KARACHI: Shell Pakistan Limited’s SPL Tameer programme signed a Memorandum of Understanding MoU with CARE International in Pakistan today, to partner and engage with over 1,000 women beneficiaries of CARE’s Pakistan Community Infrastructure Improvement Project CIIP.
The two yearlong partnership between Shell Tameer and CARE Pakistan aims at creating economic opportunity through enterprise development among grass roots communities in Sindh and Punjab. At the signing ceremony, Omar Sheikh, Managing Director Shell Pakistan Limited said, “As Pakistan’s economic landscape develops, more opportunities are required to ensure the country grows steadily. By building trust and partnerships with organisations like CARE that have extensive experience in rural development, and adding our own enterprise generation experience to the mix, we hope to contribute to bridging the gap we see, particularly with young Pakistani women.”
Waleed Rauf, Country Director, CARE Pakistan emphasized how important working with the private sector is to ensure sustainable development. “We believe that leveraging institutions in the private sector like Shell can help us deliver our strategic goals better. We can provide the access and help build an active clientele for such corporations at the bottom of the pyramid.”
For women in Pakistan, rights such as education, employment and social mobility are not easily accessible, particularly in rural areas of the country. CARE International’s Community Infrastructure Improvement Project CIIP is a five-year, CIDA funded project that aims to elevate the socioeconomic status of vulnerable rural women by improving their participation and contribution to village life.
The Shell-CARE partnership aims to provide tangible solutions to alleviating poverty, empowering disadvantaged rural women and strengthening local government institutions for sustainable development in Pakistan. It is a multiphased project comprising awareness raising, rolling out customized workshops catered to potential entrepreneurs, and incubating selected new business ideas and start-ups through Shell’s Tameer Information Desk for Entrepreneurs programme.
The project model aims at enabling women to gain confidence working outside their homes, begin to earn an income, generate start-up capital, and initiate entrepreneurial activities, with the hope that participants will emerge from the programme self-employed using the skills they acquired through the project. The project will not only benefit the women who participate, but also the Union Councils which are connected via the rural roadways built by these women.