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Introduction to RF

Message from Chairman

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RUPANI FOUNDATION

Founded in 2007, Rupani Foundation (RF) is registered as a public charity in Pakistan. Its primary constituency is the extreme rural and mountain communities which are most susceptible to natural disasters, political conflicts and extreme poverty. Due to their typical remote location, these communities are usually marginalized from the rest of the country and lack of resources and support to meet basic human needs. The vision of Rupani Foundation is to create a sustainable society for future generations and its mission is promoting the holistic development of children (0-8 years) by providing essential ECD services at household and community level and creating lasting solutions to poverty by enhancing skills and adding value to local production with the partnership of local, national and international agencies.

Pakistan offers a unique opportunity to integrate underprivileged areas and their extreme rural and mountain communities into the evolving global socio-economic landscape. Most mountain communities have natural access to semi precious and precious stone mines, but lack of the skills and resources to develop them into sustainable income generating opportunities. By providing skill development training for adults, particularly women, and establishing Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs for children, these communities can be empowered to permanently break the vicious cycle of poverty and join the global community as contributing citizens for generations to come.

 

FOUNDATION'S INTERVENTIONS

1. Early Childhood Development

Early Child Development (ECD) generally refers to the period from conception to eight years, during which acquisition of culturally relevant skills and behaviours allows children to function and adapt effectively according to the environment in which they live and grow. In order to adequately prepare children in target areas and considering the high importance of ECD, Rupani Foundation has started multiple programs to promote education from early years and multiple supportive programmes for their parents and family members.

                                                                      

Under this component, RF has worked with many other stakeholders to promote the cause of ECD for the betterment of the communities living in acute poverty in the regions of Gilgit-Baltistan and Sindh.

a. Agah Walidain-Informed Parents (AW-IP):

RF's AW-IP is a unique program that reaches to the newly-wed couples, families, parents and children. It does not focus only in upbringing the child but also creating harmony within the family to nurture the child from pre-natal stage to 3 years of age - the crucial early years of life. The overall objective of AW-IP is to empower parents for optimum development of their children and to set a pathway of lifelong learning through timely rendering of information and support during the first three years. The AW-IP program helps children to provide an active, positive, and stimulating nurturing and grooming environment both in homes as well as at AW-IP centers. The AW-IP activities are designed to contribute towards children's holistic development at this early stage. By now there are more than 30 AW-IP centres in Gilgit-Baltistan and Sindh provinces including core-funded and community based AW-IP centres with more than 1000 families benefitting from AW-IP program.

b. Umeed (Hope):

Project Umeed is a key ECD initiative of Rupani Foundation in the Sindh’s rural areas. This is a Montessori-based ECD project for children aged 3 to 7, primarily targeting the underprivileged segments of the society in Sindh. The project provides age appropriate facilities and learning material, and ensures engagement of parents in their children’s ECD schooling. Along with this, the project keeps engaging communities in awareness sessions targeting on unhealthy aspects and practices that prevail in a particular community. So far, Umeed program is being run in 5 centres currently benefitting around 800 children.

c. Early Learning Model (ELM) Centre:

After successful graduation of the first batch of Agah Walidain - Informed Parents (AW-IP), parents demanded to initiate a program with the same quality and learning process for children above 3 years age. In order to avoid disruption in the quality of learning process that they had at AW-IP, another program was initiated namely Early Learning Model (ELM) in 2015, where formal ECD schooling is offered for the age bracket of 4-7 year. Currently, the upper most class is ECD-III. In the next year, 2018, the centre will mature as the final level ECD-IV batch will graduate from the centre. Currently, 114 students are enrolled at ELM centre in Gilgit, the only ELM centre by far. RF based on the successful intiative, also plans to scale up the ELM program to many other locations across GB.

 

2. Skill Development

Skill development is the component with which RF started its journey in development sector. Within this component, two major interventions have been done. First is the intervention in gems and jewelry sector and second is training in stone masonry.

a. Gems and Jewelry Intervention

In this component RF has been able to develop a cadre of skilled workforce in gems cutting and polishing and jewelry making, which is engaged in gems market by establishing multiple Gems Cutting and Polishing Training Centers in the Gilgit-Baltistan province of Pakistan. Through these centers more than 1000 local people, mostly women, have been trained. The trained workforce owns many enterprises in market, and provides quality services to desiring people. Many among the trained workforce are women who are earning handsome amounts by producing gems products and jewelry. This intervention has, in a true sense, added to the empowerment of marginalized and remotest communities living in the North Pakistan. The empowerment can be observed in economic as well as social aspect, as men and women together work for earning while sharing common spaces in market.   

                                   

b. Stone Masonry

RF intervened in workforce’s skill development through initiating a training program in stone masonry in late 2013 through mid 2015. This project targeted 1,500 individuals already working in this trade, living in remote districts of Gilgit region. Through this program, advanced and sophisticated training in stone masonry and equipped was imparted, and the participants were given with the necessary equipments to work. This has been one of the most successful interventions of RF, where more than 80% of the participants are engaged in economic activities using the skills that they got through this training.