words: "My husband works in the fields and we did not have access to electricity with the kerosene oil so expensive and candles tedious, our lives basically ended at sunset. My husband would return from fields early in the evening and the kids settled themselves in doors, while I had to finish off all my tasks before it got too dark. But since the arrival of these solar lanterns things have become much easier. I distribute these lanterns to the entire village lighten up their houses as well as my own. People have started calling me "the lady with the light" and now I, myself earn a fair living for my entire family."
Buksh Foundation and TERI sign MoU for 'Lighting a Million Lives' Project
Buksh Foundation along with TERI India (The Energy and Research Institute), is proud to announce the initiation of ‘Lighting a Million Lives’ project which is a unique initiative that aims to give energy impoverished communities across Pakistan access to clean and reliable sources of energy through solar technology.
The project aims to light up 5000 villages over a period of 5 years and impact over a million people by not only lighting up their homes but also creating women entrepreneurship and empowerment, helping them generate permanent sources of income for themselves and their families.
The formal signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Buksh Foundation and TERI was held on Thursday June 28, 2012, at the Avari Hotel, Lahore. Mr Asim Buksh, Chairman Buksh Foundation, and Dr R K Pachauri of TERI signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organizations.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Buksh Foundation’s CEO Ms. Fiza Farhan said,
“This unique collaborative project will help create Female Empowerment in rural areas, provide a Sustainable Energy Alternative for impoverished communities, increase economic capacity of the rural areas and generate literacy about the need for environmentally friendly energy alternates and the benefits they provide. We also hope to showcase this as a spur to a comprehensive Sustainable Energy Policy.”
Adding further to the positive development of the event, the Chairman of Buksh Foundation Mr Asim Buksh urged for improving Pakistan-India relationships and emphasized that,
“Lighting a Million Lives” with its multifold benefits, will not only help enlighten lives but it will pave its way towards creating better relations between the 2 neighboring countries, helping to erase any differences from the past and together Pakistan and India could move towards a more prosperous future.”
Dr. R K Pachauri added,
“Buksh foundation has taken a bold step in partnering with TERI. Our aim is to build a strong cross border friendship that benefits the poorest people in both countries, as well as educates and develops the resources needed for the environment and energy sustainability.”
Buksh Foundation looks forward to initiating this remarkable project with full throttle and generating a positive social, economic and environmental impact within the society by creating partnerships and bringing together a vast network of microfinance institutions and practitioners.
Buksh Teri MOU signing ceremony
Buksh Foundation along with TERI India (The Energy and Research Institute), is initiating ‘Lighting a Million Lives’ Project which aims to provide solar energy in un-electrified rural areas of Pakistan to improve their quality of life. By illuminating 5,000 villages Buksh Foundation aims to complete its project of lighting up the lives of a million people.
Through this initiative, individuals would be able to enjoy the basic facility of clean, healthy and adequate light in their homes without any pollution emission at a very low cost. In addition, it would generate permanent sources of income for the entrepreneurs.
Event: On Thursday June 28 2012, at 8:00 am, MoU signing ceremony for LaML project will take place at Avari Hotel, Indus Conference Hall, SP floor, Lahore.
CEO of the foundation, Ms Fiza Farhan and Director of TERI, India, Dr R.K. Pachauri will sign the documents, formally recognizing the partnership between the two organizations.
Buksh Foundation joins hands with Qingqi
Buksh Foundation’s Transport Loan is one of its most constructive financial products for facilitating economic activity and providing people with transportation means for generation of permanent sources of income. The latest addition in Buksh Foundation’s partner list is Plum Qingqi, a leading Chinese Rickshaw manufacturer in Pakistan. Buksh Foundation, under its attempt to provide exceptional services to its clients, has now joined hands with Qingqi. This unique CSR initiative has opened new doors of friendship between both the organizations.
This collaboration will allow affordable ownership of a popular public transport medium, whereby the client can not only augment his daily income but improve his socio-economic status as well. Buksh Foundation and Plum Qingqi aim to work on their mutual vision to provide constant means of revenue generation to the underprivileged in the society to help them become self reliant and self sufficient.
For the purposes of disseminating information regarding the promising opportunities that Buksh Foundation’s clients can avail, a joint community event was held as well where information was disseminated on how the local residents can avail the opportunity of getting a profitable business on wheels!
We hope this endeavor will serve to reduce unemployment and augment revenue generation amongst the poor.
Highest Microentrepreneur Loan Disbursed
Known for its unique practices and novelty in the microfinance industry, Buksh Foundation has yet again made a mark through its operations and disbursed its highest micro entrepreneur loan worth PKR 0.1 Million (USD1150) to Mr.Khalid Farooq on 14th December 2011. Currently Khalid Farooq operates a motorbike spare part business which he has been able to sustain over the years with tough grind and a constant uphill struggle. His yearn for expansion and his passion for work brought him to Buksh Foundation which acted as a ray of hope for making his dreamed business expansion possible. When Khalid Farooq was inquired regarding how productive this loan would prove to be for him, the smile on his face said it all:
“I’ve recently started my family and my children are still young. I wish to send them to the best private schools in town so that they don’t face the hardships that I’ve faced in life. But my business has been stagnant for quite some time now and I don’t see it growing without further investment which I don’t have. But after the help from Buksh Foundation, ill be able to fulfill my and my family’s dreams”
Buksh Foundation believes that it is time to negate the myopic approach to economic empowerment and generate real economic empowerment by acknowledging the higher financial assistance needs of targeted recipients. Hence Buksh Foundation has launched “microentrepreneur loans” for small and micro enterprise owners who require higher financial assistance for scale up and for freeing themselves and their families from the vicious poverty cycle and persistent financial crisis.
Initially only third cycle clients of Productive Loan have been considered for this product but in the next fiscal year new clients will also be considered for this service and will be screened through a tight selection process based on Psychometric analysis and more rigorous Business analysis.
On 24th October 2011, Buksh Foundation disbursed off its first two loan cheques for Rs60,000 ($690) each to two of its clients. After going through a rigorous procedure, two worthy clients were chosen keeping in mind their business plans, growth opportunities and previous interaction with Buksh Foundation. Shamim and Adur Rehman were selected from a pool of deserving clients and cheques of due amounts were disbursed off to them.
Best Woman Microentrepreneur Award
Buksh Foundation hosted the ‘Best Woman Microentrepreneur Award’ on 31st October, 2011 and awarded Rozeena Imran with a trophy and cash price. Rozeena is the proud owner of a small beauty salon which she started off in 2009 and has been successfully operating since then with her persistence and hard work. She aspires to expand the salon into a training center and train women in becoming professionals in this field. With a healthy and prosperous three year relationship with Buksh Foundation, she has been able to develop her business into a thriving venture.
Rozeena was selected from a pool of capable and talented entrepreneurs because of her determination and belief in herself and her work. Not only did she take a bold step in starting off her own business but also showed her family the prospective for a bright future. She is contributing positively to the society and has inspired other women to start of their individual businesses and become masters in their respective fields. Rozeena is an inspiration and a role model for her daughters as well as other women in the society.
Buksh Foundation plans to host such award ceremonies quarterly to appreciate its clients and their determination to make it big in life.
The first Clean Energy Loan package has been advanced to Fatima Nazeer and her son Mubashir, who manage a small rented mobile repair and sales shop. Mubashir faced daily blackouts of 10-12 hours that were negatively impacting his sales and income generation. He was previously using a small electric torch for lightening purposes which provided minimal support so he wanted a reliable energy source to use at his shop. Clean Energy Loan was a perfect match for his needs.
Staff Appraisal Ceremony
Buksh Foundation recently held its Staff Appraisal Ceremony in Lahore where field staff were acknowledged and appreciated for their efforts in community mobilization and portfolio management, followed by a delectable lunch. High performers were presented with appreciation certificates and performance based bonus. The event proved to be a bonding event for both management and field staff, where all employees interacted and socialized on a common platform. New staff members at the recently established Buksh Foundation rural kiosks were also a part of the event.