CSR Networking Session on Women Empowerment and Volunteer Training Program was held on January 26, 2017 at the chamber. Five social sector organizations, Aurat Foundation, Heritage Foundation, Kashf Foundation, GIZ Pakistan and National Volunteer Program, made presentations of the work being done by them to the members.
Abdul Aleem, Secretary General, welcomed the organizations and representatives of the member companies. He gave an overview of the role of the chamber in promotion of CSR activities among its members and introducing notable social sector organizations working in a wide range of humanitarian sectors via the platform of OICCI CSR networking sessions which are held at regular intervals.
Khalid Mehfooz from Kashf Foundation started off the proceedings highlighting KF area of work and achievements in women empowerment through skills training and finance loans to the women in marginalized communities. Ms. Muneezeh Khan from Aurat Foundation informed how they are striving for women to acquire greater access to knowledge and resources and influence attitudes and behavior of the society towards women. She also highlighted the efforts of Aurat Foundation to mitigate the harassment cases against women in Pakistan. Ms. Shanaz Ramzi and Ms. Safeeyah Moosa briefed how the founder, Ms. Yasmeen Lari, started the Heritage Foundation to take care of heritage sites in Pakistan in the beginning but, later on, gradually expanded its role and touched lives of poor women in far flung areas of the country by giving them education and skills training leading to legitimate earning by making home-made products. They shared a success story of a lady from a village of interior Sindh, ‘Champa’ who had earned USD 28,000 in just 16 months by selling off carbon and smoke-free stoves and also had received “Idol Award” from the Governor Sindh. Shahzad Hooda and Ms. Nazish Shekha introduced the audience with a unique initiative by the National Volunteer Program which is an online portal facilitating NGOs and corporate sector meeting the volunteers, from across Pakistan and abroad too, with different skills set and willing to volunteer for any noble cause or initiative. Naeem Ansari introduced the TVET Reform Support Program initiated by GIZ Pakistan that aims to equip youth of Pakistan with vocational and training skills and channelize them to companies and businesses that require their skills. He also mentioned that many companies including OICCI members have already partnered with them and are supporting the program.
Mr. M. Abdul Aleem appreciated the comprehensive presentations by the organizations and their work; however, he also stressed that the social sector organizations should make the most of such networking sessions by letting OICCI members know about their specific needs, new initiatives and how members could contribute and become partner with these organizations. He reminded that the OICCI members do their CSR activities as a responsibility to the society which has made them successful; therefore, they expect these CSR sessions to open up new opportunities for maximum return to the society by collaborating with outstanding and responsible social sector organizations.
Kimihide Ando, Chairman OICCI CSR Subcommittee, concluded the session by thanking all the participants, especially the organizations for very good presentations. He commended their enthusiasm and untiring efforts of the individuals who are making difference in the lives of deprived people of Pakistan.