From the first loan of Rupees 10,000, Akhuwat has achieved a significant milestone; the disbursement of 1 Billion Rupees as interest free loans to over 90, 000 poor families in Pakistan. To mark this milestone in Akhuwat’s journey, a series of events between 22nd March and 27th March, 2011 took place in Lahore.
• Dua-e-Khair, 22nd March, 2011
• Diya Jalaye Rakhna Hai – Pakistan Day Vigil, 23rd March 2011
• Akhuwat Fundraising Dinner 2011, 24th March, 2011
• Akhuwat; Exploring New Horixons in Microfinance, 25th March 2011
• Loan Disbursement at the Data Ganj Baksh Mosque, 27th March 2011
On 22nd March, 2011, three hundred borrowers, supporters and employees of Akhuwat gathered at the ‘Baba Shah Jamal’ Mosque, Shah Jamal Colony, Lahore. Shah Jamal Mosque is home to one of the earliest branches of Akhuwat opened in Lahore. The event began with a recitation from the Holy Quran to recognize that all of Akhuwat’s success has been possible only because of Allah’s Approval and Benevolence. Afterwards the participants prayed for blessings and Baraka’ from Allah Rab-ul-Izzat in their tasks and efforts for poverty alleviation. They reinforced their commitment to fight against interest, which is prohibited in Islam, and build a society according to the principles of brotherhood, compassion and social justice.
Diya Jalaye Rakhna Hai – Pakistan Day Vigil
On the evening of Pakistan’s National Day, 23rd March, the youth of Lahore came together with Akhuwat to show their solidarity with the poor. Through their energy and passion, scores of young people voiced their commitment to work together to alleviate poverty from their country.
Over 1, 500 students from various schools and universities including King Edward Medical College University, Lahore University of Management Sciences, University of Central Punjab, Punjab University, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Government College University, and Lahore Grammar School gathered along the canal between Jail Road and Mall Road to join hands with the enthusiastic borrowers and the supportive staff of Akhuwat. They were holding diyay (earthen lamps) and misha’l (torches) to symbolize breaking out of the darkness and despair of poverty. The lamps and torches that marked the evening sky of Lahore was a testament of the hope that Akhuwat had rekindled in the hearts of the citizens of Pakistan. The young people echoed the desire to play their parts in changing the future of Pakistan by embracing their own responsibility to the poor. Affirming their unity, the youth of Lahore stood shoulder to shoulder with Akhuwat’s borrowers and staff members, displaying to the world that the light of change had been lit.
Akhuwat Fundraising Dinner 2011
To share the inspirational success of Akhuwat’s journey, a fundraising dinner was organized at Royal Palm, Lahore on 24th March, 2011. Prominent TV anchor Nur-ul-Hasan hosted the proceedings prior to the dinner. Dr. Amjad Saqib (Executive Director, Akhuwat) opened the floor with a passionate presentation of his vision for Akhuwat. He recalled the humble beginnings of Akhuwat and how through the sheer dedication of its staff, the support of its borrowers and the generosity of the community, it had reached the milestone of one billion rupees. What began as a philanthropic experiment has now emerged as a movement that has transformed the lives of 90, 000 families in Pakistan. This was followed by a screening of a documentary which traced the lives of Akhuwat’s oldest borrowers showcasing the vision for change that underlies Akhuwat’s operations. The moving narration of the borrowers as they related their experiences of how they had built their lives with support from Akhuwat was a testament to the impact Akhuwat’s efforts of poverty alleviation had. The evening progressed with words of appreciation for Akhuwat from eminent guests including Justice (r) Nasira Javed Iqbal; Mr. Abdus Salam Ashshareef – Country Director, Pakistan for Kuwait Fund; Mian Amir Mehmood ,Chairman, University of Central Punjab and renowned columnist Mr. Haroon Rashid. Final vote of thanks was delivered by Mr. Humayun Ehsaan – Principal, Pakistan College of Law. This was followed by dinner and the evening came to an end after many pledges and donations were made for Akhuwat.
International Conference: “Exploring New Horizon in Microfinance – Akhuwat”
On 25th March 2011, an international conference entitled ‘Akhuwat-Exploring New Horizons in Microfinance’ was held at University of Central Punjab, Lahore. The event brought together eminent scholars, experts and practitioners who through their exhaustive analysis, brought forth the salient features of the Akhuwat model that continue to define its philosophy and operation. The conference was attended by a wide array of social development professionals from various microfinance institutions, academics and scholars from Pakistan and students from a University of Central Punjab, Government College University, Lahore University of Management Sciences and Riphah University, Islamabad.
Following is a list of speakers who presented at the conference:
|Professor Malcolm Harper,
Emeritus Professor of Enterprise Development, Cranfield School of Management, United Kingdom
|Akhuwat – My favorite microfinance institution…Why?|
|Dr. Khalid Zaheer,
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Central Punjab
|Role of mosque in socioeconomic development – Akhuwat experience|
|Mr. Saleem Ullah,
Director Islamic Banking Department at State Bank of Pakistan
|Islamic Microfinance – Potential and Possibilities: Role of Akhuwat|
|Agha Ali Jawad,
General Manager, National Rural Support Program
|Sustainability and growth in Akhuwat – A myth or reality?|
|Dr. Faheem ul Islam,
Associate Professor, Suleman Dawood School of Business, LUMS
|Sustainability, scalability and impact of Akhuwat|
|Dr. Zeeshan Ahmed,
Director BSc Accounting & Finance, Suleman Dawood School of Business, LUMS
|‘Waqf’ – a way forward for Akhuwat|
|Dr. Grace Clark,
Professor, Department of Sociology, Forman Christian College (University)
|The importance of a microfinance system that is consistent with culture|
|Professor Ather Azim,
Professor, Faculty of Commerce, University of Central Punjab
|Achieving Triple bottom line: Sustainability, Growth and Welfare – A Case of Akhuwat|
|Prof. Mubeen ul Haq and Prof. A. G. Ghaffari,
University of Management & Technology
|Metaphor as a source of Organizational Development: A case study of Akhuwat|
Loan Disbursement at Data Ganj Baksh Mosque
On 27th March 2011, 3,000 loans worth 40 million rupees were disbursed at Lahore’s historical Data GanjBaksh Mosque which formally marked Akhuwat surpassing the One Billion rupee mark in interest-free loans. The Chief Minister Punjab, Muhammad Shahbaz Shariz was the chief guest on this occasion and appreciated the work of Akhuwat and expressed his wish that the Government of Punjab and Akhuwat should work together for poverty alleviation. Sama’a Hall at the mosque was brimming with a gathering of over 4000 people; a combination of borrowers, supporters and volunteers of Akhuwat. Dr Amjad Saqib, Executive Drector, Akhuwat also addressed the enthusiastic crowd and highlighted that the Akhuwat’s success was due to the support, trust and generosity of the borrowers of the organization.