On 12 June, the Ismaili Muslim Community hosted Ramadan Iftar and positively engaged parents and the Kibuli community on the importance of educating children. Shafique Ssekelala, Programme Director of the Aga Khan Foundation’s Madrasa Early Childhood Programme, highlighted the importance of early childhood education and films of the Aga Khan Foundation’s work were shown. He stated it was imperative that the importance and impact of Early Childhood Education was understood as it presented an incredible opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and opened up new opportunities for marginalised groups in Uganda.
On 20 June, international stars from the Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI) came together to offer a diversity of musical styles at a concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London. The Kronos Quartet, who have long collaborated with AKMI, dominated the first half of this concert. The Malian trio, who dominated the second half, reflected the AKMI’s activities in Africa. And since the beginning of the AKMI’s work was in Asia, rubab-player Homayoun Sakhi from Afghanistan, the pipa-virtuoso Wu Man from China, the string-maestro Sirojiddin Juraev from Tajikistan, the saxophonist composer-improviser Basel Rajoub from Syria, were also present.
The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) established the Community-Based Savings Programme (CBSG) in 2009 to promote community-managed financial services in the disadvantaged communities where it works. CBSGs respond directly to the financial service needs of the remote and rural poor by providing a secure, convenient place to save and take small loans on flexible terms. CBSGs are self-managed groups of 15-25 people and systems are kept simple and transparent to promote independence from AKF, and maintain transparency for members. There are more than 400,000 AKF CBSG members, of which 73% are women.
The French International Development Agency (AFD) has spoken highly about efforts of implementing health projects. On 18 June, AFD Chief Executive Officer, Rémy Rioux, visited the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam to see the progress of the project to expand the hospital and establish 27 outreach health centres. Outreach centres will enable people across Tanzania to access affordable and quality health care at their doorstep and establish a continuum of care with the Aga Khan Hospital. The AKDN director for health, Dr Gijs Walraven, expressed his gratitude to the AFD for supporting AKDN’s social projects globally and in particular the expansion of the Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam.
On 17 June, Prince Aly Muhammad Aga Khan joined thousands of participants at David Pecaut Square in Toronto to open the 34th annual Partnership Walk, which raises funds to end global poverty. An initiative of the Aga Khan Foundation Canada, the Walk has raised over $100 million since inception – and 100% of these funds go directly to international development projects in Africa and Asia. "I can’t tell you how excited I am to be here today," Prince Aly said. "Today is a celebration. It’s a celebration of Canadians coming from all of Canada to help contribute to improving the quality of life in some of the poorest and remote parts of the world."