Whether it is more efficient smoke-free stoves in northern Pakistan, a hydroelectric plant in Uganda, cooling the buildings of the Aga Khan University in Karachi or installing a solar array at an Aga Khan Health Services-managed hospital in Afghanistan, good stewardship of the environment has always been one of the underlying ethics driving the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN)’s work. Now, as AKDN redoubles its efforts to meet the climate change crisis, it is important to reflect on the decisions that have affected – and continue to affect – the environment. Amir Jivraj has been intimately involved with many of these projects along the way.
"I’ve been in these mountains for nearly a year! That was not something I had planned on. Perhaps what I appreciated most about the staff at the PECTA office is that they’ve encouraged me. The PECTA office is staffed by people who love their home and want to share the Pamirs with you. The Pamir Eco-Cultural Tourism Association encourages you to explore both the nature and culture of the Pamirs because they are inseparable here in these mountains."
Talaibek and Elza Osmonov: Graduates of University of Central Asia launch yurt resort in Naryn
When Talaibek Osmonov and his wife, Elza, completed the University of Central Asia School of Professional and Continuing Education’s Entrepreneurship programme in Naryn in 2016-2017, they planned to build a yurt business and promote tourism in their hometown – the Alysh village of Naryn.
Kimya: Growing crops, nurturing a community in Afghanistan
After COVID-19 spread across Afghanistan, many, including Kimya’s eldest son, a rental driver, lost their jobs. However, a greenhouse the Aga Khan Foundation helped her to build has enabled their family to weather the pandemic. Of the 6,000 tomato seedlings produced through the greenhouse, Kimya sold half to support her family’s needs (in the spirit of community philanthropy, she gave the other half to neighbours who could not afford to buy the seedlings).
Istoray: Unmasking new opportunities in a time of crisis
Thanks to a Canadian-supported programme in Afghanistan, Istoray had been equipped in 2019 to grow her business and train new tailors through business skills training. When COVID-19 hit, she was prepared. Now she makes 400 to 500 masks every day out of her home which, with the help of her children, are sold locally.