2011-2012 Pakistan BRPID Project

Pakistan BRPID Project

Training Women Entrepreneurs in Gilgit, Baltistan

brpid-2011-pakistanBaltistan is a remote and isolated part of Pakistan, in the foothills of the Himalayas with a population of 2.4 million, linked only with other parts of Pakistan and China by the famous Karakoram Highway. Around 0.8 million people live in Gilgit, the capital of the province, many of whom still live under the burden of poverty, illiteracy and domestic violence. Health and hygiene issues are of particular concern with a high incidence of childbirth complications and cervical cancer.

The region produces large quantities of fruit: apricots, apples, cherries, peaches, walnuts etc. but a lot of the fruits are wasted due to lack of preserving processes and difficulties of transporting it. This project, run by the Pakistan Federation of University Women (PFUW) members, will train marginalised women in fruit processing, preservation, canning and packaging as well as marketing. Many of the processes involved, such as drying fruit, jam making and making oil from seeds and nuts can be managed by the women at home. Adult literacy classes and classes in health and hygiene for the women will run along-side the skills training component. A Grameen Bank pattern of micro finance will be adopted. It is hoped that the project will achieve sustainability in one or two years.