UK women urged to inspire Pakistani counterparts

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‘500 for 500’ campaign launched in London

BRITISH women are being urged to help inspire their counterparts in Pakistan.

The call is part of a new appeal, titled ‘500 for 500’ by the Hashoo Foundation which officially launched in the UK at a special event in London.

Businesswoman and philanthropist Sarah Hashwani, who heads the Hashoo Foundation, said the 500 for 500 Appeal aims to invite and engage 500 women from the UK to join hands with 500 women in the Northern areas of Pakistan, through the foundation’s award-winning Plan Bee project.

Plan Bee, which won the BBC World Challenge in 2008, is Hashoo’s innovative project that provides women in the Northern region of Pakistan with the opportunity to become beekeepers.

As part of the project Hashoo Foundation agrees to provide hives, training and then to link them to the lucrative markets in Pakistan, provided that the families agree to send their children to quality schools, have regular health check-ups and improve nutrition at home.

Speaking about the project Ms Hashwani said: “We started work on this initiative a few weeks back and I have been amazed, delighted and touched by the level of support that UK women have already given to the idea. We have women from all walks of life coming forward to lend their support and use their networks to engage more women. The simplest proposition can change the lives of so many in Pakistan.”

The project has already received support from a number of high-profile British Asian women, including Adeeba Malik, Deputy Chief Executive of leading national development agency, QED-UK; model and TV presenter Gulzaeb Beg and leading

make-up artist Zaynab Mirza.

Ms Mirza said it was a “privilege” to be part of the campaign.

She added: “Empowering women is a cause close to my heart. Surviving in Pakistan is not easy and being an under privileged woman trying to survive is even harder. Providing these women with a support network and the means to not only better their lives but also those of their future generations especially young girls, deserves all the support we can give.

“We sometimes forget that most of these people want ‘trade’ and not ‘aid’ to help them along. I am looking forward to becoming an Ambassador for ‘The 500 for 500 Appeal’ and hope I can play a small part in helping to empower and change the lives of these women.”

 

To find out more about the 500 for 500 Appeal and to get involved log on to www.hashoofoundation.org

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