Nissa, 30, physically impaired and a single parent of one daughter, attended Youth Business Entrepreneurship Training in August 2014 and received an award of Rs. 75’000. With the award money, she bought a knitting machine, and her income has since increased from Rs. 500 a month to Rs. 4’000 a month.
“Enhancing Employability and Leadership of Youth (EELY)”, was launched in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral (GBC) in 2011 by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) and funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (now Global Affairs Canada) and the Aga Khan Foundation of Canada.
EELY had a two-pronged objective: to help youth become more employable and self-enterprising, and to develop their skills and confidence as community leaders. More than 63,000 youth benefited directly from the project, while 126,000 were indirect beneficiaries. Amongst other outcomes, the project helped bridge what had become an increasingly widening gap between the older and newer generations in these communities, a gap that had created family frictions and a sense of marginalisation amongst the youth.