The Aman Trust (AT) is a social sector enterprise that aims to champion dignity and choice for the underserved throughout the MENASA region. It has been involved in philanthropic giving for many years (primarily Pakistan, India, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt and the UAE). Aman Trust has operated largely outside the public purview due to the privacy needs of its sponsor trustees (namely Arif Naqvi and his family) but, institutional capacity building and example-setting has dictated that AT is now visible. For the Pakistan component of its work, AT has seeded the Aman Foundation with USD 100 million to help achieve the Foundation’s mission: To champion dignity and choice for the underserved in Pakistan through sustainable, scalable, and systemic development in areas of health and education. Capacity building and promoting female empowerment is a cross-cutting theme across all Aman businesses. The word “business” is used deliberately, since Aman is run as a private sector entity with accountability, transparency and clear KPI’s for its operational teams although it is a not-for-profit.
The Foundation realizes that Food Security and Nutrition are fundamental to the development of any society without which targets in healthcare and education cannot be met. Recognizing this, in September 2008 a project to provide hygienic and nutritionally balanced meals to 3,000 children per day in an economically deprived peri-urban Karachi community was piloted. Its primary purpose was to improve child healthcare statistics. However, enrolment and attendance were simultaneously enhanced in a measurable way. AMANGHAR serves as a model blue print for other socially responsible citizens and corporations to adopt and replicate. Over 3.5+ million nutritionally balanced meals have been served till-date.
Forty per cent of death and disease in Pakistan is preventable; a fact that has led the Foundation to undertake major health initiatives that address this in a systemic manner. At its core is the creation of the Emergency Medical Services (AMANAMBULANCE), which in a city of 18 million has redefined ambulatory care. Offering a fleet of 80 fully-equipped ambulances to all parts of the city, manned by doctors and trained paramedics, the service which was launched in March 2009 has already conducted almost 600,000 emergency medical interventions to date; and has evolved as a service of choice in times of need. Operating as mobile clinics during flood relief efforts of 2010 and 2011, these vehicles provided timely outpatient care to an additional 100,000 displaced persons in the worst affected areas of Sindh and Punjab. Coordinated through a central control and command center, this state-of-the-art emergency service has achieved an average response time of less than 10 minutes.
To further build this health ecosystem, Aman has set up a Tele-health Service. AMANTELEHEALTH is a call center that provides diagnostic services and advice via medical advisers and doctors over the phone. With a capacity to handle over half a million calls a year, its design allows for an expansion to provide complete national coverage. The program aims to leverage the cell phone revolution to surmount issues of social immobility and lack of female access to healthcare facilities particularly for those that inhabit low income communities. It empowers women to seek timely medical advice and counseling, which significantly reduces death and disability through early stage interventions. To address sustainability challenges of the service, the Foundation is building partnerships with corporations like Unilever for communications and awareness, while collaboration with telecom companies are being explored for revenue sharing. Already successful in India and sub-Saharan Africa, this mode, as a sustainable social sector business, has for the first time been launched in Pakistan. This project works in tandem with an evolving Aman Community Health Program (ACHP) that is currently operational in a peri-urban Karachi fishing community. This Program again aims to take healthcare directly to the homes of underserved women, who have been deprived of basic healthcare due to social and cultural bounds. Moreover, a chain of 20-bed Mother and Child Clinics are being planned across Karachi to address the grave mother and child mortality rate in the country. In October, 2012 Arif Naqvi, Chairman Aman Foundation, and Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation signed a five-year framework agreement on family planning and health in Pakistan. Further areas for collaboration to advance global health and development will be explored as well.
Education is the second pillar of Aman’s strategy in Pakistan and again a systemic approach is paramount. The Foundation recognizes the Country’s need for a significant shift towards improved and relevant vocational and technical education. AMANTECH – Aman’s vocational training institute – seeks to align Pakistan’s labor force with the expectations of the private sector both locally and internationally. This is a critical success factor that provides the underserved with access to overseas markets, and generates earning streams that lead to the uplift and development of their families and communities. In addition it would increase foreign exchange remittances to the country alongside providing an enhanced skill set to the domestic economy. Equipped with state-of-the-art workshops and a broad base of experienced instructors to achieve success at scale, Aman is partnering with specialist international vocational training organizations, such as GIZ (Germany), City & Guilds (UK), and Skills International (Sri Lanka). Currently the Institute has 3000+ students enrolled in 11 trades. Of the first batch 87% of students cleared the City & Guilds examinations, 22% achieved distinctions in their respective courses. Placing the successful graduates into jobs is part of the undertaking the Foundation takes upon itself – graduates to date have been placed both locally and abroad.
Teach For Pakistan, is ostensibly a teacher training program but in reality it is the beginning of a nationwide movement of graduates and young professionals who commit two years to teach in under-resourced schools. These young people will go on to become lifelong leaders working from across all fields to expand educational opportunity in Pakistan. The program, which is a partner in the Teach for All global network, was launched in 2011 with 60 fellows teaching across 40 low income schools in Karachi. Two-thirds of the Fellows, come from foreign universities and prestigious national institutions such as LUMS and IBA.
AMANSPORTS, which is a part of Aman’s multi-pronged education strategy, believes in children’s basic right to play and that transformative learning occurs through play. The program primarily focuses on extensive grass roots sports access for all school-going children. The vision is to create a system of regular organized sporting events which become a part of every bottom of the pyramid school’s academic ethos. Through this grass roots activation, AMANSPORTS envisions the creation of a School of Sports – an academy that will harness and hone the talent that emerges through the grass-root sporting events. AMANSPORTS seeks to create a sports marketing and business development arm of its operations that will attract the media and catalyze the sports industry, thereby creating avenues of sustainability. This arm seeks to create revenue streams not only from its operations, but also by strategic alliance formation with corporates and sports federations. Real Madrid Foundation signed a letter of intent to partner with Aman in football and basketball in Pakistan. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties was then signed in November, 2012.
To address the theme of capacity building within the community, Aman has been involved in strategic grant giving, which in addition to working synergistically with its own projects has been designed to promote collaboration to leverage other people’s good work. An example of this is the collaborative community mental health initiative (SHAMIL) that was launched in August 2011. It is a joint venture created through i-Care,Karvan-e-Hayat, Pakistan Association for Mental Health and HANDS. The program seeks to establish satellite psychiatric clinics, and build capacity by training community health workers to conduct mental health assessment, provide basic support and guidance. Moreover, research commissioned by Aman is designed to provide the basis of a strategy for Mental Health in Karachi as none exists. Such work can amplify impact in our priority sectors; almost saying, “Aman provides risk capital and early stage financing in core strategic philanthropy areas where others do not”.
Grants worth USD 23.5 million to date have been made to leading initiatives in these sectors, striking partnerships with reputed institutions and organizations such as The Institute of Business Administration, Acumen Fund, Leyton Rehmatullah Benevolent Trust, Aga Khan University, The Citizens Foundation, i-Care, AMANPALS, British Asian Trust, Basic Needs and INJAZ Pakistan to name a few.
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