"Meeting the development challenge will continue to be a complex matter - one which will not only demand the very best of government, civil society and private enterprise, but will also require new efforts to coordinate and harmonize their various energies."
the Aga Khan at the Enabling Environment
Conference, Kabul, Afghanistan, 4 June 2007
Kyrgyz Project a Finalist in BBC World Challenge
The Aga Khan Foundation's(AKF) "jailoo" project in the Kyrgyz Republic has been selected as one of 12 finalists for the BBC World Challenge, "a global competition aimed at finding projects or small businesses from around the world that have shown enterprise and innovation at a grass roots level". The "jailoo" project grew out of an appeal to AKF for support for rural Kyrgyz children who miss out on kindergarten during the annual migration to the “jailoo”, or high pastures, which often lasts four to five months a year. To bring structured, active and enjoyable learning opportunities to the "jailoo", AKF supports a system of linked central and satellite kindergartens. Many of the satellite kindergartens operate in village homes during the winter and in yurts (nomadic tents) during the summer pasturage. Early surveys indicate that when children from the jailoo kindergarten programme enter primary school, they outperform others in both reading and math.
BBC World will air a 15-minute programme on the following days (all times are GMT:
To vote for the project, please visit the BBC World Challenge website. Voting finishes 21 November at midnight GMT.
Aga Khan Visits University of Central Asia Campuses
Between meetings with the presidents, prime ministers and other government ministers in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic, His Highness the Aga Khan visited with students in the University of Central Asia's School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE). The SPCE, which has been operating since 2006, is the region’s first provider of formal, university-based, non-degree educational programmes, offering vocational, professional development and personal improvement opportunities to youth and adults. For photos of the visit, please see the photo page. For more information on the University of Central Asia, please see the UCA website.
AKAM Expands in Afghanistan and Egypt
In November, the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM) signed agreements to expand their operations in Aswan, Egypt, and in Afghanistan. In Egypt, AKAM will increase microfinance support to poor and low-income families and small businesses in the Aswan Governorate. At present, the Aswan Governorate has one of the lowest levels of access to microfinance in Egypt. For more information, please see the press release. In Afghanistan, AKAM will introduce a line of loan products designed to address the housing needs of poor and low-income Afghans and improve living conditions in the country. For more information, please see the press release.
Syrian Citadels Restored; Further Collaboration in
Microfinance, Health Care and Cultural Tourism
On 26 August 2008, the Syrian Government and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) signed three landmark agreements designed to strengthen collaboration in the areas of microfinance, health care and cultural tourism. His Highness the Aga Khan also inaugurated restoration work undertaken on the citadels of Aleppo, Salah ad-Din and Masyaf. The restoration work was carried out by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in partnership with the Syrian Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums. For more information, please see the press release and related material.
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